Eric Paslay definitely knows how to craft a hit song. Jake Owen, Love and Theft and the Eli Young Band have all scored No. 1 singles thanks to Paslay’s songwriting prowess, but fans who have seen him on stage will testify there is so much more to the tall, Texas redhead than his excellent songwriting chops. Paslay is a charismatic performer and a potent vocalist who knows how to connect with an audience. As his single “Friday Night” reached the No. 1 spot, Paslay has arrived as an artist in his own right.
“Friday Night,” Paslay’s first No. 1 single as an artist, serves as an inviting preview to his EMI Records Nashville debut album, a vibrant collection of songs that cover a wide expanse of emotional territory from the aching ballad “She Don’t Love You” to the clever up tempo “Song About A Girl” and the poignant, uplifting “Deep As It Is Wide.” Working with producers Marshall Altman, Daniel Hill and Billy Lynn, Paslay has created a colorful sonic landscape. “Life isn’t always the same heartbeat so I don’t want to have an album of songs at the same tempo,” Paslay says of the musical and lyrical diversity displayed on his eponymous debut. “Every song has a shimmer of everyone’s life in it from the memories of falling in love to living with someone for the rest of your life and knowing that there’s something at the end of the tunnel to live for. Some of it is not too deep and some of it is.”
Therein lies Paslay’s charm. He is a deep thinker and soulful philosopher capable of shooting a lyric straight into your heart and making you catch your breath, but he is also witty, playful and equally skilled at getting the party started. He is the guy other men want to have a beer with and all the girls want to take home for Sunday dinner. His engaging, enigmatic personality shines through in all his songs from “Less Than Whole,” a powerful treatise on forgiveness and redemption that he penned with Big Kenny to the sultry, sexy romp “Good With Wine,” a great date song.
Paslay creates music that becomes part of the soundtrack of people’s lives, and in doing so he has helped shaped the sound of today’s country radio. Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” which Paslay wrote with Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk, was named ASCAP’s 2012 Country Song of the Year. The Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” written by Paslay and Will Hoge, was nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY for Best Country Song and CMA Song Of The Year in 2012. He also co-wrote Love and Theft’s No. 1 hit “Angel Eyes,” as well as Rascal Flatt’s new single “Rewind.” He has also penned tunes for many other artists among them Amy Grant, Donny & Marie Osmond and Lady Antebellum. His distinctive voice has also earned him some pretty substantial fans. Dionne Warwick and Kenny Rogers have sought him out to record duets, and Amy Grant recruited Paslay to join her and Sheryl Crow when she covered Paslay’s “Deep As It Is Wide” on her latest album.
It all started for Paslay when he began playing guitar and writing songs at 15. “I wrote a poem for a girl,” he recalls with a grin. “I never gave it to her and then I discovered that most songs are poems, so I just put a melody and chords to the poem and there was my first song. By the time I was 16, I’d already made a CD on my home computer of about 10 or 11 songs that I played out around Texas. Those records will come back and haunt me someday, but I know there are little jewels in there. I’m glad that I wasn’t too afraid to put it out there, just to start creating music and sharing it with people.”
Born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Waco and Temple, Paslay has always loved music, but his original intent was to become a pediatric endocrinologist. “I have diabetes and I thought I could help kids with diabetes because I could relate to them and talk to them,” he says, but music has always been in his blood. “My granddad was a musician. He and his brothers had a band called Arnold Schiller and the Moonlight Serenaders. My grandfather was Arnold, and they played at dance halls. I was two and a half when he died. The first time I played the Grand Ole Opry, I closed my eyes and thought of him.”
When Paslay moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, his first stop was Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in music business. He became president of MTSU’s student chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He recruited top Music Row writers to speak at the university. He also volunteered for anything just to get his foot further in the door and did everything from help out at a charity golf tournament to change light bulbs in the NARAS office, a feat made easier because of his 6’4” height. “I’d just go help anywhere I could because I thought if you have a job to do and you do it well, then if they let you be creative and make a record, at least they know you’re going to do it well,” Paslay says. “They’ll know you are going to put all your mind, strength and skill into doing whatever job they give you.”
An internship at publishing company Cal IV Entertainment proved to be a valuable step for the budding songwriter. He not only learned about the publishing business, but the craft of songwriting, eventually landing his own deal with the Cal IV in 2006. His songwriting and his impressive voice began garnering attention from labels and he signed with EMI Records Nashville.
Though he is appreciative of his cuts by other artists, Paslay says the reason he began writing songs is because he wanted to sing them for people. “I turn it on when I get on stage. I love to entertain,” says Paslay, who has opened for Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Little Big Town, among others. “The songs on this record are the ones that really connect when I play them live. When I write, I’d rather there be a little bit of hope in every song, even in the sad songs. There is still hope in there. With all the negativity everywhere these days, I’d like the positive to come out. A song can give you a little boost in confidence or make you fall in love deeper or dream higher. I’m not writing and singing this stuff to be cool. I was never the cool kid. I was the kid standing in the back of the room watching.”
These days Eric Paslay has moved from the back of the room to center stage. “It’s like someone flipped a switch on and people know what I do now,” he says with a smile, “but the coolest thing is there’s always that moment that you dream of when you have a hit song and you can stop singing and the audience keeps singing it. With ‘Friday Night,’ that’s started to happen. I’ll sing ‘I want to be your…’ and I’ll point to the crowd and they’ll go ‘Friday Night!’ That’s one of those moments that every kid dreams about – singing a song and the crowd knows it so well that they sing it back to you. You get to sing it together. I’m glad I’m getting to experience that as a performer. To have a hit that radio has played so much that people are singing back to you, it’s pretty cool.”
