For award-winning songwriter Kylie Sackley, it’s always been about the songs first. As a wunderkind performer in her birthplace of Australia, Kylie dazzled audiences with her authentic grasp of country, her gorgeously expressive vocals, and her electrifying stage presence. When she won Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search, Star Maker (Keith Urban was a previous winner), she made the fateful decision to go the route of being a professional songwriter, and she hasn’t looked back since.
“First and foremost, I’ve always been a songwriter. Writing songs was just something I had to do,” Kylie states. Throughout Australia, Kylie won numerous country music competitions, but her victory in the Star Maker competition proved to be life changing in that it required her to make a songwriting trip to Nashville as an artist. “When I got there, I just fell in love. It was incredible having access to such amazing musicians, poets, and song craftsman. I extended my stay 10 weeks and then went back home and applied for a U.S. work visa. With two suitcases I moved to Nashville.”
Kylie’s first year on the Nashville scene was astounding. That year she co-wrote Leann Rimes country comeback smash “Nothin’ ‘bout Love Makes Sense” with highly sought after writers Gary Burr and Joel Feeney. “I thank my lucky stars for that single, it helped me get my foot in the door and get momentum as a writer,” Kylie reveals. That track, and her next co-write—Faith Hill’s “Sunshine and Summertime”—went Top 5.
Kylie also co-wrote Troy Cassar Daley’s “The Sunshine Club,” Alan Jackson’s “It’s Just That Way,” and has penned songs for Thompson Square, John Rich, Lee Brice and Jodee Messina. Kylie co-wrote the track “Young In America” recorded by Danielle Bradbery, the 2013 US winner of reality TV show, The Voice. That track landed in the Billboard Hot Country Song Chart and reached Number 53 on the US Country Airplay Chart. Kylie’s songwriting also appears on the first single from US country duo, American Young. She co-wrote the duo’s song “Love is War” which reached Number 44 on the US Country Airplay Chart. Kylie was nominated by the APRA (Australian performing rights association) for “Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year” award in 2014. Most recently, Kylie wrote Sam Hunt’s “Speakers,” on his certified double platinum album Montevallo.
Kylie is adept at all facets of songwriting, comfortable writing lyrics, melodies, music, and contributing production ideas. “It all depends on the day. Much like a performer has to read the audience, when you’re a songwriter, you read the room. If someone really excels at composing melodies, I’ll focus on writing lyrics. I’m like a chameleon—I can do it all—but I enjoy reading the room, being open to the creative flow, and then providing what is needed,” she says.
Reflecting back on it all, Kylie says thoughtfully: “On any given day of the week, I look up at the amazing talent in the room where I’m collaborating, and I pinch myself. I feel so lucky to work with these greats on a daily basis.