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Aug. 19, 2020

Interview with Gayle

We had the pleasure of interviewing more over Zoom video!

It’s hard to believe that a 15-year-old artist who, at age 9, would sing to anyone and everyone who would listen (and many who wouldn’t) at...


We had the pleasure of interviewing more over Zoom video!

It’s hard to believe that a 15-year-old artist who, at age 9, would sing to anyone and everyone who would listen (and many who wouldn’t) at boutiques, farmers’ markets, and any public gathering, would have the insight to create an entire song around this line. But GAYLE, who moved to Nashville at 12 and immediately became immersed in the city’s legendary songwriting scene, kept hearing that she needed to dig deeper and to make her songs more personal -- that THAT was the way to connect with listeners.

“Cut the crap, stop being scared, and be vulnerable,” she remembers as her marching orders in songwriting sessions. And the result is a collection of honest, uninhibited songs that connect with and speak to listeners on a profound, sometimes uncomfortable, level.

“When I put my part of my soul in a song and someone allows it to reach theirs, the goal is for us to have soul sex -- it’s intimate, vulnerable, and true.”

“orange peel” is the fourth song to be released by 15-year-old pop artist/songwriter GAYLE.,- According to GAYLE, “‘orange peel’ is about the desire to love someone without the negativity of being in a relationship that can end. Wanting to take all of the pain out of the equation to just love the person.”

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We had the opportunity to talk to GAYLE. Adam was able to talk to GAYLE over zoom video. GAYLE, a 16 year old pop artist songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee, who just released her fourth, single 1 (41s): Orange peel. Check it out. You can watch the interview on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at bringing back pod. 0 (52s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, 1 (56s): Wherever you listen to podcasts, we're bringing it backwards with .GAYLE 0 (1m 1s): Oh, sorry about that. It's like it wasn't supporting me using a specific browser. 1 (1m 7s): Oh, it's all good. Thank you so much for doing this. 0 (1m 10s): Oh, of course. Thank you for having me. 1 (1m 12s): The podcast is about your journey in the music industry and putting out the songs and where you are today. So tell me a little bit about where you grew up. Yeah. 0 (1m 24s): So I'm originally from Dallas, Texas. Yeah. I really loved it out there. And I, I started doing music at the age of eight about, and so what's really great about Texas is like, they have their own little like music scene there. It's definitely like, it was a Dallas. It wasn't necessarily an Austin. So it wasn't as big as Austin was, but 1 (1m 51s): In Dallas, what part of Dallas? I, my family was in Plano. I don't know. 0 (1m 57s): Yeah. 1 (1m 58s): Really? How funny? 0 (2m 2s): I always find a national there's so many Dallas people it's yeah. There's, there's actually been times where like I've been walking across the street and then somehow started a conversation with someone then I'm like, where are you from? They're like Dallas, Texas. 1 (2m 16s): How funny? 0 (2m 18s): Just like spot each other in the room. 1 (2m 21s): You are from Texas. Very cool. So you said you started a music at eight years old. Was that singing or do you play an instrument 0 (2m 34s): Singing? I had, so I had like a music class in my school and they, they were just talking about jazz and like blues music. And then one day they brought up scatting and showed like Ella Fitzgerald and then they like brought up a Reetha Nina, Simone, and just kind of like these powerhouse full, full singers. And I was like, Oh, wait, people can sing. Like, you can just like open your mouth and sing, I guess I'm not going to shut up now. And so then I went home and just anyone I could talk to, I would just be like, I was like that kid at the grocery store where I was like, Hey, do you want to hear me sick yet? And you do. 0 (3m 13s): Okay. Like, and so my mom was like, please, God, I need to get her vocal lessons. Like this is bad. 1 (3m 22s): So you get into vocal lessons. Well, how did you get to Nashville a year in Nashville? 