At this weekend’s Grammys, Kacey Musgraves will be up for an award for “Space Cowboy,” a ballad whose lyrics play with country music’s own stereotypes. And it’s evident from her nominated album “Golden Hour” that country is not the only sound to influence her career.
“With this record, I was like, I want to reach beyond country music, and not leave country music behind. I want to take it with me,” she told PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown in an interview airing Friday. “I want to take my version of it to people who normally would never even consider listening to it.”
Musgraves, 30, who is nominated for four Grammys — album of the year, best country solo performance, best country song and best country album — said her version of country music is inspired by its roots. But she’s also been inspired by a huge range of other artists.
“I somehow started singing this music that was way before my time, like very, very old-school country,” she said. “But, at the same time, I was listening to Spice Girls, NSYNC, Britney Spears” and other top 40 music.
“Growing up in Texas, I would hear Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, Patsy Cline, lots of Dolly [Parton]. Around the house, my dad played a lot of Neil Young and Tom Petty, and classic rock,” like Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Musgraves said she would dig through her grandfather’s vinyl record collection, “and I would find stuff that I thought looked cool based on the cover.” Among those: “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” by the Byrds.
“Seeing the cowgirl on the front [of the album cover],” she said, “I was like, ‘I like her. What does this sound like?’ I was like, ‘Whoa. Cool.’”
Now, she said she’s listening to the artist jinsang, which she described as “Glen Campbell meets– kind of like, elevator music meets hip hop.” She also said she intermittently plays the Bee Gees, “and it makes me feel real good.”