In 2015, Mickey Guyton blasted onto the country music scene with her power ballad “Better Than You Left Me,” written about moving on from the heartbreak of an ex-boyfriend. After hearing of the ex’s braggadocious ways, Mickey did what any self-respecting songwriter would do—she wrote another song about him.
Mickey’s current single, “Heartbreak Song,” which she says is the answer to her first single, tells it like it is and hopefully throws this guy to the curb once and for all.
I ain’t gonna hit you with a heartbreak song / I ain’t gonna give you what you’re betting on / ‘Cause boy you don’t deserve a single word / Don’t know if you heard / I forgot all about you,” Mickey belts out in the chorus.
NashCountryDaily.com sat down with Mickey to talk about “Heartbreak Song” and to get to the scoop on this ex-boyfriend of hers. “He’s my muse,” she tells us.
Can you tell me a little bit about your current single, “Heartbreak Song?”
Mickey Guyton: “‘Heartbreak Song’ is the answer to my first single, ‘Better Than You Left Me.’ I wrote ‘Better Than You Left Me’ right after I finally stood up to my ex-boyfriend, and I’d finally just said no. He just gave me the runaround for years and I finally stood up for myself. That was kind of like my empowerment moment. While I was on tour with Brad Paisley last year—I was in the windy city of Chicago—what ended up happening, some of his family came to my show, because they’re from Chicago. I was made known that he was going around bragging that I wrote a heartbreak song about him. So I hit him with ‘Heartbreak Song,’ and this is kind of my little, ‘Hey babe, I’m good . . . I’m good.'”
So no more songs about him after this?
Mickey: “Well, maybe—I mean, I still have some break-up song. He’s my muse. Whenever I need to go in that place, I channel him, but I’m okay with that. I’m just thanking him because all this material that he’s giving is helping me. I’m still winning.”
This is quite different than “Better Than You Left Me.” This is more of an upbeat, fun song. Did you want to make a conscious effort to do something different?
Mickey: “It’s just important that people see all sides of me, and that has always been a side of who I am. You see one person one way in a song, but there’s just other colors. I’m a Gemini, so there’s a lot of different sides of me. 100 percent I wanted people to see that side of me, the fun side. I love singing power ballads, but I also love singing fun songs, too.”
Right now, you are the only African-American female singer in the genre. You’ve had some success in the business and you seem to be really hitting your stride. Do you consider yourself a trailblazer in your career?
Mickey: “I’m with myself everyday so I don’t really view myself as that. Then I get messages on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter from different girls, not just women that are African-American, but I get women from Hispanic descent and from all different racial backgrounds that are like, ‘Thank you for opening the doors for a lot of us.’ You don’t think about it when you have your blinders on and you’re just trying to get to the next point in your career. This is what I grew up—this is just who I am. It’s kind of crazy that people see it like that because I’m just a girl from Texas that likes to shop.”
How did you fall in love with country music?
Mickey: “In Texas you don’t really have a choice. That’s what you’re surrounded with. My first music background was really in gospel music. I was in the church and that’s how I learned how to sing. It wasn’t until—I’m from Waco, Texas—and it wasn’t until my church group went on a trip to go to see a Texas Rangers baseball game. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and LeAnn Rimes was 10—she was singing the national anthem at the baseball game. This was before ‘Blue’ came out. I was just completely mesmerized at this girl, who’s pretty much my age, who could sing like a grown woman. She was like an anomaly at that time. It was over for me there.”
You recently met your idol, Dolly Parton. Tell me what that experience was like?
Mickey: “Oh my gosh. Everybody knows my love for Dolly Parton—I love her music, but I just love her as a whole. She’s everything right with the world in my personal opinion. I did an interview with CBS This Morning with Gayle King about a year ago. Gayle teased me, and was like, ‘Oh, come on out Dolly’ and I freaked out. So for about 9 months [Gayle] started planning on surprising me. I was on the ACM red carpet last year and I was going to get to interview [Dolly] but they ushered me off the red carpet. I was like, ‘Dang it.’ I really wanted to meet her but everybody was orchestrating a way for me to meet her. So back in May I get a call from the label and they were like, ‘Oh, Gayle is in town and she wants to catch up and see what’s going on. But just come camera ready because I know you all probably want a photo.’ I wanted to be cute for Gayle [laughs]. So I’m sitting in my car for an hour and a half and didn’t even realize we were at Dolly Parton’s studio. I walk passed all of her equipment that says Dolly Parton all over it. I sit down in the chair in front of Gayle and Gayle’s like, ‘So what’s going on?’ I turn on my interview side and I’m talking about the great things that are starting to happen. Then Dolly comes walking around the corner, and I’m like kicking, screaming, crying, snotting myself, the whole thing. She was so sweet—she wiped my tears, so I can now sell my face on eBay. She’s amazing. She’s every woman. She represents all of us and that’s what I love about her.”
“Heartbreak Song” is currently available on iTunes and Mickey is in the studio putting the finishing touches on her upcoming debut album, due out in January.
Photo by Peggy Sirota/ UMG