In an emotional yet inspiring interview with “CBS This Morning,” Ashley McBryde talks all matters related to her struggle to make it in the music industry, family disapproval of her career choice, and the ultimate passion she has for music. It began with a clip of Carrie Underwood surprising McBryde with a phone call announcing “You miss, are the ACM New Female Artist of the Year,” ahead of this Sunday’s award’s show. Not only is McBryde already a winner, but she is also up for Female Artist of the Year, and she will be performing on the big stage in Las Vegas alongside Eric Church on Sunday.
McBryde has come a long way to finally earn her spot in country music. The road was not always easy, as it took her many years playing in dive bars and keeping her head up when no one believed she could make it her way. When trying to break into the country music industry, McBryde was told to lose weight and to look a certain way, and she was not about to give into that. The singer-songwriter decided instead to put pen to paper and write about it. McBryde says one of her rules when it comes to writing is, “Don’t write anything down until somebody cries – we like to dive deep.”
Her incredible ability to create an emotional connection and tell a story through her lyrics is what took her from living in small-town Arkansas, all the way to Nashville and the top of the country music charts. One song in particular, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” talks about keepin’ on when no one else believes in you. McBryde admits, “I don’t know that I’ve written one more important than ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere’ – yet.” That particular title track to her highly successful debut album Girl Going Nowhere landed her a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album.
McBryde’s favorite and most personal song on Girl Going Nowhere is “Bible and a .44” about her father. McBryde’s father did not approve of her being in the music industry and felt that it was no place for his daughter. In fact, he told her, “Promise me that when you’ve made your money you’ll go to medical school.” Her father is a doctor, and a farmer who is currently fighting a degenerative disease. McBryde admits, “I am careful the things I share with him because it is important to me and its not always important to him,” and would assure her Dad, “I’m not just playing bars anymore, I’m playing arenas, we’re traveling the world.” His response was, “I’m proud ‘for’ ya, didn’t say ‘of’ ya.” A teary McBryde admits, “everybody wants their Pop to be proud of them.” Fortunately, McBryde sought encouragement from her mother who believed in her wholeheartedly, and through writing music and performing she continued her journey to stardom.
Now it’s time for McBryde to pay it forward, she says “More times than I’ve got yes, I’ve got no.” She lovingly gives advice, “if anybody has told you not to passionately pursue what sets your soul on fire – they are wrong, don’t you dare give up and if you do, you better not let me find out about it.” McBryde hopes that her fans can relate to her lyrics and songs, as writing them and performing are like therapy for her. The passion for music radiates through McBryde, as she says, “This is the only thing I know how to do and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability, and when the level ups itself, I will up myself to that level,” and it is safe to say there is no slowing down one of the most admirable and talked about artists in country music today.
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