After years of hard work, three EPs and seemingly insurmountable roadblocks, Mickey Guyton says she will be releasing her debut album later this year. In a new interview, she reveals that the project, titled Remember Her Name, addresses the racism and sexism she has lived through as a Black woman in country music.
“This is a little dramatic, but I feel like it’s a Becoming, like Michelle Obama,” Guyton tells the New Yorker. “It’s every experience that I went through during the 10 years that I was in Nashville. It’s a closing of this chapter of my life.”
The New Yorker profile offers additional details about the record, noting that it’s “loaded with sounds and images that feel decidedly country,” while also clearly written from Guyton’s point of view. “If I could go back to 12 / I would tell myself / Straight up or down / Baby, that’s your crown,” she reportedly sings in “Love My Hair,” while in “All American,” she offers, “We got the same stars, same stripes.”
Ahead of the June 9 2021 CMT Music Awards, Guyton added to CMT that some of the songs on Remember Her Name are “four or five years old,” but that the title track, “Remember Her Name,” was written in 2020. Both the song and the album, she shares, are dedicated to Breonna Taylor, the Black ER technician who was shot and killed by Louisville, Ky., police officers in March of 2020, after they forcefully entered her apartment.
“When I was thinking about Breonna Taylor, and seeing inaction regarding her murder, I thought, ’I need to bring justice to her life,'” she shares. “I was writing these types of [thoughtful] songs long before America’s racial reckoning. The frustration that I’ve felt as an African-American has been a part of my process for a while.”
Guyton earned a Top 40 radio song with her debut single, 2015’s “Better Than You Left Me,” and charted in the Top 50 with her next single, 2016’s “Heartbreak Song.” Her most recent EP, 2020’s Bridges, includes the Grammy-nominated “Black Like Me,” as well as the acclaimed song “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?”
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