Chris Janson And Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Unlikely Friendship Highlighted In ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ Music Video

During our exclusive chat, Johnson and Janson recalled how they met, detailed the fun they had making the music video, and shared their hopes for performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage together.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 19, 2024


12:15 pm

Share on:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Janson; Photo Courtesy of Nashville Harbor Records, Ent.

Today, April 19, Chris Janson officially premieres the music video for his current single, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get.” The video, which shows Janson in his most authentic state, has already stirred up plenty of buzz as it features the country star’s longtime friend and fellow country music lover, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as a special guest. 

The Empowering Message Behind The Song

Written by Janson, Tyler Hubbard, RaeLynn, Blake Hubbard and Jarrod Ingram, and produced by Julian Raymond, the song urges listeners to be proud of who they are and always celebrate that individuality. Janson fiercely takes on this narrative as he sings about all the simple things that define him, like getting a dipped cone at Dairy Queen, dressing head-to-toe in camo, embracing his tattoos and handing out with close friends.

One thing about the “Buy Me A Boat” singer that he especially honors is his love for Bass Pro Shops. He’s almost never seen without his baseball cap with the company’s logo and even in the song, he dubs it his “second home.” To honor his signature trait, the video opens with Janson hanging out in a Bass Pro shop, envisioning all his favorite moments through a pair of binoculars. Suddenly viewers are taken into his point of view as he envisions himself in a deer stand, fishing, riding a four-wheeler around the sporting goods retailer and going mudding in a vintage Ford pick-up.

Chris Janson - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
Chris Janson – Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

How Did Janson End Up Working With “The Rock” For This Video?

Johnson appears to be driving this truck while Janson sits in the passenger seat, holding on tight through the sharp, speedy turns around the open Texas land. The pair look to be having a genuinely good time as they raise their red solo cups to the self-loving anthem.

The idea to bring “The Rock” onto this project came to Janson while he was at his Tennessee home with his wife, Kelly, and brainstorming ways to bring this song to life while maintaining that natural feel to it. 

“I said, Kelly, I think I’m going to ask DJ if he would be in this with me for no other reason than we’re just friends. And I think he would like it,” Janson told Country Now. “So I asked and he reciprocated by saying, ‘absolutely, I would love to.’ That was all he wrote. So then we aligned our schedules and we made it work and we shot our portion outside of Dallas, Texas in Mesquite.”

Being his first-ever country music video appearance, Johnson fit right in with his matching Bass Pro Shop cap. Janson and the professional WWE fighter agreed that they truly “had a ball” on set together. 

YouTube video

Genuine Fun Was Has On Set

“It looked like it was fun, but it was fun. We shot for two hours and just had a ball. We didn’t have to think about timing schedules, nothing like that. Nobody was bothering he or I on where we had to be, and we had to be places by the way, but we didn’t feel barrage or rushed to do it,” Janson explained. “So we got everything we wanted. We got amazing B-roll footage, we got the objective done, the mission was accomplished, very swiftly and executed great. And I just love the video. I’m so proud of it.”

He then admitted that out of all the music videos he has released, including the ones with his wife, Kelly, this one is the most “real” he has ever felt because there was no acting involved. 

“We’re just playing around and having a good time. When you see us talking and laughing in the truck and everything, we’re literally just going, ‘can you believe we’re doing this?’ And so we’re just two buddies having a good time.”

How Did Chris Janson Meet “The Rock?”

While this may seem like an unlikely friendship, it turns out that pair actually have quite a bit in common. They first met back in 2022 in a parking lot and instantly bonded over their Nashville connections and their love for classic country songs, particularly “The Blues Man” by Hank Williams Jr. 

“Our initial meeting, which was totally, you couldn’t have planned that. I mean meeting in a parking lot, just saying hi and becoming friends and basically, we stayed pen pals over the last couple of years. That’s really the truth. And through phone conversations and voice texts and things like that, then we’d catch each other in the middle,” Janson explained. 

It turns out that they both had big country music dreams in their early days that began where most do, on the iconic strip of bars on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. While Janson was sleeping out of his car and trying to make ends meet by playing at the classic Tootsies, “The Rock” was also living in Nashville throughout his teenage years and pursuing his dreams by trying to sing in the very same bar. 

“The Rock” Gets An Invite To The Grand Ole Opry

In addition to reminiscing on these experiences during their initial 45-minute parking lot conversation, “The Rock” revealed his admiration for the Grand Ole Opry, which Janson happens to be an official member of. 

“I find out that he is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry,” Johnson shared. “I had said to him, ‘you’re living my dream dude. This is amazing. I’m so happy for you. I thought I wanted this at one time.’”

After hearing his passion for the coveted Nashville venue, Janson invited his new friend to join him on stage one day.   

“I said, I can’t. That’s too much, please. And then I got in the car, drove away with me and my wife and I said, ‘Do you know what he just said to me? He talked about the Opry.’ So he has blessed me with a standing invite to get on the Opry stage.”

When Will This Collaborative Performance Take Place?

Now that they have joined forces on bringing “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” to life in the music video, and reintroduced “The Rock” to his country roots, the pair are hopeful that this on-stage moment will happen sometime this year. 

“Yes, the Opry performance is going to happen,” Janson confirmed. “It’s going to be a very special moment. And I already, in my heart, have some things planned that are going to be really great, that coincide with that and make it an even more special event. Him being basically a native Nashville guy and basically me too, even though I wasn’t born and I was raised there in my adult years, it’s going to be an exceptional night…the great news is it’s not going to be just for show. It’s going to be about the music and it’s going to be about friendship and about our country. And we will celebrate, and we will highlight the things that are important to us. That’s what the Grand Ole Opry is all about.”

Janson added that he feels “blessed” to have formed this friendship with Dwayne Johnson, and to have bonded over their journeys of struggle and ambition while slowly climbing their way to the top of their dreams. 

“You take two authentic American dudes who came basically from nothing and started from the ground up and we literally had to grind our way and knock the doors down along the way and we’re still knocking ’em down. I don’t care what level of life you get at, you’re still going to have to knock on doors and knock ’em down and somebody’s always going to have what you don’t have. And the flesh and the human nature of us all says, ‘Man, I want what I don’t have.’ I’m pretty much at a place in my life right now where my gratitude has just runneth over and I feel so blessed to be in the position I’m in. I’m learning to celebrate the little victories along the way.” 

“It surpasses so much more than just the song,” he added of this whole experience. “It’s really highlighting a friendship which people would’ve never guessed in a million years. Not even me, would’ve never guessed in a million years. It’s crazy. And that’s just how God works.”

“Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” launched as the most added song on Country radio on March 11. Now, it’s on track to be the song of the summer as it has already achieved over 2 million streams. 

While he plans out his opening Opry night with Johnson,  Chris Janson will be out on the road throughout the year, performing on his own headlining tour dates. He will also join fellow Country star Cody Johnson for select dates of The Leather Tour. 

Share on:

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.