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Mickey Guyton is set to release full-length debut album Remember Her Name, on September 24th. The music, grooves, melodies, and lyrics of its 16 songs lay bare the heart of a woman and the life she began to lead once she decided to let her truth set her free. That freedom has been mesmerizingly translated into intimately confessional ballads of piercing power including “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” and “Black Like Me” and also fizzy ditties like “Rosé” as well as the sultry “Dancing in the Living Room” that remind us that playfulness and passion are necessary partners to reflection. Remember Her Name finds Guyton celebrating her truest voice in ways that will resonate with any listener who has loved, lost, struggled, laughed and lived.
“It’s crazy that the album is a story essentially,” says Guyton of the project that has been both three years and, in some ways, a lifetime in the making.
“I was just writing and writing,” she says. “I didn’t even know what the album meant or what it was going to be, when I was writing these songs. I just started writing songs about my feelings.”
The Texas singer-songwriter understandably had a lot of those having arrived in Nashville a decade ago and been lauded for her powerhouse voice. While some success and accolades followed, including her 2015 hit “Better Than You Left Me,” barriers within the industry seemed insurmountable.
Until one day, she decided to be herself and not the woman Nashville expected her to be. “I had a conversation with my husband three years ago asking him why my career wasn’t really taking off and why it wasn’t working out for me,” recalls Guyton. “He said it was because I was running away from everything that made me different.”
The lightbulb officially clicked on. The positive consequences were almost immediate on every level. Guyton began writing songs that spoke to powerful truths and gained recognition for them, including a Grammy nomination for “Black Like Me,” making her the first black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category. Critical plaudits also poured in from The New York Times, L.A. Times, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and more with NPR proclaiming succinctly, “Guyton raises the rafters and distills emotion with impeccable clarity. Her high notes thrill, her nuance in storytelling captivates. A star for our times claims her place.”
You can hear Guyton, who was preparing to be a new mom amidst the maelstrom of 2020, staking that claim on the title track, a triumphant anthem of self-assurance: “Where did you lose the girl with no fear?/Oh, she never left/Take a good look, she’s right in the mirror/Don’t let yourself forget/ Remember the fire/Remember her face…Remember the girl that didn’t let anything get in her way.”
She decided to make that song the title track “to remind all of us, including myself, about the strength we have inside that we don’t always know is there,” says Guyton. “As women, there are so many times where we lose ourselves and our dreams as we’re growing up and living life. This song is about a woman rediscovering herself and what made her strong. That is my life story, discovering my own power, and that felt like the right title for the whole album since it explains all the facets of my story.”