Country Next: Brandon Davis
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Brandon Davis.
Photo Courtesy Brandon Davis
Music has always been a big part of Brandon Davis’ life, but it wasn’t until 2019 that he chose to pursue his dreams of becoming a country singer. Davis developed a newfound appreciation for chasing his passion after surviving a horrific car wreck. At the time, he was heading home from his design engineer job and was hit head-on by a distracted driver.
That terrifying moment nearly cost him his life.
“I thought about everything I had done in my life and all of the things that I’ve wanted to do and those things I haven’t chased. Goals and dreams of playing music were at the top of that list,” The loving husband and father of four told Country Now, recalling the accident that landed in the hospital for two weeks. “I looked at my wife and said, ‘Look. I can’t tell my kids to chase their dreams if I’m not chasing mine.’ So, we started pushing the music.”
After Davis began recovering from his injuries, his wife, Destiny, began posting videos of himself singing on TikTok. The platform proved to be a game-changer for the talented musician, as it introduced him to a new audience, and earned him a deal with Big Yellow Dog Music. Since signing on with the Nashville-based label, artist development and publishing company, Davis has released songs like “The Kitchen,” “Minus You” and “Destiny.” In April, he will also take the road as part of Tim McGraw’s McGraw Tour 2022, alongside fellow supporting acts, Russell Dickerson and Alexandra Kay.
Davis recently caught up with Country Now to open up about the life-altering moment that changed him, his new music, upcoming projects and more.
Read on to learn more about Brandon Davis in this exclusive Q&A below.
How did you begin a career in country music?
Honestly, I’ve been in it my whole life. It was something my dad did. My papa and mama did more of a gospel group. They were like a gospel version of Johnny and June [Carter] and traveled from church to church. But, I grew up watching my dad sing gospel and country. He played everywhere you could think of around Chattanooga and elsewhere. He toured around the country. So, singing was just something that happened no matter what, and I wanted to write songs like him, so I started doing that in 2007. But, it was a hobby that I kept in my back pocket because it wasn’t something I knew how to chase. But then I met the love of my life. I had three kids with a fourth on the way, and then I got in a pretty nasty car wreck. I ended up having to have life-saving surgery. It’s those moments that hit you where it’s like, ‘Look. Life can be gone in an instant. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.’ I thought about everything I had done in my life and all of the things that I’ve wanted to do and those things I haven’t chased. Goals and dreams of playing music were at the top of that list. And, I looked at my wife and said, ‘Look. I can’t tell my kids to chase their dreams if I’m not chasing mine.’ So, we started pushing the music.
How did you navigate that time in your career?
At first, I got some solo gigs, and we posted things to YouTube and Facebook, just your typical forgoing of how you’re going to try to do music, at least from how we had seen it from other people around us. We have a little decent start then. But then the pandemic struck, and the solo shows got halted. But then my wife found TikTok. She started going through it, and she said, ‘Hey! Look. There are all kinds of people singing here. Why don’t you get on here and sing?’ I was like, ‘I’ve heard about TikTok and heard that it was a bunch of crazy dancing and people trying to be funny.’ I was like, ‘I’ve got two left feet that nobody wants to see. So, it makes no sense for me to be there.’ She said, ‘Look. Just sing.’ Finally, she had me cornered in the car on the way back from a Father’s Day trip in 2020. She said, ‘Sing. I don’t care what it is. I’m going to film you. I don’t care what you do.’ So, I sang whatever song came to my mind. A day or so later, she caught me trying to grab a bottle of water out of the fridge at midnight. She ran up behind me and said, ‘Baby! Sing Brad Paisley. Sing Chris Stapleton. Sing Dierks Bentley.’ And that was the video that did it. It took off! Suddenly, we had a bunch of people wanting to hear music. They wanted to hear more and wanted to see more. That was the moment when she looked at me and said, ‘Look. Your followers are growing. People want to hear more. This is your chance if you want to chase music. Now is the time if you for sure want to do this.’ So I did.
Was it difficult for you to drop your day job when you decided to pursue music?
Well, I kept it going for as long as I could. So, I was working 45-60 hours a week, and as soon as I got home, it was music and family. When the kids went to bed, there was more music. On weekends, it was finding whatever shows we could play. A lot of people started reaching out, thankfully. So we’ve been able to travel much of the country that I haven’t had a chance to see before all of this. So I had two full-time jobs, pretty much. One started the day, and one ended at midnight. So, it’s been fun.
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What is it like for your kids to see their dad embracing his dreams, and what is it like for you to be able to show that to your kids?
