Kacey Musgraves on Country: “Do I love what it’s turned into? No…”

kacey-musgraves-001Kacey Musgraves has been doing her level best to disrupt the well-ordered country music apple cart since she released the single “Merry Go ‘Round” last September. The song never made it to #1, but her album Same Trailer, Different Park did, and her deconstruction of social mores through intelligent lyrics has been a refreshing breath of independent thinking on country radio.

Recently when speaking to American Songwriter, Kacey elaborated on her strange existence in the mainstream country format, and how she’s not exactly happy where it is, and the stereotypes it brings to her music.

My voice is undeniably country, and I love country. Do I love what it’s turned into? No, not all the way. It’s a little embarrassing when people outside of the genre ask what I sing and I say country. You automatically get a negative response, a cheese factor. My favorite compliment ever is when someone says, “I hate country music but I love your music.”

Kacey explains that the “Merry Go ‘Round” single was key to being able to do music her way.

…I had been lobbying for “Merry Go ‘Round” to be my first single, because it was something I really believed in. I think they initially wanted something ”¦ upbeat. That was kind of the tipping point. Because [“Merry Go ‘Round”] got a positive reaction, it made it much easier from there on out. I want to push buttons early on because I feel like it’ll weed out people who want to be my fans for the wrong reason. Labels would say, ‘Appeal to everyone first and then push buttons later.’ That’s fucked up because it will give people the wrong idea of who I am.

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