When Cody Johnson was engaged on his new album Ain’t Nothin’ To It, there was a particular algorithm he had in thoughts. “If it ain't broke, don't repair it,” he stated of the strategy in making his debut for CoJo Music/Warner Music Nashville.
“I keep in mind one of many first issues they stated was, ‘We have a man named Scott Hendricks right here that produces all of the data right here.’ And I stated, ‘Nope, he's not producing my music. He's not Trent Willmon, he's not on the file,’” he stated of his producer. “‘I'm not altering my reserving agent, I'm not altering my producer, I'm not altering my band, I'm not altering any of that stuff. When we go to the studio, I might love for you guys to pitch us songs, and to attempt to collect as a lot good music that you may. But general, it is going to be mine and Trent Willmon's resolution.’ And that was one thing that I simply couldn't return on.”
That dedication to his inventive imaginative and prescient has seemingly paid off in an enormous manner. The album debuted atop the Country Albums chart and opening single, “On My Way To You,” has soared to No. 16 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and continues to be climbing.
For Johnson, Warner Music Nashville has introduced him the radio play he by no means anticipated. “As an unbiased artist for 10 years, I needed to actually come to phrases with the truth that radio was not going to play my music,” he stated at Warner Music Nashville’s luncheon and showcase at Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar, Feb. 15. “We spent the final 10 years on the highway enjoying music that I believed in. Through the assistance of [Warner Music Nashville execs] John Esposito, Cris Lacy, and everyone right here at Warner Music Nashville, I get to play my model of nation music on a wider spectrum for all of y’all. Thank you from the underside of my coronary heart.”
Though new to Warner Music Nashville and lots of radio station playlists, Texas troubadour Johnson has constructed an unlimited following in his house state, changing into the primary unbiased artist to promote out Rodeo Houston by promoting over 75,000 tickets.
As he expands to grow to be a nationally identified artist, some critics have in contrast Ain’t Nothin’ To It to such iconic albums as Randy Travis’s Storms of Life (Randy Travis) or Ricky Skaggs’ Highways and Heartaches. Johnson says he’s flattered, however he’s not making an attempt to make an announcement together with his conventional model. It’s merely who he’s.
“I admire these compliments from these comparisons. I don't know that nation music wants it. I’ve stated this in a number of interviews, ‘The purpose why I respect Florida Georgia Line is as a result of I can't try this. There's no manner.’ If I attempted to do this, it might look actually pretend. You know what I imply? Those guys pull it off authentically, the entire rapping type of hip-hop nation factor. I can't try this. That's not me. What I’m good at doing is being myself, and that leans extra in direction of the standard aspect.”
The album is stuffed with songs about life’s classes, together with the title monitor, written by frequent collaborator David Lee. “The ethical compass of this track is one thing that I don't really feel is being addressed in nation music, or in any music, interval. The values of a dad telling his son, ‘Listen to your spouse and do issues for her everytime you don't wish to. And don't fear concerning the fights, they're gonna occur.’ Those life classes are one thing that I don't really feel like are being mentioned anymore. And as the daddy of two little ladies, I felt the necessity to put that ethical compass on the market.”
Johnson additionally suggestions his hat to Charlie Daniels with a canopy of “Long Haired Country Boy,” which options his longtime band. “Me and my band are brothers. We don't have a employed gun operation. George Strait has the Ace In The Hole. I've bought the Rockin' CJB. These guys, they've been with me by means of thick and skinny — and largely skinny. When we’re collectively on stage, it's a brotherhood. They wrote that total rendition of ‘Long Haired Country Boy.’ We had been enjoying it stay, and I assumed, ‘Man, that is too particular to not seize on tape.’”
The singer additionally exhibits his non secular aspect with “His Name Is Jesus,” a track impressed by an interplay together with his minister. “At my exhibits, I might say, ‘I'd prefer to thank the Man Upstairs.’ And he caught me, he stated, ‘Hey, man, that's nice and all. But would it not kill you to say, 'I'd prefer to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?'" It was a problem for me. And at that time, I remembered that track that I'd written, "His Name is Jesus." And I assumed, "Well, what higher solution to say it, you recognize?”
With “On My Way to You” climbing the chart, Johnson is grateful for this shot at reaching a wider viewers. “I didn't actually know what to anticipate,” he says. “I simply knew that it was a track that myself and Warner had been each captivated with, and it’s been actually cool to see a serious label get behind a track so conventional nation, and pushing it to radio. That was an enormous factor. I suppose I bought so centered on that that I didn't actually even take into consideration, 'What's it gonna do on the chart?’ And it's so loopy, we knew the response from the group was unbelievable after we began enjoying it stay, and that was an enormous, good signal. It’s been wonderful.”