Who Is Conner Smith? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music
Who is Conner Smith? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
It is always exciting for us when a brand new artist is a star in the making! Conner Smith, one of our easiest picks for our 2022 Artists to Watch list, fits the bill. A Nashville native, Smith’s story is one that makes it easy to root for him.
“Growing up in Nashville is such a big part of my story,” begins Smith, during our interview. “I look at my story as this amazing combination of having a desire and a drive to do something and a gift and being in the perfect environment to sculpt that. Being in Nashville gave me an advantage on every front.”
As a child, Smith was all about music and baseball. At as young as six years old, he was writing music in music city, whenever he was not playing baseball with his team. “People say Nashville is a ten year town. I started writing songs in Nashville, when I was six, and I signed my first publishing deal when I was a sixteen,” shared the singer-songwriter.
For Smith, country music was his first love. “I’ve always gravitated towards the lyric of song, so for me that was always country music,” shared Smith, adding, “My mom is a big country music fan, so we grew up with George Strait and the Judds, Montgomery Gentry, and then my big guy growing up was Kenny Chesney.” Interestingly enough, the first song Smith ever learned was “Big Star” by Chesney. Smith’s mom even surprised him with his first concert at seven years old, which was also Chesney.
The Turning Point:
Clearly, the trajectory of Smith’s life moved fast, as it was evident from a young age, that the singer was made for stardom. Despite that, it was important for Smith to graduate high school before he firmly planted his feet in country music.
Smith honed his craft as a songwriter first. “I gained respect in writing rooms and proved myself going to these writes, and in the writing community. I was more than this young kid, who could sing,” shared the artist. “I’ve always been a lyric guy and telling stories, so it’s always been country.”
Upon graduating high school, Smith began taking meetings to secure a record deal. Ultimately signing with Big Machine Label Group in the summer of 2019, Smith’s career has catapulted since. He put out his first two songs, “Learned From It,” and “Tennessee” in July 2021, and fans have flocked to the budding star by the thousands.
A huge turning point in Smith’s blossoming career was when he put out the viral hit, “I Hate Alabama.” “We didn’t have a plan for that song to come out,” he began. “It was sent to me by my buddy who wrote it, Hunter Phelps, knowing I’m a Tennessee fan and me and my producer fell in love with it. […] We were just like we have to do something with it.” This led Smith to create a music video for it and put it out on Instagram. Moments later, the CEO of his label, Scott Borchetta, called Smith to let him know that the song would be released in eight days.
Flash forward to today, Smith’s debut EP Didn’t Go Too Far is due out this Friday, January 14th. The six-song project will feature the aforementioned songs, “I Hate Alabama” and “Learned From It,” as well as, “Take It Slow.” The EP also boasts three brand new songs.
The first song is a solo write called “College Towns,” which Smith wrote on a plane. The project also includes one of our personal favorites, the title track, “Didn’t Go Too Far.” “”Didn’t Go Too Far” is one of my favorite songs that I have written, so I just needed to get that one out, and definitely a real personal song to me,” shared Smith.
Finally, Conner Smith also included the song he often opens his shows with called “Somewhere In A Small Town.” Although it was difficult to choose the songs that would finish out this collection, Smith really tried to give fans a balanced taste of his artistry. He shared that he asked himself, “What three songs in this collection of six to build the best foundation of ‘who is Conner Smith’ and what am I going to do in the future.”
After the EP comes out, the sky is truly the limit for Smith. Fans can expect more new music throughout the year and more tour dates on the horizon!
Check back this Friday, for our full review of the upcoming EP.
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Conner Smith’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
* Interview Conducted by: Stephanie Wagner // Written by: Erica Zisman for Country Swag