“What are you gonna tell her when she figures out that all this time you built her up just so the world could let her down / Yeah what do you tell her? / What are you gonna tell her?”
That’s a question Mickey Guyton implores and beckons we question ourselves in this fast-paced environment and sometimes, a society of unequal opportunities. It’s all good when we get comfortable with what’s not supposed to be comfortable, and it’s her harsh invitation to move out of the status quo that makes this a standout song.
If you’re an avid country music fan, you probably did not miss the hype in the genre surrounding her performance at this year’s Country Radio Seminar(CRS), an annual three-day gathering of industry members across all sectors in the business to learn about best practices, career development and, for the labels— to showcase new music and their emerging young artists. Guyton took the stage at her label home’s annual #TeamUMG Luncheon at the Ryman Auditorium.
With the song having been written less than three weeks ago and unrecorded, she graced the Mother Church of Country Music and wowed an entire room of industry members to their feet with a stirring live rendition of “What Are You Gonna Tell Her.” In fact, with a stellar lineup of performances from label mates Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and more, she was the only artist that got that roaring applause and a standing ovation. It was back in 2015, that the singer got a standing ovation for her performance of debut single “Better Than You Left Me.”
2 weeks later, today, the Texas native has released the studio cut of this vulnerable song. Still very much piano-driven and stripped down, the studio version doesn’t lose the one thing Guyton was able to convey at CRS: the emotion in her voice. With songs getting so easily overproduced sometimes, producer Karen Kosowski really nailed it in capturing the essence of her aching plea in this narrative.
“This song came from the very depths of my heart. Every word is all of our story,” shared Guyton on a social media post. She later thanked fellow writers Kosowski, Victoria Banks and Emma-Lee for going to that emotional and raw place with her, and for “pouring out [their] hearts with [her] and creating a song that represents so many. ✊🏾💜”
This song’s future on country radio is promising too, with several Program Directors and DJs requesting for the studio cut on the day of her CRS performance. Over the last two weeks, too, some started to add it to their station’s playlist, long before the song goes for official radio adds. All this is despite the fact that it is a ballad and song by women; what some may think of as ’two strikes’ and two reasons why it probably won’t work on radio — whatever that means. But with all the positive reactions and buzz surrounding this gut-wrenching tune, we at NYCountry Swag are hopeful and very optimistic about the doors it’ll knockdown. (Hey, Song Of The Year contender too, maybe?!)
Country fans, men and women alike, let’s rise up and support this tune. Show your local stations you want it. Request, tweet, download, stream. This song deserves a spot in the country charts, and needless to say, the “Best of” list at the end of 2020.
Guyton’s debut record is expected to drop this summer.
“What Are You Gonna Tell Her” is available now everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist.
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