0 (3m 26s): Yeah. I had an actual, there's a seminar, Tom Jackson kind of did like live stage performance stuff. And I know he's particularly like, well known in the community for not doing like Taylor Swift's stuff. So there's a little seminar there and I kinda like, I was 10 and I like begged my mom to go to it. I was like, please, please, please, please. Inland. Like eventually it worked somehow. And I found myself in Nashville. It was interesting because it was like, I want to, it was all day long. Like he just taught like, and it was one of those things where I just sat down, got my notebook and wrote down everything he said. 0 (4m 8s): And it even like, I wouldn't realize that like he would do like there's times where people from like Canada and New Zealand would fly in for this. And like there's times are going to be like, yeah, it's a process process. Like there's just times like he would like joke around with the accent that I would write it down like this. I might need to switch it to Canadian max. And at some point in my show, like, no, no, no, you can go. But every time I write in my note book at one, I had dyslexia. So like my spelling was horrible. And then like, people always thought I was doodling and not paying attention. 0 (4m 51s): And then I was like, no, actually I just been writing everything down. You've been saying that's not creepy at all. 1 (4m 58s): Well, so how did you find out about this conference? 0 (5m 1s): I think it was one of those things like randomly on Facebook. Like my mom, I was just kept mentioning like national, the TV show Nashville to a thing. And then which made us be like what's in Nashville. And then I think I, I went to a little like vocal studio and then she found that and like told my mom and then somehow I ended up in Nashville. 1 (5m 25s): Wow. So tell me about your, your, like, you have some songs up on Spotify. Like when did you start writing music? 0 (5m 33s): Gosh, I started writing music when I started going into Nashville, I would say maybe like six months before, but I had no idea of the structure of a song. So I wouldn't really consider them like songs. I mean, they were, but they're just like, not compared to what I was writing when I started moving, when I like started going back and forth. So I started writing when I was 10. So it's, I guess it's been like a little over six years now. Wow. Yeah. And whoops, sorry. 1 (6m 3s): No, go ahead. 0 (6m 4s): It was one of those things where it just like took me a minute to kind of like figure it out. And then it started becoming like, I wasn't writing what I was leaving Nashville and then like slowly that became a progression on just like sitting down and like writing all my guitar and then like figuring out how to code right. And all that. 1 (6m 23s): Okay. So tell me how you got from go to the seminar 10 and then where you just, that was just super, super inspiring. And your parents would, would take you to, to Nashville every so often. Yeah. So it was just my mom. Just your mom, sorry. 0 (6m 43s): Yeah, basically what would happen? We went to the seminar and then we kind of stopped by a few bars or like any bar that would let the ten-year-old in. And then like the people were so nice. The point where they're like, Hey, want to jump on? Cause like, especially when there's a big, like four hour sets that happened a lot, kind of like in the Broadway strip. And so the best thing you can do to musician is to say, do you want a bathroom break? I can sing like two songs and God, you know, this is a long time they don't sit down break. So I just like started just being like, hi, I sang like you get on stage real quick. 0 (7m 24s): I got it. I got to go. And then I sing a song and then someone was like, Hey, we should write a song. And I was like, Holy shit, this is how co-writing works. And so like once a month it's solely just became like, all right, I'll stay here for like three, four days. And I will try and perform anywhere. Anyone would let a 10 year old with a guitar full bar. And then I will try my best to like trick people, not really trip people, but it's a thinking I'm like 14 maybe silhouette, like just wait until the month 10. 0 (8m 4s): And then like, And then I also took, I took like song writing lessons for a little bit, just with Margaret Becker who was like amazing songwriter. And I do like, she's kind of like taught me the structure of music and like how to write a song. And then it became like guitar lessons and song writing lessons. And then slowly just like kind of getting older and being able to just perform more and just meeting more people. 1 (8m 36s): So you guys were traveling back and forth from, from Dallas to Nashville, quite a bit for a number. You said, how long have you lived in Nashville? 0 (8m 43s): I've lived here for four, four years. It's been, yeah, we moved, we went back and forth for like 11 months, 11 months a year and a half. Wow. Yeah. And that's when I like switched over to homeschooling too. Just to be easier. 