Mickey Guyton was going to school in Los Angeles and on the verge of transferring or moving home to Texas when she ran into a friend who introduced her to Gary Borman, CEO of Borman Entertainment and manager for country star Keith Urban. In the “nicest way possible,” Borman told Guyton, a budding songstress, her songs weren’t any good. Rather than give up, Guyton went back to the drawing board and got a second chance.
“It was the kickoff of CMA,” Guyton says. “I flew to Nashville, got to his office and sang, and by the time I got to the riverfront, they offered me a record deal.” That probably wouldn’t have happened if Guyton, now a Nashvillian, hadn’t toughened her skin working three jobs and facing constant rejection in California.
“When I was in L.A., I was a hot mess,” she admits. “I was just trying to figure myself out, going through so many things, and I wasn’t really thinking to home in on the experiences I’d gone through. It wasn’t until I got through those hard times and got to Nashville that I went back and remembered battling traffic, working those jobs and 12-hour shifts. I was so busy, I had to take my dog––he was a blind Pomeranian––with me to my restaurant job and hide him under the cabinet. That’s how bad it was.”
“By the time I got to the riverfront, they offered me a record deal.”
Now Guyton has a world tour with Brad Paisley ahead of her this summer, and this past spring made her national television debut on ABC’s Good Morning America with a performance of her first single, “Better Than You Left Me,” which she made Country Aircheck history as the highest one-week add total for a debut first single. Guyton says her entire life led her to where she is now, and she has a few words of advice for artists trying to get picked up in Music City, particularly.
“Do writers rounds,” she says. “Nashville is a small community. I guarantee you can go anywhere, and the way actors and models are in L.A., that’s the way Nashville is for singers and songwriters and musicians. You can go anywhere and meet someone who is a songwriter, and you have to let people know that’s what you do.” – Jessica Pace