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Mickey Guyton is speaking her truth after years of doubt

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2020 Invision

In this Aug. 3, 2020 photo, Mickey Guyton is photographed during a remote portrait session with the photographer in New York and subject in Los Angeles. Guyton's EP, "Bridges," is set to be released on Sept. 11. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mickey Guyton is turning a mirror on country music by speaking her truth and reclaiming both her career and identity.

Delivering a one-two punch of important songs this year leading up to her first new EP in five years, Guyton is not holding back her powerful voice any longer. Guyton has re-introduced herself after years of internal doubt and feeling unable to be herself as a Black woman in a genre dominated by white men.

“I was trying to write everybody else’s song and everybody else’s story when I had a unique story of my own,” said Guyton, 37.

The six-song EP called “Bridges,” coming out on Sept. 11, contains “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” a pointed critique of the barriers that women face, and “Black Like Me,” revealing her own early experiences with racism. Other songs like “Heaven Down Here” and “Bridges” show her attempting to bridge the cultural and ideological divide.

Her musical career plans this year were thrown off course due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she kept marching forward anyway. Parts of the album were recorded or written from her home in Los Angeles, where she’s been isolating with her husband, with remote help from her producer Karen Kosowski in Nashville. Guyton set up a DIY vocal studio and started learning audio recording software.

“We worked out a flow where she can just sit back and sing and I can produce her over Zoom as if she was in the vocal booth next to me,” said Kosowski, who also co-wrote three of the songs on the EP with Guyton.

Guyton’s impressive vocals don’t need much adornment, but Guyton pushed herself on the title track, “Bridges,” a gospel influenced song about finding common ground instead of divisiveness.

“When she sang the vocal on ‘Bridges,’ her husband, Grant, ran into the room from the other room, going, ’What is happening in here? That’s sounds amazing!'” said Kosowski.