Mindy Gledhill refuses to take no for an answer.
“I was really drawn to singing when I was a young teenager,” she says. “I tried out for the school musical and the chamber choir. I didn’t get into anything.” But that wasn’t the end of the story for the Provo-based singer-songwriter. “I’m a really driven person by nature, so rather than letting that determine my path, I decided to create my own path.” Gledhill got an internship at a recording studio, formed her own band that played at open mic nights and school assemblies and then went to BYU where she majored in commercial music. “I got the ball rolling myself,” she says matter-of-factly.
“I would say at one point I was a poster child for the LDS church,” says Gledhill, explaining that her songs and voice were featured in Especially For Youth (commonly called EFY) albums released by the church and her first album was on a church-owned label. “I started my career playing church music but 10 years ago it evolved into the indie-music scene,” she says. But when she left her LDS-owned label she turned to the web to release music with the help of sites like YouTube and MySpace. “The internet made it possible for me to reach people on the other side of the world. It was a really exciting time. It still is,” Gledhill says.
The move away from her label wasn’t her only transition with the church—Gledhill left the LDS church as well. “I would say that all of my upbringing and beliefs unraveled over the last couple years,” she says. “I became an activist for LBGT rights and women’s rights—that’s been my personal journey. I started to find my power as a woman and find my voice as a woman and that was an incredible thing for me. ”
Her new album Rabbit Hole (out later this year) is heavily-influenced by her experiences leaving the church behind and the new beginning it has created. Says Gledhill, “This new album goes through what it’s meant for me to have an existential crisis and the journey that has been painful and beautiful.” mindygledhill.com
Natalie Simpson is a regular photography and video contributor at Salt Lake Magazine. She creates our Small Lake City local music features, and covers the Sundance Film Festival, and events. Natalie does corporate and lifestyle photography and video for her SLC based business, Beehive Photography and Video. When she isn’t shooting, you can find her hiking in Millcreek Canyon with her boyfriend and dog, or The State Room.