EMI Records Nashville and Grammy nominated artist Eric Paslay released a much anticipated new single to country radio today, “Young Forever.” The song, written by Eric, Chris Destefano and Morgan Evans, produced by Eric and Ilya Toshinksky, is available at all digital retailers now and can be found HERE or watch HERE.
“After ‘Friday Night’ and ‘She Don’t Love You’ singles hit, me and the guys toured our butts off,” said Paslay. “I needed a reset, so my wife and I bought a farm. We renovated the house on it, DIY style. But I kept my head down as I was really focused on writing songs I loved. When we wrote ‘Young Forever,’ it totally reignited the fire – I couldn’t wait to record it and get it out to the fans. I think it captured the joy, the dream and the hope that made me fall in love with music when I was a kid and it reminds me, every time I play it, why I keep falling in love with music over and over again.”
“Young Forever” is the first single off a forth coming sophomore album, the follow up to his critically acclaimed self-titled debut record that produced three hit singles including the No. 1 “Friday Night.”
While writing and recording for the upcoming project Eric remained as busy as ever. In 2016 and 2017, Eric performed over 200 live shows, released an EP collection of songs for fans eager to hear new material, The Work Tapes, launched a partnership with Habitat for Humanity while helping to kick-off their first-ever national cause campaign and being hands on for multiple builds. Eric also continued his work with Dexcom, a leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), to help raise awareness for people like himself who are living with Type 1 Diabetes.
About Eric Paslay
EMI Records Nashville breakout country artist, Eric Paslay, delivers a powerful punch as a renowned, Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer. Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “Friday Night,” the smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Temple, Texas native has earned numerous songwriter award nominations including GRAMMY’s Best Country Song, ACM’s Song of the Year twice and the CMA Song of The Year for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Eric was also honored with GRAMMY nomination as an artist in 2016 for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “The Driver”- a collaboration with friends Charles Kelley and Dierks Bentley. A true artist’s artist, USA Today calls Paslay “flat out-brilliant” and American Songwriter names him an influencer of country music.
For the latest information on Eric go to:
Eric Paslay (Young Forever) 1 OC: …every experience. :21
“It was Morgan’s idea. It was like, ‘Man, Young Forever.’ He’s from Australia, but he’s had this idea, and it’s like, man, that’s cool. How do we not screw this up? I think they had just gotten engaged, so I think it was like, ‘We’re gonna live forever and be in love forever’ and just good vibes. This song is about being ‘young’ in every experience.”
Luke Bryan is making the media rounds this week. He’ll appear on ABC’s Good Morning America, Live With Kelly and Ryan and Late Night With Seth Meyers on Tuesday (March 6th), followed by an appearance on ABC’s The View on Thursday (March 8th)
Jon Pardi will perform on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday (March 6th).
Songs from Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Vince Gill, George Strait, Eric Paslay and many others will be included in the new collection, NOW That’s What I Call Country – Songs of Inspiration. The compilation features inspirational songs from some of country music’s biggest stars and will be released March 16th.
NOW That’s What I Call Country – Songs of Inspiration Track List:
- Lady Antebellum – “Hello World”
- Tim McGraw – “Touchdown Jesus”
- Carrie Underwood – “Jesus, Take The Wheel”
- Rascal Flatts – “Bless the Broken Road”
- Josh Turner – “Long Black Train”
- Alison Krauss – “Down To The River To Pray”
- Vince Gill – “Go Rest High On That Mountain”
- George Strait – “I Believe”
- Alabama – “Angels Among Us”
- Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton- “When I Get Where I ‘m Going”
- Eric Paslay – “Deep As It Is Wide”
- Phil Vassar – “This Is God”
- Chris Young – “The Man I Want To Be”
- Craig Morgan – “God Must Really Love Me”
- Brooks and Dunn – “Believe”
- Martina McBride – “God’s Will”
Eric Paslay has hit the airwaves with his brand-new song, “Young Forever,” which he co-wrote with Chris DeStefano (“That’s My Kind of Night,” “Something in the Water,” “Don’t Ya”) and singer-songwriter Morgan Evans. The song goes for adds at radio March 5th.
“It all points back to your youth, and it’s about the feeling of it of ‘shooting stars lighting up the boulevard,’ like you’re just young enough to get away with anything almost,” says Eric. “It’s just a cool, exciting experience. It’s that summer love; it’s that first time rush. And I hope I live that way, and I hope everyone who hears this song gets that feeling and makes ‘em want to feel young forever every time they do something in their life and experience it for the first time or the hundredth time.”
Eric is set to headline the 21st Annual JDRF Promise Gala: A Country Side of a Cure on Saturday (February 24th). The event raises money and awareness for Juvenile Diabetes and the JDRF, which is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
Eric Paslay (Young Forever) OC: …the hundredth time. :39
“‘Young Forever,’ I wrote it with Chris DeStano [and] Morgan Evans, two great writers. ‘Young Forever,’ I mean, you just listen to the song. There’s so many experiences. It all points back to your youth, and it’s about the feeling of it of ‘shooting stars lighting up the boulevard,’ like you’re just young enough to get away with anything almost. It’s just a cool, exciting experience. It’s that summer love; it’s that first time rush. And I hope I live that way, and I hope everyone who hears this song gets that feeling and makes ‘em want to feel young forever every time they do something in their life and experience it for the first time or the hundredth time.”