Congrats on your new song, "Probably Won't!" Where did you get the inspiration for your songs?
I bought a 90-acre farm outside of Nashville and that’s where my best writing happens. “Probably Won’t” is one of those songs that kind of just fell on the paper. At one point in our lives we go through a breakup or lose someone that you just don’t have in your life anymore. There’s something in your home, or whatever, that triggers that memory and you know that you need to put that memory away – take that picture off the wall, clean that bedroom out or whatever it may be. But, you also know in the back of your mind that you probably won’t.
Can fans expect a new EP or album anytime soon?
I’ve got some new music I’ve been recording, as well as a greatest hits album in the works. Stay tuned!
Tell us about how it feels to be an independent music artist.
I was with a record label and the label shut down. I was still under a record contract with no company to work it. It was just a very weird catch 22. I thought nothing like that could happen, but it turns out I was wrong. One of the biggest things I've learned over the past few years is that "show business" is two words, with a focus on the business part. But, you know, the good thing is I do have a lot of great fans out there that just keep plucking away on the social networks, we keep going all over the country doing shows and we’re just staying out there. We revamped the entire team, so I'm a little happier about where we're sitting at today.
Do you feel like, no matter what happens, American Idol has positively impacted your career?
Absolutely. One big thing that Idol did, in terms of getting into the industry, is they put a name with a face with a sound – they got my foot in the door in country music. Now I’m living the dream in Nashville and I’m still very proud of the show.
What excites you most about the Nashville music scene right now?
The music scene has changed so much since I was on Idol. Back then, Myspace was just coming out! Today, you have Spotify and iTunes and so many more platforms to get your music out into the world. There’s some great music out there right now!
Can you remember your first trip to Nashville?
After Idol, I decided to move to Nashville and give it the old college try, so to speak. Growing up in my hometown of Rockingham, North Carolina, I would play local venues and bars – but, nobody really comes to a small town looking for the next big thing. I remember coming to Nashville and thinking that I might actually have a shot here and I’m so glad I took that chance. There’s just something about this city.
What do you do on a day off in Nashville, no work allowed?
I love being outdoors. I do a lot of boating and four-wheeling.
What was a typical dinner or family meal like for you growing up?
Dinner was always family time! Food brings people together – it’s where we would always talk about our days and just enjoy each other’s company. Great memories.
Do you come from a musical family and was music ever a part of family gatherings or dinners?
My twin brother, Rocky, is very musical. He has a band and plays around the area a lot. We like to jam together whenever we can.
Do you cook as much as you can when off the road from touring or do you prefer eating out?
I do have some go-to spots I like to hang out at, but I love to grill during the summertime. I love playing around with spices. I’m a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself!
What are three things you can always find in your refrigerator?
Coors Light, Sweet tea and a constant reminder that I need to go to the grocery store! Haha!
What is one junk food you know you could never give up?
Hershey’s with Almonds. Definitely couldn’t give those up!
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
Red Bull! It gives you wings…and that’s a lot cheaper than Delta! Ha!