“‘dumbass’ started with one line: “‘Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.’”

GAYLE, who moved to Nashville at 12 and immediately became immersed in the city’s legendary songwriting scene, kept hearing that she needed to dig deeper and to make her songs more personal -- that THAT was the way to connect with listeners.

“Cut the crap, stop being scared, and be vulnerable,” she remembers as her marching orders in songwriting sessions. And the result is a collection of honest, uninhibited songs that connect with and speak to listeners on a profound, sometimes uncomfortable, level.

“When I put my part of my soul in a song and someone allows it to reach theirs, the goal is for us to have soul sex -- it’s intimate, vulnerable, and true.”

In Nashville, GAYLE found a support group of like-minded songwriters in the pop genre. She would perform and write in any and all free moments, averaging performances and sessions 3-5 times/week while managing middle school. One afternoon, she got a message from the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) giving her 30 minutes to get on a list to attend an event at the new Trimble House (opened by legendary pop songwriter and publisher Kara DioGuardi who mentored/signed the likes of Jon Bellion, Ingrid Andress), where a lucky few would have the chance to perform a portion of songs they were working on.

“I got there, and they asked us to write down our names. My name got pulled out of the hat. I was pitchy, sick, and so nervous.”

But the bones of the song she performed through her sultry and powerful voice impressed DioGuardi, who followed up a few days later to schedule a meeting. Since that meeting, DioGuardi has mentored GAYLE to push her limits, helping her grow immeasurably as a songwriter, while urging her to dig deeper and tap into her insecurities.

“Nashville gave me songwriting, how to tell a story and to look at things from a different perspective. I also met Kara there, and she pushes me to be the most honest songwriter I can be. It’s taught me not to hide my vulnerability in my songs but to show it.”

By embracing her inhibitions, whether performing on stage or writing at Trimble House, GAYLE has found the passion music gives her and the satisfaction in passing it on. “The reason why I love music is the way it makes me feel, and the reason I do music is to make others feel like that...performing is like being an adrenaline junkie. I don’t remember who said it, but there’s an old quote that I love: ‘If the crowd doesn’t leave with a sparkle in their eyes, you did something wrong.’”