Mikayla Lane: “I wish someone would have told me that it’s “okay” to stay true to “your lane” and it’s not a “must” to travel down the pop-country road”

I wish someone would have told me that it’s “okay” to stay true to “your lane” and it’s not a “must” to travel down the pop-country road. I veered a bit and recorded one of my songs with a more pop feel, and while I’m super proud of it and I love the song, when […]

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I wish someone would have told me that it’s “okay” to stay true to “your lane” and it’s not a “must” to travel down the pop-country road. I veered a bit and recorded one of my songs with a more pop feel, and while I’m super proud of it and I love the song, when I perform it, it just doesn’t seem to fit my style.

As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mikayla Lane.

Sixteen-year-old Mikayla Lane is ambitious and driven- traits branded by her upbringing, lifestyle, personality and passions. With heart, vision and talent beyond her years, she knows what she wants and she is determined to chase her dream; her pursuit began early on.

Mikayla was just 13 when she earned a spot on the Ole Red (Blake Shelton) talent roster, which originated in Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, OK and Mikayla’s home state. Mikayla has become a staple at the venue in Tishomingo and has been secured to appear as a support act at ticketed shows throughout 2021. The Ole Red sister locations also extended a welcome; Mikayla is a regular at the Nashville location and is slated to perform in Gatlinburg and Orlando.

She has become a “fan-favorite” at many other venues, including Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa where she opened for Jon Wolfe. Mikayla is ballroom’s youngest supporting talent to date.

Mikayla has taken the spotlight at various fairs and festivals throughout her early career including Whitaker Bank Ballpark (Lexington, KY), the Corn Festival (Stanton, KY), the Woolly Worm Festival (Beattyville, KY), Tulsa International Mayfest (Tulsa, OK), Oklahoma State Fair and Chesapeake Arena, in Oklahoma City, OK among others.

The young singer/songwriter has written and co-produced a catalog of original tunes. As a tween, Mikayla recorded and released her debut EP, ROOFTOP NIGHTS, and has since released seven studio recordings. The songstress co-wrote and co-produced the single “Superman” (recorded in her bedroom and nearing 77,000 streams); the corresponding music video (filmed in Tulsa, OK) premiered on CMT.com (October 2020). Mikayla also co-wrote and co-produced her most recent single, “Drive” (released in January 2021); the track landed debut slots on three Spotify playlists, premiering in the Top 10 on the “New Music Nashville” Spotify playlist.

She is poised to introduce her sophomore EP, MILES FROM NOWHERE this month.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?

I was born in Kentucky; we reside in Oklahoma. Our family enjoys a western lifestyle and I love everything about it. I started taking music lessons when I was five years old. I performed around our small town. My music and music career has really progressed since we moved to Oklahoma. My friends, family and community have been very supportive.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

There wasn’t really a “light bulb moment” for me. Music has always been my passion.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

For me, the most interesting story surrounding my career is “growth.” I’ve enjoyed the obvious changes; but moreover, in the last few years, my “growth” in my music has been rewarding and exhilarating.

Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville?

When most people think of Nashville, I think their impression is that this is just a “country music” town. But Nashville has a really cool metro vibe with all kinds of music. It is “Music City!” There’s live music everywhere, amazing restaurants, great fashion and tons of fun things to do. As a bonus, you really never know who you’ll run into.

Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.

Nashville offers a lot of conveniences. We live in the country, in Oklahoma, so, anywhere we go, it’s a “drive.” I am not much for “walking,” but in Nashville, there’s a good reason.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was headlining at a venue in Tulsa. The intro started to hype things up with intensity. I walked on stage, grabbed the mic and began to sing. It was off! Super embarrassing. That’s a memory that is burned into my brain. I check the mic every time now!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My parents have been so supportive of me and my career choice; none of this is possible without them. They helped me to make dreams come true; they’re the best.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Recording my EP, MILES FROM NOWHERE. This project really helped me find my sound and I think it’s a signature that listeners can identify “Mikayla Lane” with.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I wish someone had told me how many people are trying to do the very same thing that I am. This business is super competitive and I didn’t realize that until I really started diving into it.

I wish someone told me early on that it’s okay to record my songs. I have had songs pitched to me. Although it’s cool to have someone want you to record their song, I feel the need to stay true to me, my experiences and my sound.

I wish someone would have told me how hard it is to park in Nashville. When you drive an F-350, parallel parking is not ideal!

I wish someone would have told me that it’s “okay” to stay true to “your lane” and it’s not a “must” to travel down the pop-country road. I veered a bit and recorded one of my songs with a more pop feel, and while I’m super proud of it and I love the song, when I perform it, it just doesn’t seem to fit my style.

I wish someone would have told me Nashville and the music business is all about “connections.” It’s a tough industry, but it is even tougher if you don’t have the right connections.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think it is very important to take time off and not be “go-go-go” all the time. Spend lots of time doing what you enjoy both personally and professionally.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I love to see people support one another on social media with comments, a random text, or just mention to make another person feel good. So to “encourage encouragement,” that’s how I hope to influence others.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Have good manners and treat people with respect.

I’ve experienced throughout my life that having good manners is really important; people have expressed to me, time and again, how they appreciate good manners. (Addressing people as “sir” and “ma’am,” for instance). Being aware of manners has given me a leg up in various situations, I think because people see me as genuine and appreciative.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would enjoy a conversation with Cody Johnson to learn more about his idea to combine rodeo with his music. He has a totally unique audience who will be forever fans.

How can our readers follow you online?

social media: @mikaylalanemusic website: mikaylalanemusic.com


This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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