1 (9m 1s): Yeah. I have a 12 year old that we homeschooled before even before the COVID or whatever. Yeah. So that's cool. Yeah. So you, so you're, you're national now and you start writing songs and tell me about putting your first song up on online. 0 (9m 17s): Yeah. So that was like terrifying, especially because it was very like personable, like to me and it's called dumb ass and it was basically just talking about how, especially when I, so I started kind of in country for Nashville, especially like living in Texas. I love country music, but it's weird because it's like, when you do music, it's like, it sounds really cheesy, but like you don't choose music. It chooses you. And like, there's just certain things that like your heart lean towards. And it was really like genuinely pop music, but originally it was like kind of country, country pop music. And I felt like sometimes I was kept trying to get put in boxes and like stereotypes of what I needed to look like and what I needed to act like. 0 (10m 2s): And like, this is how you'd be successful, especially as a female in country music. And then I feel like kind of slowly getting out of it. It just like made me realize all of like the insecurities and like the things I was always looking out for. Just so like, I can like be a good musician or like try and be a good artist or a good person. And then I was like, wait, all of this, like most of this is bullshit. Like people aren't going, gonna look at you and your hair is dyed and be like, she can't write a song. She can't, I don't want to write with her. Her nose is Pierce. Like that's not, that's not the way it is. And so I just kind of realized, like, I was always afraid to look like a dumb ass, which like in my translation that like putting myself out there right. 0 (10m 46s): Any way or just like looking the way I wanted to or any way that kind of looked quote unquote, like ballsy. Sure. Yeah. And then I released it on Spotify and then I remember thinking like, nothing's going to happen with it, but it's okay. This is crazy. And then I looked down and it was like on new music Friday, which was like crazy too. Cause I was like, huh, like, hello. Wow. And I didn't even go on music Friday. Someone texted me about it being on new music Friday, the next day. I didn't even like sing to look at the positive. 0 (11m 27s): I was just like, Oh, it's out. Like, there you go. That's it. And you do that all independently. Yeah. I have, I have a publishing deal with character 40, who is amazing. And like, I owe her a lot, especially for that song and just like giving me the power and freedom to write that. And then I also have a manager proceeded over, so who is amazing. And that was all kind of like getting in place at the time. 1 (11m 56s): Gotcha. And you met all of them after you had moved to Nashville? 0 (12m 0s): Yes. So I met Cara through an NSAI event. Yeah. When I was, so I was 14, I think I just turned 14 and it was a 40 people get to go 20, get to sing. And you put, when you get there, you put your name in a hat and if the name out you get to sing her verse Supreme, the course of your song. 1 (12m 24s): Oh wow. How did you, how did you get selected? Was it just random or 0 (12m 29s): It was NSAI it was like a popup of that. So they send an email to all NSAI members. If you signed up fast enough, you get to go. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. And there are people there, like who didn't sign up fast enough? I still tried to get it. Like, it was like this crazy thing, which I still have no clue how it worked out. It honestly stresses me out to think about like, and I was very fortunate for her to like pick my name instead of saying her half of a song. And then I expected it to kind of like, that's it, I'm going to run into her like two years from now. And she's going to pretend like she knows me like, Oh yeah. That one song at that one place, one melody. 0 (13m 11s): That was cool. Yeah. Nice to meet to you again. You know? And then she, a few weeks later she reached out to NSAI for like my contact information. Wow. Yeah. And then we had a meeting and I'm here now with her being her artist and I'm so fortunate and she's amazing. 