Stephanie Quayle - Real, Honest Country Music

by Katheen Bee

     As the holiday season is winding down, one thing that I am grateful for in 2016 was having the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming artist Stephanie Quayle!

     Quayle was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana. Her passion for country music began whilst listening to her little radio that she would carry around the family farm. The first song she wrote was about “summer love at its finest.” The moment Quayle and her husband David Couch moved to Nashville, her music started to come together. She would attend songwriter rounds and what caught her eye was “all these incredible songwriters singing and playing their own songs with such raw vulnerability. And there's no smoke, there's no lights, there's no stage, it's just you exposed, and I think for me that really took my breath away, because it's so honest and so authentic that you have nowhere to hide, that you just have to kind of put it all out there and trust that if it's not a good song, the next one will be better and if it's a good song, people react to great songs and good songs and funny songs and I think that was just a really kind of an 'aha’ moment for me.”

     Quayle had a remarkable year, as she finished in the top 5 of the 2016 Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star contest. She says the contest was “pretty surreal when I found out I was in the top 25. I was just kind of blown away and then I saw my fans and they were on a mission and to see them come out in such incredible drive, passion, and determination to get me into the top 5 was the coolest thing I have ever experienced, hands down, because there is no way to control it.  You just hope and pray and do whatever you do and work really hard and you hope that people will engage and share it and they are just on fire.”

     During the contest, Quayle played a few of her favorite festivals including one in her home state of Montana. She says, “I love playing my home, because it's just so cool to bring it home and show everyone the growth in the music and the band and the songs.  And obviously with songs on the radio, you get so much more awareness and it becomes more casual and videos are on and it's like ‘this is really happening.’ ” Quayle has played The CMA Music Festival the last five years because, “It is one of the coolest festivals to play in the history of the world.” Another one she loves to play is The Colorado Country Jam, because she gets to hang out with and play alongside men like Lee Brice and Tyler Farr. She jokingly says, “I am like ‘I am hanging with the guys this is cool! Gotta soft rock their faces off.’ It's good, it's good, it's very good.”

     Her fans come from all over the world and not only share the love of music, but they also connect and support each other. Quayle is super proud of her fans and says it “brings so much joy to my world because I always strive for how can I make music and how can I be someone that impacts life in a positive way. And if I am doing that, then I am doing my job.” Being able to connect with the Flock via social media has allowed everyone to be part of the journey.

     The song “Drinking With Dolly” is taking the world by storm and has a special place in Quayle's heart. Her producer, Matt McClure, brought the song to the studio for her to listen to. As soon as “Drinking With Dolly” came through the speakers, Quayle was hooked and knew that this was the next song she wanted to share. She says, “It was just the guitar vocal and the first chord into the first line, 'Sometimes I think I was born too late, came into the world in the wrong decade.'  I couldn't hold back the tears, and the little hairs on my arms went straight up and I just said ‘this is my song, the world has to hear this song.’ ” The song is not only a wonderful tribute to the women of country music, but it also shares an outlook on the women who created the path for those to follow. Dolly, Loretta, Patsy, and Tammy are big influences on how far country music has come and Quayle is a great example of that connection through the music.

     Since the contest ended, Quayle has not stopped. She has been busy songwriting and recording new music in the studio for her new EP.  Recently she collaborated with Lance Carpenter and is super excited to share the song they have written together. She is also working with Even Stevens, whom she met at the BMI Songwriters Festival. Quayle, Carpenter, and Stevens will team up and write a song together. She says, “the three of us are going to collaborate, which will be really interesting because Even’s love for music and Lance is so talented and I think the three of us will be a really fun collaboration.”

     Quayle says, “Writing is a process of creating something out of nothing. You get that inspiration to make it a song: life influences, what's going on in my life, what's going on in my family’s life, friend's life. I am a professional eavesdropper.  I love to people watch and write stories. That's what I love about country music, we get to create these little three and half minute movies and tell their story and a lot of my recent writings have been really about my life, what is going on in my world and sharing that, which is somewhat new in some ways because, again, it's just exposing that raw vulnerability and being okay with it.  I think that as a writer you are always wanting to write a song that is not only personal, but it can be where everyone can have their version of that story to where it connects on whatever level that it can. I write about life. Write what you live and live what you write.”

     Putting together her next release is just the half of it! Tour dates are still under wraps for now, but there are exciting things on the horizon. As for 2017, Quayle says that her goal is “to be pretty much everywhere in the U.S. next summer, which will be wild and wonderful. But I can't wait to get back out on the road and make more music videos, more music.”

    Keep an eye out for new music and a tour schedule to be announced. Get ready for a fun show! If you haven’t listened to “Drinking With Dolly”, do it today! You won’t regret it. This is a song and an artist you will make a connection with!

Fun Facts about Stephanie:

  • Loves stuffing!

  • She and her husband have their own horses, Magic and Stanley.

  • She really enjoys the outdoors.

  • Favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas.

  • She can’t live without her Stetson hat or cowboy boots.

  • Her fan base is called the Flock of Quayle.

  • You can follow her on snapchat: stephaniequayle