Country Next: Sam Grow
Meet rising star Sam Grow.
Sam Grow; Photo Michael Gomez
Sam Grow has been grinding away at his music career since he was a child. Growing up in Mechanicsville, Maryland, the rising country artist began crafting song lyrics and melodies early on after his father J.R. bought him a guitar. In 2019, after moving to Nashville, he landed a deal with record label, Average Joe’s Entertainment.
Indeed, 2020 may have halted tours for many country artists, but that didn’t stop Grow from seeing significant growth as a singer/songwriter. Since signing on with Average Joes, Grow not only has landed on several “artist to watch” lists but, to date, he also has amassed over 40 million streams across all digital service platforms.
And, despite not being able to take the road, he managed to perform over 80 socially distanced acoustic shows as part of his Backyards & Bonfires tour. Additionally, his infectious track, “Song About You,” which appears on his Me & Mine EP, earned a spot at number 41 on Spotify’s Best Country Songs of 2020 list.
Now, Grow has plenty more to share with fans, having released some new, highly relatable songs from his upcoming EP, which is slated for a fall 2021 release date. Those songs are “Better Than Me,” about wishing nothing but the best for an ex, and “This Town,” which focuses on the inevitable small-town gossip that comes after two people who were in a relationship end up breaking up.
Grow caught up with Country Now to discuss his current tracks, forthcoming EP, and upcoming performances as he will continue shows as part of his Backyards & Bonfires acoustic shows.
Read on to learn more about Sam Grow in this exclusive Q&A below…
How did you begin a career in country music?
I like to say that I didn’t find country music; country music found me. I started making music at 16-years-old, and the local country station started playing it on-air. At the time, I thought I was making more rock music than anything. Country music is for sure the genre for me now. But when I was a kid, I had that rebellious streak. I wanted to make rock music, but you couldn’t take the twang out of my voice.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn) and Garth Brooks are probably the two biggest musical inspirations in my career.
How did “Better Than Me” come about?
It came about because my girlfriend and I were about to break up. After our fight, I went up to my studio at our house, and I was all fired up to write an angry (‘F.U.’) song about us breaking up. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I started to think about who would be next for her. So, I began writing a song about hoping that the next guy she moved on to was “Better Than Me.”
What’s the inspiration behind your song, “This Town”?
I had a girl that I dated in my small hometown in Maryland. After we broke up, when we were both living in Tennessee, it was hard to go back to that town. Everyone wanted to know what happened and why, and they all just wanted to keep the relationship alive through gossip. It made it hard to go home.
What can you tell us about your upcoming EP?
I’m excited to put the next chapter of music out there – we’re hoping for September 10, 2021, for the next EP. We will be rolling out the singles from the EP throughout the summer, and each song has its unique style and story attached to it. I’m so excited for people to hear them.
How would you say you’ve grown as an artist since beginning your music career?
Right now, I feel like I’m writing in the most honest way I ever have. When I first moved to Nashville several years ago, publishers would always ask me to write to chase what was on the radio at the time and not what I felt was the most genuine and real. I’m happy that it seems the music now is resonating so much more with people than it ever has. I’ll let that, hopefully, speak for itself.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Releasing and watching ‘Song About You’ explode and be so well received. Having logged nearly 50 million streams, placing itself on both the Spotify Hot Country playlist and the Apple Music Today’s Country playlist have been absolute game-changers for me.
How do you feel now with tours finally picking back up?
For me, I’m really excited and not just for the music lovers, but the artists and musicians and crews as well. I know it wasn’t good for my mental health to sit at home and not be on the road. And it’s not only important that we can all share the gift of music with people everywhere, but that the bands and crews will once again be able to provide for their families as we get to share with people in different places.
What can you tell us about your Backyards and Bonfires summer 2021′ tour? And, how will it differ from your 2020 tour, which had you doing 80+ shows?
The summer ‘B&B ’21’ tour is very much a continuation of what we began in April and May of 2020 and carried over into this year. We did 86 shows in 2020. I learned very early – in that – about the power of connecting with people. My team and I want to make ‘Backyards and Bonfires’ a regular thing each year where we take several weeks or a month every touring season and strip down to acoustic and go connect.
At these shows, we not only do a full 70 or 75-minute performance, but I hang out for a few hours afterwards and share stories and talk one-on-one with people. And for me, being able to ride around the country – literally from coast to coast since we started this – and see the world through the windshield and not a bus bunk has been awesome! I get to visit people and spend time with them in their hometowns and see places and people and things I never would have before.
You’ll also be headlining your first amphitheater show at the end of May. Can you tell us about that?
I am super excited about that! But with growth as an artist, it’s also scary. You take a step and hope it will work. It’s crazy to go from playing small places and then acoustic shows to things opening back up again and getting a call to play a bigger amphitheater. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have anxiety about it, but I’m so happy to have the opportunity, and I know it’ll be a great show.
Aside from music and touring, what’s next for you in 2021?
We’ve been waiting so long for music and touring to BOTH be back at the same time. That’s really all that is next. Music and shows back together – it’s what I love doing the most. I can’t wait for this summer and fall.
Fans can keep up with Sam Grow 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.