Sara Evans says throughout her time making music professionally in Nashville, she has never had an experience that merited a #metoo story.
When she signed her first record deal in the mid-‘90s, she was welcomed into a Music Row community that was always supportive of her craft. Today she is the head of her own record company, Born to Fly Records, with her latest album Words being its flagship release.
“I honestly never experienced any disrespect from any male executive in Nashville,” she said. “Joe Galante was the head of my record label at the time, and he was like a father figure to me.
“But at the same time, I also understand that men are men, and women are women. And so that’s not to say that I’ve never been flirted with, but no one has ever crossed the line in all the times that I’ve been out on radio tours and had to do dinners and parties. Everybody’s just been really respectful.”
But on the other hand, she understands that not all artists who move to Nashville for music are welcomed into the same safe environment she experienced. When asked for her thoughts on what she would say to artists who are thinking about giving up on their dreams because they encountered workplace misconduct, she said giving up allows perpetrators of abuse to continue bullying others.
“Thankfully I’ve never gone through anything like that,” she said. “But if it were my daughter or a sister, I would absolutely encourage them to not give up on their dreams and not give up on their life because then you’re letting them win. You’re letting them victimize you over and over. I would advise my daughter to stand up and kick ass by being happy and being successful. It’s all about how you handle stress and personal trauma. Some people are stronger than others.”
Evans is the headliner of the 2018 Next Women of Country Tour with RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr. The tour continues Friday (March 9) in Salina, Kan.