She’s only 15 years old but the second she starts to sing you hear an old soul. When she was 9, GAYLE would sing to anyone who would listen at boutiques, farmers’ markets, and any public gathering in her home state of Texas. GAYLE moved to Nashville when she was 12 and one afternoon, she got a message from the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) giving her 30 minutes to get on a list to attend an event at the new Trimble House opened by legendary pop songwriter and publisher Kara DioGuardi, where a lucky few would have the chance to perform a portion of songs they were working on. “I got there, and they asked us to write down our names. My name got pulled out of the hat. I was pitchy, sick, and so nervous.” But the bones of the song she performed through her sultry and powerful voice impressed DioGuardi, who ultimately signed her to Arthouse Music Publishing.
“Nashville gave me songwriting, how to tell a story and to look at things from a different perspective. I also met Kara there, and she pushes me to be the most honest songwriter I can be. It’s taught me not to hide my vulnerability in my songs but to show it.”
There’s no doubt this girl is going places but don’t take our word for it. Check her out tonight on person at Mercy lounge. The show is free. Stream or download “Dumbass” here.
Here’s 10 questions we had for GAYLE:
1. Is it a challenge to write pop in a country town?
“I wouldn’t particularly call Nashville a country town, more of a songwriting town. I think people who write country music deal with the same struggles that people who write pop do. It’s all really about finding people you connect with well and that can be a struggle no matter where you are or what genre you write.”
2. If you couldn’t be a singer/songwriter … What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Haha that’s terrifying to think about…”
3. Who were your early influences?
“Aretha Franklin is my idol; she’s the reason why I do music. She’s what gave me “that” feeling that made me want to do music. I used to write down the lyrics to her songs in any notebook I could find. I would try and emulate her head voice as a child for hours a day (my family didn’t enjoy listening to that). I would fall asleep listening to her music thinking somehow it would make me better . I absolutely idolize her.”
4. Has your family had to make some sacrifices for your dream?
“My mother drove me to vocal lessons, songwriting lessons, and guitar lessons when I was a child. She drove me to countless gigs and bought my equipment for it. She started driving me back and forth from Dallas to Nashville, 10 hours each way once a month, starting when I was 10 years old. We moved to Nashville when I was 12, for my music. So many people thought she was crazy. She has made so many sacrifices for me, I really don’t know how I’m ever going to repay her.”
5. Write alone or co-write? Which Do you prefer?
“I prefer co-writing because I think there are so many different types of talents one can have as a songwriter, and co-writing can definitely bring out the best in a writer. Personally I believe one of the best things you can bring inside of a writing room is your perspective, and that’s truly the core of co-writing.”
6. Do you miss Texas?
“The general answer for this question would be yes, but truly what I miss most about Texas is the people (and obviously the food). Many people who I hold dear to my heart live in Texas. Of course, I also love Texas because I was born there, but really I think it’s the friendships I have in Texas are what makes it so special to me. Also there is also Braums, and Whataburger there too.”
7. Dream cowrite ?
“I have many dream co-writes, but I would probably say my top would be Delacey. I admire the honesty in her songwriting, and she is a great example of an artist who can also write for other people.”
8. Dream Duet?
“My dream duet would probably be with Lewis Capaldi. His talent and his control astound me on the daily .”
9. What’s your favorite thing about Nashville?
“My favorite thing about Nashville is probably the music community. I’ve truly met some of my favorite people in the world, and we’re really in this together. I have taco nights with my music family every couple of months, and it truly feels like I have this huge supportive family.”
10. Where’s your favorite place to eat in Nashville?
“If I’m being completely honest Uncle Julio’s. I’m spoiled when it comes to Mexican food because I’m from Texas. It’s the best Mexican food place in Nashville!”