Kacey Musgraves reveals the ‘thirsty title’ of the 1st song she ever wrote at 9 years old

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Grammy-winning artist Kacey Musgraves has been writing songs since she was 9 years old.

The country superstar told TODAY's Willie Geist in an interview that aired March 10 about the first song she wrote — including its hilarious and "thirsty" name.

"It’s such a thirsty title. It was called 'Notice Me,'" she said through laughter. "It was a soft launch."

Kacey Musgraves and Willie Geist on March 10, 2023. (Nathan Congleton / TODAY)
Kacey Musgraves and Willie Geist on March 10, 2023. (Nathan Congleton / TODAY)

Musgraves, 35, spoke to Willie ahead of the release of her next album, "Deeper Well," which is set to drop on March 15. She took the TODAY host to the studio where she recorded the album, Electric Lady Studios, and Washington Square Park, the place she’d often escape to during her breaks.

"I was very drawn to getting out of Nashville and creating somewhere where there was a different energy, different kind of life bubbling around you," she said. "And I just think New York is one of the most unique cities in the world. So it’s inspiring, for sure."

From Golden, Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee

Musgraves said it was "hard to remember a time" when music wasn't in her life. As a child, she always carried around a karaoke tape machine.

"Just always kinda singin'. And then my family noticed that I had kind of a knack for that," she said.

Musgraves, born in Golden, Texas, credits her grandmother as her "original booking agent" for organizing her first gigs at fairs and festivals. Musgraves even yodeled on TODAY in 2002 before going on to finish seventh on the TV music competition "Nashville Star."

Though she didn't win, Musgraves said she realized she needed to be in Nashville, where she said she went "full tilt into songwriting."

"I had so much fun doing that, that I was like, 'Forget bein’ a performer,' that is too public facing," she said. "I would only wanna do it if it felt totally right and I could really be me."

Years passed and she wrote hundreds of songs, Musgraves said.

"I noticed myself going, 'OK, I don’t wanna turn this song in for another artist. I think this one’s for me,'" she said. "So long story short, I ended up signing the record deal."

In 2013, she released her first single, "Merry Go 'Round." But at first, her label said the track was too depressing and that it would "go down in flames," Musgraves said.

"But I’m just like, 'OK, well, if I am gonna go down in flames, I’d rather it be wholeheartedly for something that I truly believe in,'" she recalled.

"Merry Go 'Round" went on to win the Grammy for best country song in 2014 — signaling to Musgraves that her "internal compass means something," she said.

How Musgraves got to 'Deeper Well'

Musgraves has since gone on to win seven Grammy awards and became the first woman to win in all four country music categories in February.

"Deeper Well" comes after Musgraves' previous two albums brought her into the pop culture spotlight: 2018's "Golden Hour" and 2021's "Star-Crossed."

"Golden Hour" was written while she was falling in love with her ex-husband, Ruston Kelly, and won her the Grammy for album of the year in 2019 — shocking even Musgraves herself.

"To have something that you put your entire heart into, given that by peers, and, you know, industry people, it’s really special," she said. "And then, you know, life changes."

Musgraves released her next album, "Star-Crossed," in the wake of her divorce from Kelly.

"You’re on a high from that," she said of her "Golden Hour" era. "And you’re goin’ through a divorce, somewhat shortly after that. Life is duality. It’s highs, it’s lows, it’s all the things."

The singer described "Deeper Well" as much more grounded compared to her other records.

"I’m 35. I feel like I know myself better than... in the past," she said. "'Deeper Well' is more maybe, like some of the older albums, which is more just observations on life and just human emotion and nature and lightness, darkness, like, God."

She added the album was an exercise in "ruthlessly removing resistance to growth."

"That could mean a lot of different things," she said. "Everything has a season, you know, even friendships, even loves, business relationships, whatever. And some are meant to go the long haul. And then maybe some aren’t."

Musgraves added she is thankful for everything she's experienced.

"Everything has seasons. So I’m thankful to have beautiful, little chapters of, like, little scrapbooks of moments," she said.

When asked how she's feeling about her current "chapter" of life, she replied: "I feel really good. I feel like I’m where I need to be, you know? I feel grateful."

This article was originally published on TODAY.com