1 (13m 33s): That is amazing. So you write your, after you wrote dumb ass, were you playing your song around Nashville or like doing open mic nights and stuff like that? 0 (13m 43s): So I was heavily doing open mics from the age of like 10 to 13. And by that, I mean like three to five times a week, and then also trying to write five to managing school. And it was a lot of like writers' rounds and like that. And then when I kinda turned 14, 15, it was like, Oh shit. Like I'm performing all the time that I need to like sit down and work on my craft as a songwriter. And so I kind of like put it down to like doing writers rounds. So honestly once a month, but I'm very, like, I really needed to like learn how to translate a song on guitar and just like learn my favorite challenge that Nashville gave me at the time was like, how do you make it? 0 (14m 29s): Like loud bar be quiet? Like, what do you have to do? What do you have to say? How do you have to sing to get people's attention? And it was like my favorite, favorite, like game to play. It's like, how am I going to do this? Am I going to do this? Let's find out, you know? 1 (14m 47s): Yeah. That's an interesting exercise to think about. Yeah. Like how are you going to get everybody in the whole bar to like, wait, what's going on? Like kind of glance over and see and get, get their attention. I like that. 0 (14m 58s): That's cool. And so I found a lot of that was like with singing and then I was like, okay, now I need to learn how to really like, translate that to song writing. What do I have to say to get people to listen? Like what do I have to do? And so then that's really what I just kind of started like sitting down and like writing like five times, like three to five times a week again, but just more so like, I'm going to like fight, what do I have to say? Like, what am I going to say? What do I need to say? Like, what is my prerogative? Like what do I need to get out there? And I, so I wasn't necessarily performing dumb-ass out, but I was definitely like in my room singing it and trying to like perfected and get it right. 0 (15m 41s): And then like with the production and then I started performing it out, like with shows and kind of like getting a band together and kind of trying to like go up there. But then unfortunately COVID happened. So like limited. Yeah. 1 (16m 1s): Well it looks like you, well, you posted dumb ass on, on Spotify, on, in the sheet this year, right in 2020. 0 (16m 11s): Yeah. It was in January. 1 (16m 13s): Okay. So you put that one out and it looks like you have three, four songs now on, on, on Spotify. What was the second song that you, you released 0 (16m 22s): Second song versus Z. 1 (16m 24s): Z. Okay. Tell me about a little bit about that song. 0 (16m 27s): Yeah. I assume DeMoss was a very like serious song for me a bit. Like I wonder if there's some playfulness to it by using the word dumb-ass, but like I wanted something that was more like this song. Like I was just like dicking around in the writer session and it was two people. Like I genuinely adore, I wrote that song with them, Brie Kennedy and Robin Z. And so I, and so I like the first line is said it's kind of a generation song. So the whole point is gen Z, gen Z. I say easy. And then I just put an emphasis on like Z. And so a lot of it was just kind of like I found at the time, there's especially a lot of like meme culture shit. 0 (17m 12s): And I just thought it was fucking funny. I was like, I want to put this in a song. And then I was like, what's the most dramatic thing that I could say in the first slide. And then I was like, my best friend, fuck my ex boyfriend. And his best friend hits me up. Like, let's see how this goes. Like, okay. And so I really didn't expect to like, especially like Kara or anyone listening to it, especially my mom, like I just didn't expect anyone to like, like get in any way. It was just sort of like, this would be funny, 1 (17m 48s): Right? You and your mom must have a pretty, a pretty good relationship. If you can read stuff like that. And she's like, Oh, this is great song. 0 (17m 57s): Okay, honey. Yeah. She, I definitely like raising an unfiltered household, which I'm very grateful for and I'm kind of allowed to have my own opinion on things and just kind of like allowed to have serious conversations and write songs about things that I'm passionate about. And I'm very lucky, but I also do push it sometimes. Sometimes she's like, really? 1 (18m 21s): Yeah. You have a pretty funny Instagram, like bio and such. I was dying. Like you put that, you're like a family law attorney. 0 (18m 29s): Yeah. And with the Ross attorney, the thing is, is like, I was hoping that no one would notice it. Cause there's one time, like I changed it to like public swimming pool and they're like, okay, shouldn't you be singer I'm like, that makes sense. But then like a month later I was like, I found a divorce attorney and I was like, this, this is me. I feel like my brand. So well divorce attorney, family, lawyer, and divorce attorney. 