So how does it feel to have your first song in the Top 10? “It’s pretty cool, man. You put out a song as a single, you have a special feeling about it, you plan around it, and this is my first time being in the Top 10, so it’s pretty crazy, man. To be honest, I haven’t really sat back and thought about it yet, but I feel super blessed to be doing this, to call it a job, to be having success as an artist it really great.”
You’ve been out all year singing this song for fans as it has climbed the chart. Have you noticed a difference as it got closer to the Top 10? Yeah I did, especially in the last month. That’s when the real difference happened, there’s been a momentum shift, I can see the song is getting out and reaching people. Then they’re going and looking at other songs, and buying into what I’m doing as an artist. I don’t wanna be ‘a song.’ I want to be more than that. So for me to see that people are caring about what I’m doing an investing in me as a person is really cool.”
You just said ‘I don’t wanna be a song?’ Yeah I’ve never said that before. I like that too. I’m gonna write that down. It might be my next album.
How did this song get to you? Some of my friends wrote it, I think it’s been around for a while. My manager heard it in Key West at the songwriters festival last year. They were playing it, and he sent me the demo, and I said, ‘Don’t play that for anyone else!’ I don’t guess he didn’t, because we recorded it pretty soon after that, just immediately felt strongly about the song.
Did it have that slide guitar riff at the start? No it didn’t. That was something me & my producer came up with in the studio. That was definitely added to it.
How about getting FGL? I just asked them. That’s really all it took. I was friends with them already so that didn’t hurt. But they heard the song, and told me they loved it, so I asked if they wanted to hop on, and they said they did. So it kinda just happened.
You just released your debut album, featuring “Up Down.” The album is called If I Know Me, and contains 15 songs, which is a lot for an album. Why so many songs? For me, it’s been a couple year process getting it together, and with the momentum Up Down gave us, we wanted to release it now. That’s the number of songs I had now. That’s just the number we landed on. I’m just looking forward to see what people think of the whole project.
We said you’re new to the Top 10, but you just had your first #1 as a songwriter with Jason Aldean’s song You Make It Easy. How does that feel? Yeah man, I just found out it’s #1 this week, pretty incredible. I came to Nashville and wasn’t sure if I could write. I just started when I was 19, so I had no idea if I could do it. I knew I could sing, but didn’t know anything else. So to have Jason Aldean take a song that you’re a part of and put his twist on it, I’m a fan of Jason Aldean, which makes it even cooler, but it solidifies the fact that I should be writing.
Do you do it in your set? Yes I do. I don’t know that I’ll always will. But as a new artist, it’s a great moment in my set, so I’ll do it as long as it stays that way. I’ve seen Cole Swindell do that in his show and I think it’s great.
This summer you’ll be playing for a lot of people, right? Yeah man, Luke Bryan, gonna be out with him for 40 shows, looking forward to it, it came out of nowhere, he called, and that’s a no brainer. Just honored to be on something that that’s great a scale, stadiums, I’m just honored to play for his fans and give em hell!