Kacey Musgraves’ Songwriting Inspired by “Nuances of Being a Human”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

For Kacey Musgraves, song inspiration comes from the subtle moments in life.

Opening up to The Cut, Musgraves reveals that it’s not the grandiose parts of life that inform her songwriting, but rather the “emotions” and “nuances” in between those big moments. She says that inspiration will seemingly come out of nowhere, whether in an argument, a sign she passes on the street or a thought that pops into her head when she’s doing a mundane activity like laundry.

“I feel like the most poignant ideas are in the smallest of happenings, or the smallest of emotions and the little bitty nuances of being a human, alive and experiencing consciousness,” she explains. “I just always try to keep my eyes open for the things that are there. I feel like inspiration is available all the time, everywhere, to all people. You just have to kind of tune in to see.”

Musgraves is a six-time Grammy winner who’s built her catalog of music around honesty and vulnerability. She admits it’s “not always easy” to be open with fans in her music. “I’ve definitely felt fear or trepidation around releasing music that’s extremely personal to me,” she says, adding that she “felt a pit in my stomach” leading up to the release of her 2021 album, star-crossed, as many of the songs stemmed from her divorce from ex-husband and fellow singer/songwriter Ruston Kelly.

“But I always feel like brutal honesty and bravery is rewarded,” she observes. “It ultimately just connects you to the human race even more. Going through divorce, hitting rock bottom in whatever sense that is emotionally, and then being able to write about it just made me feel that much more connected to the human experience. Then to have the return gratification of so many people coming up to me saying, ‘This is my story too. You’re not alone.’ It’s really fulfilling.”

Musgraves spent 2022 on the road with her Star-Crossed: Unveiled Tour, which visited arenas across the U.S. and traveled internationally through October.

Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage

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