2022 CMT Music Awards: Mickey Guyton and the Black Pumas push for inclusivity with “colors”
Country music pioneer Mickey Guyton teamed up with psychedelic soul band, the Black Pumas, at the 2022 CMT Music Awards. On Monday, April 11, the crossover collaboration had fans on their feet as they delivered a revealing performance of “Colors”.
Black Pumas lead singer Eric Burton kicked off the stunning performance as guitarist Adrian Quesada backed up his retro-funk sound with electrifying guitar stabs. With a steady drumbeat maintaining the melody, Guyton’s explosive vocals took the anthem of good vibes to new heights.
The perfect mix proved that Guyton is more than a country music star, but a genre artist with soulful pipes and R&B potential. During the groovy act – the band fed off each other’s laid-back vibes as the stage changed “colors” and silhouettes danced across the gigantic screens behind them.
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The Nashville City Auditorium filled with carefree energy, but their inspiring message of inclusion went beyond the walls of the venue.
Ahead of their chill-inducing performance, The Black Pumas and Guyton sat down with CMT to discuss why this collaboration is a transformative moment in country music history.
“The Black Pumas are such amazing performers,” Guyton said. “They are such soulful and just badass human beings. That alone will do a remarkable deed. What it represents comes together. I really applaud the country music industry for really trying to step up and (be inclusive). I just think it’s great, and we’re so much better together than apart. I think it makes the awards show so much more entertaining, just seeing all the different types of country music and the different acts that love country music,” she pointed out.
Guyton went on to detail what it’s like to witness positive change and what it’s like to be a driving force behind change.
– CMT (@CMT) April 10, 2022
“I saw that people of color and women in particular were really struggling to find their place in this industry,” she pointed out. “It was something that was really hard for me to just sit still and let it happen… I guess I was boiling. I was finally like, ‘Look, I might never get to this… but you have to do better for all those people who feel marginalized,” she added.
While pushing for inclusivity, the Black Pumas pointed out that their first CMT performance was also a great opportunity to bridge the gap between country and soul.
“It means a lot how cross-genre CMT is,” the Grammy-nominated artists said. “It’s amazing to be part of the CMT Awards because it represents American music. I also feel like our music is very American. We want them [the fans] to feel like this music is as familiar to them, as the music they came here to support and what’s being nominated,” Burton said. “It has always been a goal to be inclusive. It’s not about whether you like soul or anything, ideally everyone could enjoy it equally,” Quesada added of their style of music.
Burton mentioned that it was easy to incorporate Guyton’s sound, as he wrote “Colors” with other genres in mind.
“As a child, I learned to write music by listening to different types of artists. I was raised to embrace different people from different backgrounds. So, I never really saw my music as something separate” “, the singer said of the writing process. “It was really easy in general because the song obviously started on the acoustic guitar. Mickey Guyton fits that perfectly, his voice is so soulful. I think the Eric and Mickey’s voice, style and music transcend genres,” Quesada said.
The Black Pumas have made it clear that their relationship with Guyton will go beyond the 2022 CMT Music Awards, as their upcoming project together was already a topic of conversation.
– CMT (@CMT) April 10, 2022
“We would probably be hanging out and making music together in the studio whether we were here or not. The fact that we are simply having fun. We’re writing our next album, and it came up as an opportunity – it was obvious. It was really nice collaborating with Mickey,” the enthusiastic band said.
The moving performance of “Colors” featuring the Black Pumas and multi-platinum recording artist Mickey Guyton will be included in the CMT Music Awards Extended Cut on April 15 on CMT. The unmissable version will consist of an additional 30 minutes and will have unreleased additional content.