Stephanie Quayle lived the western lifestyle growing up in the rugged state of Montana. She was surrounded by real, tough-as-leather cowboys, and actually dreamed of being one when she blossomed into adulthood. “I always wanted to be a cowboy,” asserts the singer. “I think it’s such a beautiful lifestyle.”

As we are now very aware, the Montana girl instead became a full-fledged entertainer, performing all over the country. But you haven’t taken the cowboy out of the girl entirely. She still has an affinity for wide open spaces, horses and western attire, even while dividing time between Nashville and North Carolina. That’s why she related so closely to her latest single, “If I Was a Cowboy,” which is currently on the charts. The song was written by a trio of Music Row heavy hitters: Nicolle Galyon, Ross Copperman and the ever-prolific Shane McAnally. “They are extraordinary writers,” Quayle notes with enthusiasm. Quayle feels that “Cowboy” is a tune that she could have written for herself, as it hit so close to her heart.

Stephanie Quayle / Photo credit: David McClister

“I am a writer,” Quayle says, “so when I find a song that sticks to me like this one did, I had to say, ‘Yep!’ It has that western sound that I’ve always been searching for.” Obviously, then, Quayle is not opposed to recording outside songs, but they must pass the test of authenticity. “If I’m going to cut a song by other writers, it has to be part of my life,” she says. “I could not sing anything that I didn’t believe in, and I think the audience can tell if you’re really not connecting with a song. I’m not that good an actor,” Quayle adds with a laugh. “I just like the message of this song. It talks about that cowboy state of mind, where sometimes you have to dust yourself off and wipe away the tears and move on.”

There’s additional reason for excitement as Quayle reveals plans for an upcoming album. “I know that ‘Cowboy’ is the catalyst of the new project,” she explains. “We’ll have a blend of empowerment and love and grit, and a little heartbreak, too. I feel like a song can be as deep as a dog’s dish or as deep as the ocean.” Pretty insightful when you think about it.

She’s envisioning a certain freewheeling atmosphere for the album project, where she’ll take the listener on an adventurous, perhaps even unpredictable, ride. “I want it to feel like you’ve got a suitcase, and you throw it in the back of your truck, put on your cowboy hat, roll the window down and just drive,” Quayle sums up with a broad smile. She shares that she’s still in the writing process for the album, but plans to release the project soon.

In the midst of writing and recording, Quayle will be on the road entertaining her fans, collectively known as The Flock, on tour dates and summer festivals. “Live music is everything to me,” she says in earnest. “That’s how I started. I’ve played everywhere from campfires to the Grand Ole Opry (her most recent Opry gig came on February 22nd). So, I have really covered the gamut. Hopefully, I can get some opening spots on some big tours,” Quayle adds. “I’m so ready to get out there.”

Stephanie Quayle’s latest single, “If I Was a Cowboy,” is available now. For more on Stephanie, please visit her website.