Country singer Kacey Musgraves is well-known in New Zealand, but it’s hard to grasp just how huge she is in the country-loving US.
She’s won six Grammys, and this year became the first female solo artist to win Best Country Album twice, as well as winning the Best Album for Golden Hour.
However, she’s not your average gun-toting, Trump-loving country star. Her latest album has a song for LGBT youth and she’s certainly not a card-carrying Republican.
That variety has made her globally appealing, and she has made a flying visit to Auckland for a one-off show at the Town Hall. She told Jack Tame that there seem to be a lot of music lovers here that seem open to country music.
“It seems like there is a nice young pop culture here that seems to be interested in bringing different kinds of music here.”
Musgraves says that finding down-time when on time can be difficult, but has enjoyed some free-time in Auckland, including riding a horse down Piha Beach.
She has become in hot demand since her Grammy wins earlier this year. Musgraves says that she was stunned that Golden Hour got nominated, but believes that it deserved mainstream recognition outside of the country music label.
"I think that it's an album that, in my heart, we all kind of need right now in terms of getting away from a lot of the negativity of a lot of what's going on in the modern landscape."
Musgraves says that there has always been a divide between country and other genres, but that those genre lines are becoming increasingly blurred. "That's a great thing about modern music, that it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people."
When it comes to politics, Musgraves says she tries to avoid being a lobbyist for anything, only when an issue goes beyond being a political issue.
"I think that, at that point, it is a privilege to have a platform, and I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me, but I have been put into a position where I'm allowed to speak my opinion."
She says that people tend to value celebrities speaking out until their opinions go against their own beliefs. Musgraves argues that music and art has long been influenced and a reflection of the political world.
"They've always been hand in hand. You never hear any art or watch any movies that isn't in some way reflect of our state."