Who is Ernest? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Ernest Keith Smith
Hometown – Nashville, Tennessee
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Label – Big Loud Records
Current Single – “This Fire” (*as of date of article: 2/10/2023)
Our spotlight artist this week truly needs no introduction. Ernest Keith Smith or ERNEST as you probably know him is a singer-songwriter who is on the brink of stardom. A consistent collaborator with Morgan Wallen and HARDY, Ernest is as talented as they come. We chatted with the Nashville native all about his rise in the country music industry and what’s next for the budding star.
“Music of all kinds has been the soundtrack to all of my summers,” began Ernest. ” I listened to all kinds of traditional country music in my dad’s car growing up, if it wasn’t country it was sports talk radio. And my mom was listening to Oldies 96.3 […].” With music (and baseball) being his main focus, Ernest found himself flocking to so many different genres from an early age.
He added later, “I was even getting hand-me-down burnt CDs from my friend’s older brothers. I would be in first or second grade listening to burnt CDs with my little walkman from a kid whose brother was a sophomore in high school, so I was listening to Eminem and a bunch of stuff I shouldn’t have been consuming, but I fell in love with it all.”
At just eight years old, Ernest knew that entertainment was in his future.“The Space Jam soundtrack was a third grade Christmas present, as well as a banjo, and the rest was history. Music is just always something I gravitated to,” he explained.
While he did not quite know just what he was going to do for a living, he had an idea that music would be in the cards. “I never dreamed of having a normal job, job,” shared the singer. “The older I got, the more I got the bug for music. I did one year of college and spent most of my time making up songs, so I decided I’m going to try to do this for real. I always wanted to entertain or something, I just never saw myself having to do a 9-5, but jokes on me, because it’s an 8AM-8AM job and on top of that being dad, so we’re always working,” laughed Ernest.
The Turning Point:
Eventually, Ernest began to pursue music and making a name for himself in Music City, his hometown. “Choosing country music feels the most organic for me to choose, but I would say a lot of my 20’s were struggling with that because of me being influenced by so many different things, and wanting to experiment with those sounds from John Mayer to Drake or Kendrick or Yellowcard, everything in between,” shared the singer, as he reflected on his journey. “Doing what I’m doing now, nodding my hat towards the traditional sound, I’m super happy.”
For Ernest, the goal was always to be his own artist; however, songwriting has been a great gateway into country music. “Songwriting was a good, and still is a good, lily pad into my artistry. Developing a reputation in town as a songwriter definitely doesn’t hurt,” he shared. “All of that hard work and sleepless nights, and getting let down, all that and throwing in a little bit of luck then here we are.”
The hitmaker is surely making a name for himself in the industry and it is only a matter of time until everyone knows his music and artistry.
Last year, Ernest released his debut record, Flower Shops: The Album, and in just a few days, the deluxe version, Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses will be released on Friday, February 10th. While both projects can be listened to independently, the story is connective and impressive.
“The whole album and the deluxe is basically the continuation of the story, part two, are all songs that I enjoy listening to. If someone else put out those batches of songs, I would probably be listening to it a lot. It’s nostalgic and it’s fun, sad, there’s a little bit of everything in there. When I’m writing for myself, especially for these projects,” shared Ernest.
While he loves all the songs on the upcoming record, Ernest shared about a few that really tug at him in the best way. “I think overall, the album is really fun to listen down top to bottom. […] You’re still going to get a story and as for my favorite song? It’s tough to choose. There are a few different moods on there. “This Fire” is one of my favorites. “Nothin’ To Lose” is one of my favorites too.”
Fans also have the upcoming tour dates with Morgan Wallen and HARDY to look forward to. “We get to make country music with our best friends and we are good friends in real life and cheerleaders for each other […] tour and getting to be on the road together will be special.” He also mentions that he’s sure another project will “put itself together” sooner rather than later. Keep your eyes and ears open for Ernest this year!
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Ernest’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.