I think the one that it shines through the most is my daughter. She’s old enough to grasp what we are doing and understand it. She sees what we are doing. Now she even says she wants to do songwriting too. She started grabbing out a notebook and jotting down songs, playing her little guitar, and learning songs on the radio. With the younger three, you can tell that they know what’s going on and love the music too. I’ve got a two-year-old that knows the lyrics to every song that I put out no matter what. Looking at them, seeing that there is work that we can enjoy instead of thinking, ‘Well, you just work to make sure you make money.’ No, you work because you love what you do. You want to enjoy what you’re doing while you do it. That’s the biggest thing. They get to see us loving what we are doing and not having to trudge through the day-to-day.
You recently signed a deal with Big Yellow Dog Music. What was that conversation like for you, and what have you learned so far from that experience?
They reached out because they found us through social media and the releases we’ve been putting out. We recorded for a few months, had some lunches, and discussed what the next level was for the career we were building and where we were wanting to take it. I said, ‘I don’t know how to express it, other than we want to make what we’ve got reach out as far as we can. We want this music to grow. We want more people to resonate with it. And, any avenue we can take that’s going to help us get to the next level, that’s what we want to do.’ Writing songs is something that I do daily. That’s right up Big Yellow Dog’s alley. I’ve been able to write with my team of writers. I’ve met so many new people since signing on with them. They’re helping boost our artist side and get our songs out there as much as possible. So, I can’t express how thankful we are to have partnered up with such a good group of people. They’re all good folks. It’s not just a team that comes in and gives us support. It’s people that you can ask questions to and depend on day-to-day. That’s what you need in this business.
Can you tell me the inspiration behind “Minus You”?
I wrote that one with two good buddies of mine, Josh Bricker and Sam Koon. And, we all sat down trying to figure out what the idea for our write session that afternoon was going to be. Josh said, ‘I’ve got this line talking about a beer can beating city limits sign. Where it is like, you’re breaking up in a small town and staring at the city limits sign, and she’s leaving. And, you’re just throwing beer cans at it.’ I was like, ‘What if we’re looking at the sign and figuring out that it’s not just city limits, it’s a population sign, and you’re realizing that all of these people are left in that town, and you’re stuck there too. So with all of the ones who are counted for on that sign, there’s one less now because you just drove away.’ Me plus 492 minus you, oh minus you. That immediately stuck. It was like this could be a small-town breakup anthem. Let’s see if we can make this a hit. That song has turned out so amazingly. I couldn’t be more proud.
Have you thought about your next release?
Yes, I have. I’ve got more music to put out than what I can keep count of because we’re writing every day. We’re constantly trying to push it to the next – what we feel is the next song that will hit people. And, we’ve got a group of five or six of them that are in the final stages of getting through production and the mastering process, trying to get ready to bring out a strong second EP for the new year. That’s the end goal. There are at least five or six songs, and some people might have already found them on YouTube. Who knows. But we’ve got some good songs that I cannot wait to give people a sneak peek of.
What do you want fans to take away from your music?
I want them to take away the values that are instilled in them because every one of them, in a sense, tells a story, whether it’s a partying song, a family song, or a love song. They all have storytelling to them. I hope people learn to take that and say, ‘This gives me something to relate to my life. Or this makes me feel like I did back in high school, or this runs in my family and is how things were around my house. That’s what is special about country music. I feel like we’ve got one of the best avenues in this genre to share those stories and connect with people.
What has the response to your new music been like?
So, we’ve been doing a song series called the Uncut Series on YouTube, and we’ve been trying to post Facebook links to them to show that there are songs out there that the fans haven’t heard that we’re trying to give them a little insight into. So, I believe there’s one on there currently that we will end up getting released. The response to those songs has been way better than what we expected because we have been just throwing songs out there into ‘no man’s’ land in hopes that someone would want to hear them. The response has been great.
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In terms of your music career, is there any advice that you’ve been given that has stuck with you to this day?
I’ve always looked up to Merle Haggard growing up. He made an incredible career being every man’s poet. He took everyday instances and everyday situations that everyone goes through and wrote that into his music. I always found that very inspirational. The man could also put on a show. As far as advice people have given me, honestly, it’s been a lot of friends that we’ve just made through songwriting and introductions and people saying, ‘Look. Know your sound. Know yourself and write what’s true to you and put that out.’ That’s the most sound advice that I’ve taken from this.
What’s next for you?
We’ve got some local shows in Chattanooga and some private events. Looking forward, we’ll be locally in Chattanooga. Then, we’re getting ready to lock in some confirmed dates this month and in February. We’ll be continuing the Step By Step Tour we’ve been trying to pull off from the past summer until now. And, who knows? There might be bigger things around the bend. We’ve got a lot of people reaching out with good opportunities, and I can’t wait to get out there and have a chance to connect with fans some more.
Debut Album Coming Soon
On Tuesday morning (Feb. 1), Davis announced plans to release his debut album, Hearts Don’t Rust, via social media. Out April 15, the project will feature eight new tracks and is available for pre-save now. The title track will be released on February 14.
Fans can keep up with Brandon Davis on Instagram.
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.