It was a dream of becoming a songwriter that first brought Shreveport, Louisiana native Jordan Davis to Nashville in 2012. A lot has changed for 2020 ACM Best New Male Artist of the Year nominee since moving to Music City. From signing a record deal with MCA Nashville and racking up over one billion streams of his debut album Home State to touring the country playing for fans and notching three consecutive No. 1s with Platinum-certified “Singles You Up” and “Take It From Me” and most recently “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot,” one thing has remained constant for the breakthrough hitmaker, his love for the craft of songwriting. That passion continues to drive his latest project, a self-titled EP out May 22.
“We closed Home State with ‘Leaving New Orleans’ and it was one I almost didn’t record…I got too caught up in the lyrics and worried if you were not from New Orleans you wouldn’t be into the song. But at shows across the country people would sing the chorus back to us. The location didn’t matter to them, it was the meaning behind the lyrics that struck a chord. I wanted to lean into that and create more songs like it for this project.”
Davis toes that rare line between commercial viability and intricate songwriting. A paradox of reflective and feel-good, he proves the two are not mutually exclusive with his new EP. Teaming once again with Home State producer Paul DiGiovanni, Davis delivers the catchy hooks and the sing-a-longs that have become his signature, with tracks like “Ruin My Weekend” and latest single “Almost Maybes” written with songwriting heavy weights Jesse Frasure and Hillary Lindsey, while going deeper with the personal “Detours” and spiritual “Church In A Chevy.” It’s an artistic dichotomy Davis has been aware of since he started listening to music as a kid.
“When I was little I never got to be in charge of the music on a family road trip,” Davis notes. “My go to guys were John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Don Williams…that’s who I grew up loving but that wasn’t necessarily getting the party started, you know? Then when I went to college, I got really into Usher, John Mayer and Maroon 5. Still love ‘em!”
From Prine to pop, you can hear both musical influences bubbling under the surface of Davis’s work, a constant creative tug-of-war where there are no losers, just a growing fan base anxious for new music and an artist ready to give it to them.
“Home State is over two years old…I was ready to get new music out,” Davis continues. “I wanted to create a bridge between the two albums…a nod to where we’ve been and a preview of where we are going.”
Currently off the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis is relishing extra time at home with wife Kristen and daughter Eloise. Constantly writing new music, he is hard at work on his next album and its life’s changes, both personally and professionally, that continue to inspire Davis’s writing.
“Touring the country and sharing Home State with the fans these last couple years, I’ve realized we all have a lot more in common than we think,” Davis reflects. “It inspires me to be more honest when I’m writing because if I’m going through something…chances are so is someone else. Every time I step in that writer’s room it is an opportunity…an opportunity to create something that resonates, that lasts, and that hopefully makes a difference.”
Darius Rucker’s latest single, “Beers and Sunshine” is currently sitting at Top 5 on the country charts. The South Carolina native co-wrote the feel-good tune with J.T. Harding, Josh Osborne and Ross Copperman over a Zoom call during the early months of the global shut-down due to the pandemic.
Darius offers up a few fun facts about the song, including that “Beers and Sunshine” is the first song he’s ever totally done virtually. “My producer made a demo thing, then we kind of sung on it and then I put a demo on it, and then he basically zoomed with the drummer and then zoomed with the bass player and then zoomed with the guitar player and that’s how we did the whole record, so that was pretty cool.”
The second fun fact is that he almost didn’t keep “beers” in favor of another libation. “Fact No. 2 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is after I wrote it I had a moment of thinking of changing it to ‘Tequila and Sunshine,’ because a buddy of mine thought it was a much better idea and he still says it all of the time. But the more I thought about it, I thought ‘Beers and Sunshine’ was the way to go.”
The third fact about the song is that “‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first time I’ve written a song and send it out to them and they said, ‘Can we get that cut right now?’ (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling. (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling.”
Darius was just included in a feature about the new National Museum of African American Museum in Nashville on CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend. Cameras from the show went along with him on his first tour of the museum, of which he is a National Chair.
Darius Rucker (fact #1 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…pretty cool. :26
“One fact about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first song I’ve done totally virtual where no one was ever in the room together. My producer made a demo thing, then we kind of sung on it and then I put a demo on it, and then he basically zoomed with the drummer and then zoomed with the bass player and then zoomed with the guitar player and that’s how we did the whole record, so that was pretty cool.”
Darius Rucker (fact #2 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…way to go. :18
“Fact No. 2 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is after I wrote it I had a moment of thinking of changing it to ‘Tequila and Sunshine,’ because a buddy of mine thought it was a much better idea and he still says it all of the time. But the more I thought about it, I thought ‘Beers and Sunshine’ was the way to go.”
Darius Rucker (fact #3 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…pretty good feeling. :15
“Fact No. 3 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ – I made a lot of records for my label and ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first time I’ve written a song and send it out to them and they said, ‘Can we get that cut right now?’ (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling. (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling.”
Jordan Davis has released a live acoustic video for his latest single, “Almost Maybes.”
Eric Church, along with Jazmine Sullivan, have been tapped to perform the National Anthem at this year’ Super Bowl.
GRAMMY-award winning artist @HERMusicx will sing America the Beautiful.
Tune-in on Feb 7 to the Super Bowl on CBS Kick-Off Show at 6pm ET pic.twitter.com/mh1Y8fjgpV
— NFL (@NFL) January 19, 2021
Tune-in to the Big Game Kick-off Show beginning at 6pm ET on February 7th on CBS.