Kacey Musgraves Talks Pressure After Grammy Wins and How Husband Ruston Kelly Inspired Her Hits
Kacey Musgraves tells Glamour that it can be "freaky" thinking about how she's going to top her award-winning album, Golden Hour
The singer — whose record earned her four Grammy awards at the 2019 ceremony in February, including album of the year — covers the digital issue of Glamour and explained that when she met Kelly, it was during the time when she had given herself a year off to focus on writing Golden Hour before its release in March 2018.
Musgraves and Kelly, both 30, met while attending a songwriters showcase at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville — and when she heard him sing, she was blown away.
“His songs made me really emotional,” she told the publication. “I thought, ‘This guy’s really clever, whoever he is.'”
The two started talking and a few months later, Kelly went over to Musgraves’ house to write.
“And then it was ‘That’s all she wrote.’ Pun intended. Everything was right,” said Musgraves, who married Kelly in 2017. “I didn’t have to shift any part of my personality to make it fit together, which isn’t really something I’ve had before.”
Musgraves said that time period was a “big opening of heart” for her, which proved to be a recipe for success while writing her new music.
“I started to see the world in a more fond, pretty light,” she said. “After meeting this person who really allows me to just be myself, not have to walk on eggshells for any reason, songs started pouring out.”
“If I wouldn’t have blocked off time to get off the road and try to create a new album and have the time to explore creatively, it makes me wonder if I would have met him,” she continues. “It was perfect timing.”
Though Musgraves knew that she had a shot at winning album of the year at the Grammys, she says it was still surreal. As the camera panned to her during the show as it was announced that she had won, the look on her face made it clear she was shocked (and immediately inspired a viral meme).
“It was a moment of definite disbelief, but also openheartedness,” she said. “I was flashing back through writing all the songs, meeting my husband, recording everything, and all the positivity that’s come my way through all of this. It was this overwhelming sense of gratitude. I love these songs so much. I have a man that loves me so much and inspired a lot of it. I have a team that works hard.”
With a huge win behind Musgraves, it has even more people asking her about what’s next.
“It can be freaky, because Golden Hour really resonated with a lot of people and reached far beyond what I ever thought it could do,” she said. “So there can be a worry inside your mind a little bit, as a creative person, thinking about the fact that there’s no way to bank on the muse coming and visiting you again.”
Things that help Musgraves get inspired include seeing live music, riding her horse and reading books. Kelly is currently reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden aloud to her, but it’s never certain that the inspiration will return.
“It just comes when it comes,” she said. “It’s exciting but also a little daunting.”
Musgraves knows now that finding time to write music means saying “no” to certain things, which is something she has learned over time.
“When you’re younger and have opportunities knocking at your door, you think, I have to say yes; what if they don’t knock again?” she said. “But that’s just not how it really works. Opportunities will knock as long as you feel like you have enough of yourself to keep giving. That’s been a good part of hitting 30 and getting older — the power of saying no is a beautiful thing, and it can actually bring a lot more yeses into your life.”
So far, Musgraves already has one song written that she’s excited for. In order to make more hits, she knows she’s going to need some more time off.
“I’ve been really rushed into projects before. There’s something fun to that, because it makes you operate on gut instinct,” she said. “But with Golden Hour, I got to take my time and experiment and write and write and write and write and catch a creative wind. I love having that.”
Regardless of what comes next, Musgraves is just enjoying the creative process.
“The idea of shaping something out of nothing is inspiring to me, no matter what that is,” she said. “It’s always a little bit sad when it’s over — like turning in an album, this thing that you’ve spent so much time with and whittled until you have it just perfectly right. You have all these good memories creating it, and then you turn it out in the world and there it is.”