Lady A’s new single, “Like a Lady,” exudes confidence through and through: Not only in the song’s story line, but also in the bold choices the band made about recording it. Obviously, the trio is two-thirds male, but Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood didn’t balk at the idea of delivering feminine swagger right alongside their bandmate, Hillary Scott.
After all, Kelley and Haywood don’t mind admitting that they’ve got a few girly attributes themselves. During a recent virtual press event, the two men shared their girliest habits and hobbies.
“Other than the fact that I’m wearing this leopard print shirt?” joked Kelley. “Um, over the past year or two, I’ve tried to kinda cut back on drinking too much whiskey, and so…I’m not gonna lie, I really like rosé sometimes. So I’ll do a little rosé.”
“I’m not afraid to get out and shop a little,” admits Haywood. “I go to Lululemon, and I live in those clothes, man. I just like to be comfortable all day long.”
The band embraced more than their feminine side when recording “Like a Lady” — they also embraced an ‘80s vibe that Kelley admits he thought, during the process, might be a little too much.
“Yeah, we went for it with that ‘80s sound,” the singer says. “I remember being a little hesitant, too, and going, ‘Should we pull this back a little?’”
But the band’s producer, Dann Huff, ultimately pushed Kelley and the other two trio members to be bold. “He’s like, ‘Man, if you’re gonna go for it, go for it.’ And I’m glad we did,” Kelley continues.
“We stacked our vocals over 30 times on those big ‘lady’ [lines] that open the song. It was fun. You just gotta be loud and proud with it,” adds Haywood, referring to the title of the song that shows up right at the very beginning of “Like a Lady.”
“I will say I was hesitant about that at first. Like, ‘Is that kinda cheesy?’” Kelley admits. “I kept listening to it, and we would mute it, and then I would miss it if it wasn’t there…It’s all part of that process. We added a lot of extra parts to that outro hook, where Dave and I are singing, ‘I feel like a lady,’ which is kind of ironic.”
In the context of their next musical chapter, the Lady A bandmates agree that “Like a Lady” is a little bit of an outlier. However, they point out, it’s not out of character for them to include a fun, catchy song on an otherwise more reflective or soulful body of work.
“I think our voices are what brings that sound and that cohesion,” says Kelley. “But we’ve always liked to kind of throw in some outliers, like ‘Downtown,’ or ‘You Look Good,’ you know, with the horns. There’s a lot of songs on [the next album], though, that I think people have come to know us by: That feel a little bit more like ‘What If I Never Get Over You,’ ‘Need You Now,’ stuff like that.”
In the band’s career to date, he adds, they’ve learned the importance of not questioning their instincts too much. “In the past, we’ve overthought projects so much, and it’s like, ‘Man, if it makes you feel good, if you like it, if you dig it, [don’t overthink it.]’” the singer goes on to say. “We were all sitting there going, ‘Gosh, this song’s a smash.’
“I don’t care if I didn’t write it. I don’t care if I’m one of the dudes in the band and I’m singing ‘Like a Lady’ the whole time. It just feels like a fun song,” Kelley concludes. “I’m winning a lot of brownie points with my wife having this song out right now, and we support Hillary, and we’ve got strong women in our lives.”