Kacey Musgraves Reflects On The Moment She Was Told Her Career Would ‘Go Down In Flames’

The Texas native says her label advised her not to release her debut album because it was “depressing.”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 14, 2024


9:50 am

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Kacey Musgraves; Photo by Kelly Christine Sutton

In 2013, Kacey Musgraves was a new name in the business, and she was ready to introduce herself through her debut single, “Merry-Go-Round” and her very first studio album, Same Trailer Different Park. However, her label, Mercury Records Nashville, advised her not to release this collation of songs as they believed it would cause her career to “go down in flames,” before it had even really started. 

During a recent interview with Willie Geist on TODAY’s Sunday Sitdown, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter reflected on this moment in her career and revealed just how brave she was as a young artist to go against the judgement of her team.

“This is depressing. It’s not going to do well for a first time a female in country. It’s going to go down in flames,” Musgraves said, recounting the words of her label. 

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She ended up releasing the album anyway because it was a project that served as an authentic look into that chapter of her life and that was the message and stories she wanted to show her listeners. Looking back, Kacey Musgraves can proudly say that she made the right move by listening to her “internal compass” because both her debut single and album went on to win her first two of seven total GRAMMY awards that she has acquired throughout her career. 

She continued, “I’m just like, okay, well, if I am going to go down in flames, I’d rather it be wholeheartedly for something that I truly believe in.”

Kacey Musgraves Centers Her Music Around “The Human Experience”

From then on, the Texas native and Nashville-based artist has continued to stand out in the music industry by focusing her sound on “the human experience” and “the things someone doesn’t really want to talk about, but it’s something we’re all experiencing.”

Each of Musgraves’ albums has paid tribute to a certain time in her life. In 2018’s Golden Hour, she was riddled with the ups and downs of falling in love with her now ex-husband Ruston Kelly, and three years later fans felt the pain of her divorce in Star-Crossed. This year, she has made an album for herself titled, Deeper Well, which honors the place she’s currently in, which she says feels “really good.”

Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well Album Cover Art
Kacey Musgraves – Deeper Well Album Cover Art

“It feels very grounded,” she explained of the upcoming project. “I’m 35. I feel like I know myself better than maybe in the past. Deeper Well is more like some of the older albums, which is more just observations on life and just human emotion and nature and lightness, darkness, God.”

“Deeper Well” Coming March 15

Fans have already gotten a taste of what’s to come from the project dropping Friday, March 15, through songs like “Too Good to be True” and the title track, which Kacey Musgraves says is her way of “ruthlessly removing resistance to growth.”

“And that could mean a lot of different things,” she explained of the song’s inspiration. “Everything has a season, even friendships, even loves business, relationships, whatever. And some are meant to go the long haul and then maybe some aren’t.”

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The new collection was not recorded in Nashville. Instead, she took her ideas and recorded them in New York City at the Legendary Electric Lady Studios in order to find a fresh perspective and bring new energy into her work.

“I was very drawn to getting out of Nashville and creating somewhere where there was a different energy, different kind of life bubbling around you. And I just think New York is one of the most unique cities in the world, so it’s inspiring for sure.”

Album Release Show At The Ryman

On the album release night, the “Butterflies” singer will celebrate Deeper Well with a one-night-only concert event in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where she will play the entire album live for the very first time. 

Tickets will be on sale to the general public starting Thursday, March 14 at 10am CT. Click HERE to purchase. 

Additionally, Kacey Musgraves will kick off her world tour in Dublin, Ireland on April 28.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.