Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.
Nicolle Galyon is an in-demand songwriter who has penned countless radio hits and garnered two ACM Song of the Year wins with Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic” and Dan + Shay’s “Tequila.” But long before she was a mainstay on country radio, Galyon moved to Nashville with the dream of either being an artist manager or working at a record label. This dream came to fruition last July when Galyon launched Songs & Daughters, a female-focused imprint of independent record label Big Loud Records, which represents Madison Kozak and Hailey Whitters.
“My desire to be behind-the-scenes in the business is what got me here,” Galyon tell me over the phone. “But I never fully understood how that was all going to come into play until Songs & Daughters. This last year has been a lot of reminding myself what it was that made me want to move to Nashville in the first place.”
Galyon celebrated the one-year anniversary of Songs & Daughters on July 22 and says she feels like she’s just getting started. “Creating the company was a full-circle moment, but then it started a new race for me to run,” she says of Songs & Daughters, which recently added a publishing arm in partnership with Big Loud Publishing and Warner Chappell Music with the signing of songwriter Tiera.
“Writers need artists and artists need writers. My vision for Songs & Daughters is for it to be more of a music house. It’s not just a record label or a publishing company: it feels more like a home for female creatives,” she says. “It completely makes sense that the next evolution of Songs & Daughters would be a publishing company. That’s how I came to be in the business — through the publishing and the songwriting world — and so that feels very natural for everyone.”
While Kozak is the label’s flagship artist, Whitters was signed to Songs & Daughters in June. Previously collaborators in the writing room, Galyon says the signing of Whitters happened organically. “We’ve been writing for a few years now and we built trust and a mutual respect and comradery as creatives with each other,” she says of her relationship with Whitters. “It felt like we had a beautiful foundation to build upon on the label front too.”
Galyon says serving as the label head of Songs & Daughters has made her a student again. She’s been learning from the young artists and writers she signs, and in return, she hopes she is teaching each artist to trust herself.
“To me, it’s important not only for them to feel like they have someone giving them permission to be the artist and writer that they want to be, but it’s also important that I feed myself in that way. That’s the beauty of our business: it’s not just a one way street. You have to keep reinventing yourself and have to keep learning from everyone,” she says. “I never want to keep having success and keep rising to a point to where I am not feeding off of the young, new energy in Nashville.”
For more of my interview with Nicolle Galyon last year, visit Sounds Like Nashville.