Stockyard Sessions: Mikayla Lane’s Journey from her Oklahoma Roots to the Ryman Auditorium

At just 19, country music singer Mikayla Lane carries her Oklahoma roots to Nashville

Mikayla Lane the 19-year-old country music sensation, joins us on Stockyard Sessions to deep dive into the details of her young career.

With her debut EP released in 2021, Lane has already performed at some of country music’s most iconic stages such as Billy Bob’s Texas and the Ryman Auditorium.

Now, she’s aiming higher, looking to tour and work with big names in the industry while staying true to her passion for creating genuine, country music.

TCC: Mikayala, you’re 19-years-old and you had an EP out in 2019, you started at a young age?

ML: I did so I started performing when I was 5-years-old, so I’ve always been around country music. I’ve always loved it and it’s just what I’ve done it’s been my whole life. It’s one of my favorite things to do and like you said I did release my first collection of music in 2019 and then I released singles from 2019 to 2021 and in 2021, I released my first EP, so that was all music that I wrote and it’s been a lot of fun and really busy crazy since then.

TCC: You’re still so young, but you’ve accomplished a lot what are some of your accomplishments so far?

ML: Oh gosh, well two of my favorite venues that I’ve got to play so far have Billy Bob’s here in Fort Worth and then the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, which is really insane that I can say that I played those two venues. They were like the top two on my bucket list of venues that I would love to play and I played both of those last year, I believe, so it was just such an amazing opportunity. I opened for Shenandoah Billy Bob’s and then the Ryman of course is incredible, I played a Christmas benefit, so that was just an honor to play those two things and I’ve done a lot of really really fun stuff. I’ve met some amazing people. Amazing brands I’ve had the honor of working with and it’s been really fun. I’ve got great people in my corner, it’s been awesome.

TCC: When did music go from something you enjoyed doing as a girl to making this your career?

ML: There wasn’t a hard and fast decision, it was just kind of natural, which I honestly think a lot better for me that I didn’t have to make that decision. It was just something I started doing when I was really young and it just naturally progressed. There has been times like I don’t know if this is what I wanna do but I always come back to, the things that I have been able to accomplish and and the things that I’m hoping to accomplish later on, it’s just really encouraging. So yeah there is never really like a specific moment that I was like ‘yes this is what I’m gonna do.’ It was just kind of something that’s been super natural which I feel like is a really good sign but this is what I’m supposed to be doing

TCC: What is an average day in the life look like?

ML: I’m really bad about waking up at a good time. So, I usually get up not as early as I need to, I go out and feed, I’m from Oklahoma, so we still have all of our horses. I grew up in the ranching world and that’s a big inspiration for me for all my music, but go out and feed, I have a talk every day with my manager and we kinda regroup for the week and figure out what each of us are going to be doing. Run some errands, you know, whatever I’m doing, if I’m working on writing, I go to Nashville for all my writing stuff, it’s kinda random each day honestly.

TCC: It sounds like you got the best of both worlds, you got the horses back home, but you also get to go up to Nashville and have that side of things too. What’s the balance look like?

ML: Since I graduated high school, it’s been a lot easier, because I don’t have that every day needing to go back and be at home. So that’s been really nice, it’s opened a lot of time for me and I’ve gotten a lot more opportunities. It’s a really great balance and I love that I have both of those things, because if I stay in Nashville too long, I get like ‘okay, I need to go.’ I’m super blessed, getting to be able to do both of those things is awesome, because my songwriting feeds from that lifestyle and vice-versa.

TCC: You were with us at NFR, what was that experience like?

ML: Oh that was so fun, so I was at the Cowboy Channel booth every day for the whole NFR. So last year I met my best mentor now, but Forrie J. Smith, from Yellowstone. And met him in a really random way last year, he was working on an album because he wanted to dive into the music side of things a little bit and I was on a song with him, I was a feature on there. And ever since that opportunity, it’s just kind of grown and he’s really taking me under his wing and showed me a lot, introduced me to a lot of people and he’s just been awesome. So he put out this vinyl album and of course the song we did together was on it, and since I was featured on their he invited me out to the NFR to be with him at the Cowboy Channel booth every day to do that meet and greet with him promoting his album and then I had a performance at the end of the NFR at the Cowboy Channel Stage so it was crazy, but it was it was really fun, met a lot of people.

TCC: What are your short and long-term goals?

ML: Well this year, my goal is to write a ton of music. I’m really bad about releasing all the stuff I have and then be like ‘oh crap there’s nothing left.’ So, I need to write a lot more this year and just really finding people who get what I’m trying to do with my music and can help me do that and really wanna hop on there with me and just write it out. And then playing more shows I really wanna get on tour with someone bigger than me and just get those shows under my belt. It’s hard for me with goals because I’m bad about looking way far out at the end of the year, I just get really in the moment, which is good and bad. That’s a couple a couple of them, I’m releasing a song every six weeks this year, so that’s keeping me busy.

TCC: And you’ve been busy, you just had some songs come out...

ML: I have, so the first song I released was “Neon” and I wrote that one with Bridget Tatum, she’s been a great mentor to me in the songwriting world, we write a lot of songs together. Neon’s a really fun live song, it’s kind of my go-to original when we’re playing a full band live show. It’s my first single to Texas radio and it’s No. 17 on the charts right now. And then I released my current single, “Honky Tonk Halo,” it dropped March 8 on all platforms and that’s probably one of my favorite songs I’ve released. And I just love that one, I wrote that one with Bridget as well. Everybody seems to be really loving them.

Parts of this interview have been condensed for clarity. You can follow Mikayla Lane on social media here and listen to his music here.