1 (18m 53s): Yeah. And then you put that you're a stay at home mom and no kids. So very funny stuff. That's awesome. So Jay Z and then you put out a happy for you was the next one. Cause I know orange peels the most recent, but happy for you to tell me about that one. 0 (19m 14s): Yeah. Happy for you. It's kind of the first song I kind of released about our relationship and you know, especially like being, I was 15 at the time when I was 15, when I wrote that song. And so I was kind of more scared to release it, especially because I feel like when you're younger, a lot of your feelings about people are invalidated, which like I completely get where it's like, yes, I have not been in like a five year long relationship and haven't felt this, like I want to marry this person, but I've also felt like a deep like care for someone. And it's like also, especially when you don't know, he needs to hold back with someone or you haven't like learned that like a shit heartbreak sucks. 0 (19m 58s): And so I kinda like got out of like, or the kind of relationship that just really, it felt like I kind of lost my best friend at one point, but I was also really happy about the fact that like, they don't need me and like we don't meet each other and that, and that intensity anymore. And like, we need to be independent people and like grow up shit ton and just kinda like do our own things. And he was doing that so well, I was like, you do not have to do it like that. Well, like that fast, like, come on, man, like a little bit like just a little bit more. So it was just kind of one of those things where I was really happy, but then I was like, fuck, you don't need me anymore. 0 (20m 45s): Like you don't, I don't make you happy anymore. And so that's really what like happy for you was for me. It's like, I'm happy for you, but like, I I'm sad for us that we need that anymore. 1 (20m 58s): Yeah. Yeah. And then your new song that's out now it's called the orange peel and that just kind of just came out recently right in the palace. Yeah. Oh, yesterday. Wow. Exciting. Yeah. Very, very, very new. Tell me about orange peel. 0 (21m 19s): So orange peel, my favorite color is orange. So this, I think this has like a funny story. So I wrote this song with Jim stroll, Sarah Davis and Reed Barron, who are like some of my favorite people to work with in Nashville, especially. And James is an incredible artist and like I respect him so much and we were in the writers room and I think it was the second time I was writing with Reed and he was a producer in session, James he's like, Oh, you know, like I just paid it sometimes with artists, like come into the session, have no ideas. And I'm like, I'm the artist I'm session. And I have no ideas. Like it's like one of those days where I was like, let's just see what the room like, what happens. 0 (22m 3s): And then I was like, like I have nothing. And so I was like frantically scrolling through my, my notes just very casually though. Like, Oh yeah, like I have this one idea. Let me try and find it real quick. And then I just saw that I wrote orange peel in my notes and I was like, how can I bullshit my way through this one? Like, how can I, how could I possibly like make this into like any idea? And so I kind of randomly on the blues, like what happens if we said like, wish that I could take this off, like an orange peel with all my thoughts. Like just kinda wish that like, everything didn't have to be so intense sometimes. 0 (22m 44s): Like I, I just kinda, after a relationship specific specifically, like the one I wrote about happy for you, I wanted to maybe not take such a negative perspective on loving the person. And if I just focus on the fact that like I had that feeling for someone and just like, didn't have like all the negativity surrounding it. And I also, a lot of times I was writing from the perspective of being insecure. And then at that time it was kind of, I want to say like maybe a month or two before Liz's album came out, he had this like perspective. That was just so like amazing. 0 (23m 25s): Especially like, it was just like, if you don't like me, you're wrong shit. And you know what? I'm allowed to think I'm shit. Cause I'm not saying I am better than anyone else. I'm just saying I'm good myself. And I was like, Holy shit. Like this is, this came from such a place of like power. And it just like really inspired me to maybe not like always think to write from a insecure place. And so I, I think I wrote it from more of like a confident perspective than my other songs. 1 (23m 59s): I like that. That's, that's interesting perspective to take. I love that. Yeah. You referenced Lizzo too with like, you know, I like what she's doing. Yeah, totally rad. Have you like with the, with COVID and everything, obviously you can't play live and stuff, but have you tried to go live on Instagram or YouTube or any of that stuff? 