Watch CBS News

Behind the Song: Kacey Musgraves - 'Follow Your Arrow'

By Annie Reuter

"Well I hope it gets attention because I think it's definitely time for those issues to be accepted in country music," Kacey Musgraves tells us about her ACM-nominated song "Follow Your Arrow."

On the song she famously sings, "So, make lots of noise/ Kiss lots of boys/ Or kiss lots of girls/ If that's something you're into."

Related: Interview: Kacey Musgraves on Pointing Her 'Arrow' at Gay Acceptance in Country Music

Musgraves released the song in 2013 after writing it with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, and it soon became a fan favorite.

"Regardless of your political beliefs, everybody should be able to love who they want to love and live how they want to live," Musgraves says. "We're all driven by the same emotions; we all want to be loved and want to feel the same things. So, hopefully people will put aside their personal, political agenda and just agree with that fact."

"Follow Your Arrow" is a big step for Musgraves, and she thanks strong females who came before her—like Loretta Lynn—for allowing her to talk about things that haven't been talked about before.

"I think the song 'Follow Your Arrow' is the most me as far as where my brain is at or where my mindset is at about life and people in general," she admits. "It's one that maybe six years ago I couldn't have written. I had a different outlook but just growing and learning more about people and life, it's just allowed to write that. It's about just doing whatever you want, regardless of what society is going to say."


Kacey Musgraves - Follow Your Arrow (Official Music Video) by KaceyMusgravesVEVO on YouTube

Songwriter Brandy Clark talked to us about the song's evolution and admits that she can't say enough about what Musgraves' is doing to push the country genre forward.

"When we wrote 'Follow Your Arrow,' she had a friend that was going to the UK for several months," Clark recalls. "She had written her a little note and it said, 'Kiss lots of a boys and smoke lots of joints and follow your arrow.' She wanted to turn that into a song and so we did."

Clark admits that she immediately fell in love with the song but she never thought it would make Musgraves' record let alone be a single.

"I thought she was done with her record and I thought, 'Even somebody as ballsy as Kacey, I didn't know that she would put it on a record.' The next thing I know, Shane McAnally he's like, 'You gotta hear this' and he plays me the 'Follow Your Arrow' record version."

She adds: "That song, I've had two No. 1 songs I've written for other artists and I get more response when I tell people I've written 'Follow Your Arrow.' It's crazy. I just thought it was a cute little song we were writing for Kacey's friend. I didn't know that it would be so revolutionary."

"Follow Your Arrow" is nominated for Song of the Year at the 50th annual ACM Awards.

Watch this year's ACM Awards airing April 19 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Kacey Musgraves interview by Shannon Carlin.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.