After returning to the United States, she began to seriously embark on a musical career----but on her own terms. Though she had other opportunities, she decided she wanted to stay true to who she was, and decided to give it a whirl, but as an independent artist. Her story came to the attention of former California First Lady Maria Shriver, who invited her to the 2009 Women’s Conference.
It was an eye-opening experience for the singer, who said “It was incredible that I got to go there, and was so blown away by seeing a community of women supporting women. Like any girl, I grew up in a high school where you really didn’t see that kind of camaraderie. It was really overwhelming to me and exciting to see that and that it actually exists. The title of the conference was “Be Who You Are.” I walked away asking myself the question of ‘Who Am I?”
Over the years, she found many a chance to answer that question. “In 2010, I was keynoting a speech for Girls For A Change, which is a local organization in Montana. I wrote a song called “Be Who You Are” for that conference, inspired by Maria’s conference.” News of the song made it back to Shriver. “When she caught wind of that, and she heard the song, she brought me back to sing it in front of about 14,000 people. That was just amazing, the whole ‘Pay It Forward’ kind of mentality. When I speak to young girls, it’s about doing what you love, and not giving up, but also finding ways to help other people in the process.”
Quayle is currently promoting her Ain’t No Housewife album. The title cut had some success at Country Radio. She explains the inspiration behind the song.
“It has quite a lot to say in three minutes and so seconds,” she says with a smile. “You know, I think I was quite frustrated with some of the relationships that I have had. I’m a very loyal relationship person, but I had a few where I just went ‘Man, when am I gonna learn?’ So, when I wrote the song, it’s not about not being a housewife or anything like that at all, it’s about being a partnership and not being taken for granted.”
Quayle said some of the song is intensely personal. “That section right before the chorus about ‘I ain’t no cookie cutter kind of lady, apron on, barefoot and preggy,” was very pointed at a certain man. That’s kind of how his mother was. It’s a very fun song, very tongue-in—cheek. The funny thing is watching the guys in the band sing the harmonies, and I’ve had guys come up to me after a show and say they really like the song. ‘I understand’. I’m like ‘Ok, I’ll take it.”
Ain’t No Housewife is a very eclectic group of songs, though Quayle admits it just kind of came together that way.
“There are a lot of different styles. When I was putting this album together, I had no intention other than to take a compilation of my songs that were the strongest that I wanted to talk about. Also, I had to have it out by October, because of the women’s conference I was speaking at out in California. It was one of those things where I really didn’t get to go ‘What’s my plan. These songs are good. I like these songs, so let’s get it done, and get it out there.”
As excellent as the album turned out, she’s looking forward to outdoing herself on the follow-up. “I’m looking forward to my sophomore album where I get a little more time to seek out the songs,” she tells Roughstock.
One song that has sparked interest among her fans is “Sophia,” which she admits is about someone very close to her. “It’s interesting. When I wrote that, it was one of those songs I was just writing. I had no big plan for it. ‘Sophia’ sounded good to sing. It just sounded good, out of all the names I was trying to choose. Now, looking back, it’s really my story. It’s kind of my journey. If I had a message from me now to me at that age, that’s what I would have said to her. A lot of people have responded to that song.”
Over the summer, she has plenty of dates on the schedule, including a tour of military bases. She shares a story about a recent experience with a Marine that touched her heart. I met a man whose son had passed away last year in Afghanistan, and he wrote a poem. He’s actually a local guy in Montana, and he asked me if I would turn it into a song. I overwhelmingly said yes.
Saying yes to the soldier’s request came easy, then the butterflies set in. “But, I was petrified. How do I do it justice? I wrote the song and sent it to him. It was just a guitar vocal, and he ended up playing it for all the Marine Corps.” That song can be heard on the radio now, as her newest single is the poignant “I Remember.”
For more on this talented and vivacious singer, log on to www.stephaniequayle.com!