Nicolle Galyon shares her musical memories with her first album “Firstborn”


Nicolle Galyon has spent more than a decade behind the scenes helping country artists like Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini and Dan + Shay tell their stories through song. Today, on his 38e anniversary, Galyon shares his story with the release of his first album first born.

“I have so much fun being brave and opening the door to being surprised by people’s responses and what the world comes back to as I offer this to the world,” Galyon, a successful songwriter who wrote nine #1 singles, tell me.

Galyon says she had been toying with the idea of ​​making an album for 20 years. In early 2021, she had a creative burst as she drove to her hometown of Sterling, Kansas. During the trip, she says she realized “all my why” to make a record.

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The mother-of-two says the initial concept of firstborn was simply to share with her children what she wanted them to know about her as a woman and as a mother. Song titles came to her throughout the car ride and the words sounded like chapter titles for a book about herself.

Galyon, who founded women’s label and publishing house Songs & Daughters in 2019, has given herself a year to write and record the project. She did just that and released the album on December 17, 2021. Fittingly, firstborn is published on its own Songs & Daughters imprint. The label executive and award-winning songwriter says the process of creating an album has made her both a better ally for artists and a better partner for creatives.

“When I started Songs & Daughters three years ago, it gave me incredible insight and empathy towards the leaders of the company, because it was the first time that I myself had really entered this space and that I had to make executive decisions,” she says. “Releasing this record gave me exactly the same insight and empathy towards the artists I work with. It’s one thing to sit in a conference room and be able to talk about music or careers, but it’s a totally different thing to be the one who puts your name and your face next to it.

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The 11-track album was co-written entirely by Galyon and shares her humble beginnings, love, loss, insecurities and juggling motherhood and career. While autobiographical songs like “winner,” “sunflower” and “death bed” are candid and vulnerable, Galyon says the record isn’t about his livelihood. Instead, it’s about his legacy.

“I’ve had the luxury of knowing that I can release this record and it’s not so much release week for me,” she says. “It’s more about the long-term journey the record takes. … I’m so proud of these songs and I’m so proud of the team behind the scenes that I work with. I fell in love with the music release process because I’ve never been on that side.

When Galyon announced the album, she said, “While it’s rare to make a debut album at 38, it’s also impossible to write a memoir at 21.” The singer adds that she is not one to stand on a soapbox and impose beliefs on others. Instead, she embraces the “be what you want to see” philosophy.

“It’s something I’d like to see more of, so I try to be,” she says of her 38-year-old debut album release. “Creativity and storytelling have always been my subtle way of becoming what I want to stand for. If I think someone at 38 should put out a record, I’m just gonna put out a record. I’m not gonna wait for someone else does.

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Doing firstborn, Galyon has rediscovered who she is as a person. She says the deeply personal “winner” felt like the project’s thesis because of its truthfulness. “This song is like an accountability partner for me for the rest of my life now,” she says. “I think that song was probably the most self-aware. It’s basically like a guideline with my whole story for my whole life. This will probably end up having the most impact on me in the future.

Album closer “deathbed” became a trending topic among listeners even before the album’s release. ‘Death bed’ is a poignant song about juggling motherhood and her career and Galyon was surprised by the response.

“Working mothers, the reality of how to balance home and work is something that isn’t talked about enough,” she says. “I know it’s a niche idea, but I’ve played this record for so many people and they’re like, ‘That was my mom. I can’t believe my mom probably felt that way. She is a dentist. I think it’s more universal than I thought.

As Galyon has finally released her debut album worldwide, the initial goal of firstborn serve as a time capsule and memory for his remaining children.

“I really wrote it for or for them to listen to when they grow up,” she says. “When they’re 21 or 22 and trying to figure out who they really are, hopefully that’ll be a guide to where they’re from. I think they like the songs now at seven and nine years, but again, the music business is all about the long haul, and for me, the long game for this record is for them to tune into it when they’re adults.

Along the way firstborn also guided Galyon.

“I fell in love with the therapeutic side of writing songs that way,” she says. “I think it raised the bar for how I want to be a co-writer.”


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