Every artist wants to come out of the gate swinging, and fortunately for Gabrielle Mooney, she’s done just that with her first three single releases.
In just six months since releasing her debut single, “Come On In,” Mooney has accrued more than 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, well over 200,000 combined streams, and shared writing rooms with some of Nashville’s most heavy-hitting songwriters, some of which have admittedly left her fangirling.
With her three releases, Mooney has offered a new sonic twist; tapping into contemporary country, a sound closer to 90s country, and on her newest single, “BAD,” a badass country-rocking sound that sounds made for the stage. All done by design, Mooney keeps things interesting, and it’s paying dividends for her.
We chatted with Mooney about her success, her three singles, sonic versatility, writing with accomplished songwriters and more!
Pro Country: Your first two singles, “Come On In” and Pray for You,” have earned nearly 200,000 combined Spotify streams and earned you nearly 35,000 monthly listeners. How validating was it for you to come out of the gate with that success and be able to tangibly see the support you had?
Gabrielle Mooney: It’s pretty unreal to be honest. I think the biggest thing was being able to release “Come On In” and finally get to share the story of my home, and have people accept it wholeheartedly. It meant the world to me.
PC: “Pray for You” falls sonically closer to a 90s, Pam Tillis “Maybe It Was Memphis” type of sound than any of your three releases so far. Can you talk about the sonic influences you tapped into with the song?
GM: I really wanted to tap into Southern Gospel for this one. I’ve also played harmonica since I was a child, so it just kind of came out of me. I didn’t really expect to have a song like “Pray for You,” but it was actually one of the easiest songs I’ve written today.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Pray for You”?
GM: So I actually wrote this one years ago with Jimmie Deeghan and Zach Lockwood, and we all fell in love with this amazing riff on the guitar. And I said, “Guys, I have something I kind of want to write about.” There was a guy that I had broken up with, and I later found out that while we were together, he was also seeing his ex. So this song is about coming to terms with those emotions, but also empathizing with what she was going through.
PC: Why did you feel that your newest single, “BAD,” was the right follow up to “Pray for You”?
GM: It felt like the right time to show that continuing development in my life. “BAD” was the next chapter in the story of my life that I wanted to tell. We had “Come On In” that told the story of my background and where I grew up. Then there was “Pray For You,” which had some relationship issues that I went through. Now, finally, “BAD” where I’m showing this other authentic side of myself that was in southern rock band for years. I think it’s so important for people to know the whole story and be able to see a full picture of who I am.
PC: Your new single, “BAD,” is a country-rocking sound, and obviously quite different than “Pray for You.” How important is it for you to keep a certain level of sonic versatility present in your music?
GM: You know, it’s pretty important because when I listen to a record, I listen to it from top to bottom. I just love delving into the track fully. So when I’m writing, I do have a base of country/rock, and all the other elements that come in there sonically just happen organically.
PC: You’ve already had the opportunity to write with several award-winning songwriters, including Shane McAnally, Jeffrey Steele and your brother, Shay Mooney. What can you talk away from writing with writers of that caliber that helps you with your craft?
GM: My first write in Nashville was actually with Jeffrey Steele, and I won’t lie, I was definitely fangirling internally. I feel so honored to have written with such incredible writers. My brother has taught me so much about being open and how no idea for a song is bad; just throw it out there. It’s given me a lot of confidence to say silly stuff before you get the good stuff.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for 2021?
GM: I really hope I’m able to get out and play some shows this year. As of right now though, we’re just doing more live videos and online concerts to stay connected with everyone until I’m able to get out and perform in person. I cannot wait for the day I get to meet everyone, safely, in person!