0 (24m 19s): I've definitely been, I've been also working on T talk lately. Cool. Yeah. That's a big one. The little guitar videos, like the lyrics on the screen, you know that and then, well, cause I also really love the honesty of tic talk and I feel like it's a lot of kids that are either like millennials or gen Z, where it's just kind of like that place where you can like say almost anything they're like, I actually relate to that, you know, which I find like really fun about tick talk, but I didn't want to like talk at first because it does like buy-ins better. No. And then like I downloaded it opened, it was on it for five hours and I was like, okay, I guess, I guess. 0 (25m 4s): Yeah. But a lot of it I've been doing, you know, the zoom sessions and then you're trying to do live stream to then doing live streams with like charities and then like friends, mind just kind of like singing it on guitar. And obviously it's always like, not, it's hard sometimes to have a connection, especially when it's like over the internet. But if you don't think about it too hard, it's it's fun. 1 (25m 30s): Yeah. So you just trying to, you're just feel like you're just playing to nobody. You're just sitting there and then do you see that the comments flying by or anything? Like 0 (25m 38s): A lot of it I like would really weirds me out. It's like, Holy shit. I'm singing to my phone. Like if I just like, look at edit anything past the phone and I'm like, wait, 1 (25m 51s): Right, 0 (25m 51s): Wait. I'm like, I'm not supported. Especially when I'm like seeking a personal song. And I'm like, yeah. And then I'm like, wait, this is like to my phone, like, hello, this is two, three. 1 (26m 2s): That's funny. What do you think the most validating moment in your career has been so far? 0 (26m 9s): Oh gosh. I think they're so a video XE got re posted in translated to Korean on like language on the screen and the comments to it were very much so just like I relate to this or just kinda like, yeah, like these certain situations, like I F I felt this way before, like, thanks for saying it. Cause now I can listen to it, but it just felt very like, this is the reason why I didn't use it, you know? And then like, especially when there's sometimes people who don't like, I actually took talk a comment on tech talk where it's like someone said, like, I love the song, but I can't understand it. 0 (26m 57s): Cause I like speak Korean, but it was still just like to be, they could like appreciate some, I think there's such a beauty to like appreciating something that you can't fully understand, which I think sometimes like people can lose the art, especially in America when you're always like turning on the radio and it's like, yeah, I understand this completely. But yeah, I would say that just like people say they relate to it or like understand the place that I'm coming from. 1 (27m 27s): Yeah. That's interesting that it was like a, that it was translated in Korean. Like how random 0 (27m 33s): It was so red. It was one of those things where I was like, okay, like, Oh, Whoa. And then there's also like a dance that came out to see that was also like 1 (27m 47s): Tick tock challenge. Wow. 0 (27m 49s): Well, it was actually there's this, do you know the 1 million dance studio, one mill like, there's like, yeah, there's this dance studio that came out with this whole like choreographed dance to it and they're like dancing to it. And that was like, like it's also like doing their own form of expression and art to my form of expression. This is crazy. Like, Whoa. I'm like, honestly, 1 (28m 17s): That's cool. That's really, really, really cool. Especially with, you know, the tic talk, the hype of tic talk right now and the bands that are breaking out of tick-tock right now. I mean to have a, a dance that's that's really, really awesome. Well, thank you so much for talking with me today. I really appreciate it 0 (28m 38s): Having me. I really appreciated it. 1 (28m 40s): I have one more question. I want to know if you have any advice for other aspiring artists. 0 (28m 47s): I would say honesty, honesty and vulnerability. And I would also write a song like no one else is going to hear it. That's like lyrically, just say what, what you want to say. And then like specifics, don't be scared of them. Cause there's definitely like colloquial terms that you can make very specific and true to you. Yeah. That's, that's really like the biggest advice I could give for me. And especially something that like, I even like struggled to flight fully due to like my best ability is just like being honest and being vulnerable and then have people be okay with you For people who are like songwriters and not artists and like understand that like the, one of the best things to get the two rooms, your perspective.