Atlantic/Warner NashvilleAshley McBryde’s current single, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” was inspired by a teacher in her native Arkansas who predicted her musical dreams would never happen.

Though it’s a story she often shares in concert, Ashley says her algebra teacher was far from the only naysayer she encountered.

“When I talk about that song,” she tells the Nashville Scene, “that educator is the easiest story to recall, but she wasn’t the only one. I had friends and family who did the same thing. I’d say, ‘I’m moving to Nashville to write songs,’ and they’d roll their eyes.”

“Before we wrote that song,” Ashley recalls, “[Co-writer] Jeremy Bussey and I told similar stories for 40 minutes. Even when I got to Nashville and had my first whack at a record contract, there was more resistance. They wanted me to follow the rules: lose 30 pounds, straighten my hair, do more pop, use tracks at my shows.”

“But I’m not that girl,” she explains. “I tried to do it, but I missed the mark.”

Ashley’s on the cover of the current issue of the Scene: She’s been named 2018’s Best New Act in the publication’s 19th Annual Country Music Critics Poll.

Her album, also called Girl Going Nowhere, competes for Best Country Album at next month’s Grammys.

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