Stephanie Quayle is one of country music’s hottest rising stars. The songwriter turned independent singer is turning heads everywhere she goes. Quayle ranks among CMT’s Next Women of Country and Billboard’s Top 10 of Female Airplay. Her 2020 single “Whatcha Drinkin’ About” was one of the most added when it debuted with over 65 million audience impressions.
In an exclusive interview with Outsider, Quayle opened up about her new single “By Heart” and her Montana roots.
“You get pitched songs all the time,” Quayle told Outsider’s Hunter Miller. “And as a songwriter when you can find a song that feels like you and sounds like you but you didn’t write, it’s kind of a surreal experience. I listened to it and just became obsessed. I always say, ‘When a song can change your chemistry, there’s something there.'”
While Quayle didn’t write the tune, she instantly connected with the piece. Sitting in her hotel room in New Orleans, Quayle started strumming along to the song. She found herself entranced by this song about the joys of love and discovering new things about your significant other.
“When a song can change your chemistry, there’s something there.”Stephanie Quayle
Quayle knew she wanted to be the voice that brought that tune to life. She reached out about acquiring the song. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. And like many country artists, Quayle found herself suddenly in limbo.
Stephanie Quayle Recorded the Song Virtually
The singer had to have some tough discussions with her producer about how to proceed with the single. Ultimately, they decided to try and record the single remotely. The process wasn’t without its challenges, what with the musicians being in separate rooms and states due to social distancing. But Quayle still marvels at how they pulled it off.
“To have musicians in their home studios being able to patch in and interface that way, it’s just kind of bonkers,” Quayle said. “When I look back at 2020, I have such an appreciation for our technologies and abilities to stay connected. It was the craziest year of all of our lives.”
“I love imagery, and I look at songs like mini-movies.”Stephanie Quayle
Quayle spent most of the past year on her farm in North Carolina where she recorded the song. When she wasn’t working on her music, she was busy performing duties around the farm. The singer had an interesting way to learn her lyrics to “By Heart.” She would put on a helmet and ride her motorcycle. While coasting down the back roads of North Carolina, she would sing the lyrics to herself.
“It was such a new way to learn music,” Quayle said. “It really got ingrained in me in a way that’s going to be fun to learn more songs that way.”
Growing Up in Montana
But Quayle is used to living on a farm. She actually grew up on one in Bozeman, Montana. The state plays an important role in her music. For instance, Quayle tries to incorporate some of the state’s imagery and western themes. She imagined the scenic roads of Montana when singing “By Heart.”
“If you get a little sunshine, a little sky, and some mountains then you can’t really go wrong. And I think love is like that too.”Stephanie Quayle
“I love imagery, and I look at songs like mini-movies,” she said. “I’m from Montana so everything goes through that lens. When it comes to the lyric, ‘I wanna know you like my drive home’ I knew exactly which road I was picturing when I was singing that lyric.”
Still, Quayle doesn’t want to overload the song and destroy why she fell in love with it to begin with. She rather let the music stand on its own than turn it into something else.
“The writers are all tremendous. I think it was really allowing the song to sing,” Quayle continued. “And being able to share my western ways through my voice and the imagery. And just allow the song to be the song. I think when you try to make something sound like something too much, it takes away from the essence of the song.”
Stephanie Quayle Fell in Love with the Song
But the singer thinks Montana and love are very similar in her mind. At least on the surface level.
“Montana is so beautiful,” Quayle said. “If you get a little sunshine, a little sky, and some mountains then you can’t really go wrong. And I think love is like that too. Love is intended to be simple. It’s very complex in those immediate moments, it feels like you’re walking on clouds then as you get more into it, it gets deeper.”
Quayle used to be a cynic about love. But after meeting her husband, David Couch, she’s now a believer. When listening to “By Heart,” Quayle saw a lot of their relationship in the song. She hopes that listeners will feel the same about their own significant others.
“My hope is that listeners experience that as well,” Quayle said. “If they’re in new relationships and going into new relationships, that curiosity and asking those questions. But also for people who have been together for 30, 40, 50 years, there are still things that they’re discovering.”
“Which is just beautiful when you l can look at the person you love or finding you that love or that you’ve loved a long time, and go man, there’s still so much I’m learning about you,” she continued. “That’s exciting.”
Quayle hopes to record a live session of her single later this year, similar to “The Montana Sessions” she previously performed. “By Heart” released on Jan. 8.