Mickey Guyton Shares How Nick Cannon's DJ Helped Her Break Into Country Music

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Mickey Guyton and Becky G
Face to Face with Becky G/Facebook Watch

It's been a long road to success for country music star Mickey Guyton, and she's sharing her story with Becky G. In the latest episode of Facebook Watch's Face to Face With Becky G, the GRAMMY-nominated artist recalled getting her start and the obstacles she faced during her journey.

"Your destiny finds you," Mickey said when asked about her first step into the music industry. "Of all the places, of all the people, I met Nick Cannon's DJ, DJ D-Wrek. I ran into him and he said, 'My boy, Julian, has been looking for a Black female country singer.' And just like that, I started working with Julian Raymond, who introduced me to my management who managed Keith Urban. And the next thing I know, I'm in Nashville singing at Capitol Records in 2010… And that's where it all started for me."

But, despite her beliefs that her career would take off in less than two years, Mickey shared that it was "extremely difficult" to make a mark in country music. "Not only is it difficult for a Black woman, but it's difficult for women, period, in country music," she told Becky G. 

"The data is there. Women are majorly discriminated against in country music, and that is wrong," she added, sharing that it's hard for women to find airplay on country music stations. 

As a Black woman, Mickey faces a double-dose of discrimination, and the singer revealed that she had often been told not to "bring attention to the fact that you're Black."

"Imagine someone telling you that and what that does to you mentally," she shared. "You lose yourself. And I lost myself for a very long time. And that was really hard."

And the racism extended beyond lack of airplay -- Mickey shared examples of encountering the industry's ignorance during music videos and photoshoots, where stylists called her hair "nappy," photographers didn't know how to shoot a Black person and makeup artists didn't have the skillset to work with her skin color. 

"That was mentally debilitating for me," the singer said. "And for you to have to walk on a red carpet or to shoot a music video knowing you don't feel your best? And that happened to me for years."

The experience pushed the "Black Like Me" artist to be proactive about who she works with and how she advocates for Black representation in the industry. 

"It is so important for Black people to be in this space because country music did start with Black people," she asserted. "And if I can't make it, I need to make sure that Black people are seen and heard in this industry. And I've made enough connections that no matter what, that's what I'll do, and then I found my purpose."

The singer realized, "it's not enough for just one to make it." She added that although it's great to celebrate the history-makers and the first to break records, "there needs to be so many of us that it doesn't even matter." 

"We've kept our mouths shut for so long. It's time for us to call it what it is," Mickey said. "Step up and make this world more inclusive."

Mickey and Becky G touch more on how representation is vital for the entertainment industry, as well as the taboo of seeking professional help.

New Face to Face With Becky G episodes airs Thursdays at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.

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