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EXCLUSIVE: GAYLE chats about single “orange peel” and more

We chatted with Nashville based singer songwriter, GAYLE. 

Since the age of ten, she has displayed a unique ability to write songs that creatively capture cross generational struggles. In her latest single, “orange peel,” GAYLE showcases that talent by using the fruit as a metaphor for the relatable need to release stress.

Check out what GAYLE had to say about songwriting, inspiration, her growth and more. 

How did you first get interested in music? 

For me, it really started in music class in school. I was introduced to jazz music and soul, and I learned what scatting was. I went home doing that all the time so my mom showed me Aretha Franklin and I was like I want to be her when I grow up. I didn’t know much about music, but all I knew is that I just wanted to do that. In Texas, there is a little bit of a music scene, country music touring because Texas is just such a big place. We started doing the vocal studios, voice lessons once a week and then it went to guitar lessons and songwriting lessons. Then I started singing at rodeos, funny enough. I would go out in the dirt and sing the national anthem or I would sing at sheep sellers conventions or farmers markets – anywhere I could sing and they would allow a ten year old in the corner to just play guitar. I would try my best to be at. Then I started to get really into songwriting. I was like, ‘I want to do this. I want to do this.’ I learned if I annoy my mother enough by just asking the same question, she’ll eventually do it. We went to Nashville because it was a 10 hour drive and it was just one of those mommy-daughter vacations that we decided to have for a weekend. We went to a workshop and it was about live stage performance.  I wrote everything down in my notebook and I learned so much about songwriting and I was like, ‘I want to do this. This is something I have to try because I don’t know what else I want to do.’ I was like 10 and my mom was like alright we’ll start going to Nashville more often. I started going to Nashville and surprisingly it was hard to be 11 and getting into bars. I don’t know why, but apparently bartenders and 11 year olds don’t go well together [laughs ]This is exactly what they want to see. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Eventually, it just kind of led to once a month. I did that for about 18 months and then we moved to Nashville because I just started mastering this whole nagging thing – I just got very persuasive over time. I’ve been going back and forth and living here a total of 6 years. 

I’m sure it’s hard to narrow down, but what is the most important thing your mom has taught you so far? 

My mother is a business woman. It’s one thing I really love and respect about her. She has never turned down a challenge out of fear. She really taught me the lesson, if you make a commitment to someone you have to follow through with it. I feel like a lot of the time,  especially if you think about music, you think about standing on a stage. She taught me it’s so much more than that, especially being a female at times when it can be a man’s world –  to just fully know everything that I’m doing and the business side behind it and being able to stand my ground and to just be a powerful independent woman. I feel like that’s the most I can narrow it down to. She is just this badass business, powerhouse of a woman that I’m very lucky to be raised by. 

Now you are in Nashville, what is it like to be surrounded by all this music and all these talented people? 

It’s so intimidating. It’s amazing. I love being intimidated. Being in a room with such talented people is the most inspiring thing to do. The first thing I was told in Nashville was always get in a room with people that are more talented than you. I’m a very competitive person, not toward necessarily anyone else,  just with myself. My goal is to always strive to be better somehow and it was just so incredible – just the energy in the room of someone who can just play guitar for hours like no one’s business or just write a hook. It is so intimidating to be with all these talented people, especially going for music, doing it, doing the move, everything. Everyone has made sacrifices to be in Nashville and we all understand that. I really also enjoy the community aspect of Nashville because we all had to make sacrifices to be here and the best thing we can do for each other is lift each other up rather than push each other down to get further, I just really love it. The writing community too – it’s just a natural thing to say hey you’re great, want to write a song together, might as well try, It might suck it might, it might be great, who knows but wherever it goes it goes and it’s really nice. 

Speaking of songwriting, you’ve written and worked with Kara DioGuardi. What was it like working with her? 

She threw a very last minute pop up event, like 40 people get to go and 20 get to sing. Kara DioGuardi gets to critique your song. I remember I was sick and so nervous and I had no idea what to do. I go in and I put my name in a hat and everyone sits down. She just happens to draw my name. I thought it was going to be one of those things – I sing her a song, she gives me some rough critiques, breaks my heart and then a year later she will pretend to recognize me in a Kroger or something. I sang my song and she gave me some critiques. Then, I want to say maybe like two days later, she reached out for my contact information.  I thought nothing is going to happen from this, she just wants to tell me I suck more. It’s cool. Then she sets up a meeting and I remember she told me to bring my favorite co-writer and so I did. Then she set up a few writes and then I ended up writing with her. Now I work with her all the time. Now she is a major influence in my life and a mentor to me, who I am very grateful to have because I have no idea where I would be without her. 

The conversation continues on our latest podcast with GAYLE. Listen to hear the story behind her latest single “orange peel,” her writing process and what fans can look forward to next.  

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