Shane Profitt is taking his musical talents from the small town he grew up in to the masses as he prepares to launch his music career to superstardom. The burgeoning country singer-songwriter from Columbia, Tenn., spent recent years working weekdays in the city, clocking into his daily routine of an eight-hour job and playing various venues – such as Puckett’s – on the weekends.
It wasn’t until Profitt met Chris Janson that fate stepped in. After crossing paths with the “You, Me & The River” singer, Profitt’s passion turned into a full-fledged career, and he began recording tracks and joining his hero on the road. Profitt signed a publishing deal with Janson’s Old Tom Publishing/Anthem Entertainment. And landed his first cut, “The Reel Bass Pro” on Janson’s All In album.
Now signed to BMLG Records/Harpeth 60 Records at age 22, Profitt’s career is beginning to take shape as he continues to build on what he started. The country artist showcases his “boots-on-the-ground” writing style on his recently released EP, Maury County Line. The project introduces him to fans with hook-laden tracks like “Better Off Fishin’,” “How It Oughta Be,” and “Guys Like Me.” And on Tuesday (Nov. 1), the salt-of-the-earth Southerner is set to make his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
Profitt recently caught up with Country Now to talk about his musical background, friendship with Janson, recently released EP and more.
Read on to find out more about Shane Profitt in this exclusive Q&A below…
How did you begin your career in country music?
About four years ago, around Christmas time, my grandad asked me what I wanted for Christmas. As you get older, you realize Christmas isn’t really about presents. So I just told him that I wanted to play guitar. At all of my family functions, everybody brings an instrument and a plate of food, and we sit around, and everybody plays music. I was the one who didn’t know how to play anything. I just watched and got tired of that. So I decided I wanted to learn how to try to play guitar. He taught me G, C, and D on guitar. And I stuck with it. Then about six months after that, I started playing shows and covering songs and stuff. So about a year after learning a couple of chords on a guitar is when I started writing songs.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Yes. It was called ‘Gone Before Goodbye.’ But as I started writing and continued songwriting, I realized that you can get inspiration from anything and everything. As a songwriter, you want to write songs that people relate to. I wouldn’t say that I like talking about how I feel, so it’s great because I get to lean into songwriting for that.
Is it easier to write about what you experience versus using your imagination to write a song?
Absolutely. If I’m going through a breakup, it’s a whole lot easier to write a breakup song because I feel that at that moment. The same thing goes for if I want to have a cold beer. It makes it a whole lot easier to write a drinking song on a Friday evening when you’re off work and ready to drink.
One artist who played a pivotal role in your career is Chris Janson. Can you tell me the story of how you two met?
I was working a city job seven months ago. Nowhere in my hometown sells guitar strings. So anytime I need guitar strings, I drive to Franklin, Tenn. It’s about a 45-minute drive. I was talking with this girl. I had never taken her out before, but I knew I wanted to take her out on a date. I asked her because I had a gig on that particular weekend. I was working full-time. But I told her I needed to get some strings for my guitar. I asked her to ride with me, and I would take her out to eat. We’d make a date out of it. She said, ‘Yes.’ So, we ended up going to a sushi restaurant. I had never eaten sushi before. The thought of it made my stomach turn. But I was a gentleman, and we went to a sushi place called Koi. When we got there and went to walk in, Chris Janson held the door for me. I had been to seven concerts my whole life, and to see Chris Janson was five of those. Looking back, there’s no doubt. It’s a God thing.
So, they sat us down, and I ordered a spicy tuna roll because my date told me I might like it. I didn’t. So I spit it out. But I noticed it was one of those restaurants where they bring you a ticket, and whenever you get done eating, you go up to the cash register to pay. I had it in my mind that whenever Chris Janson was going to stand up, I would just so happen to be going to pay too. That’s when I could introduce myself to him. And, so the girl I was with got halfway done with her sushi roll, and I saw Chris Janson stand up. I grabbed the ticket and told her it was my chance to talk to him. We get about halfway across that floor, and he sits back down. The reason he stood up was to let his little boy out to go to the bathroom, which I didn’t know until later. I was standing awkwardly in the middle of the restaurant. So, I ended up going to his table and introduced myself. I told him I was a fan and that I write songs. I told him it would mean the world to me if he would listen to some of my songs. Before he could say anything, his wife, Kelly, spoke up. She said, ‘Hey! I’m his manager, and I’m also a music publisher. Thank you for coming up. Is that a receipt in your hand? I could write my email down on it. You can send me some songs, and I promise you, we will listen to them.’ I said, ‘Yes, ma’am. That would be great.’ Chris immediately looked up at me and said, ‘Did you say yes, ma’am?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir. I did.’ He said, ‘I like that a lot. Pull up a chair and talk to me.’ So we sat at that sushi restaurant table that night, and we talked about hunting, fishing, life, music, songwriting – we talked about everything. Two weeks after that, Chris offered me a publishing deal and asked me if I wanted to open for him on the whole Halfway To Crazy tour. So I quit my city job. That was my foot in the door.
What has the change of pace been for you now that you’ve quit your job and moved into playing music full-time?
As of seven months ago, I had only seen four states. I’ve been to Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Florida. Now, I’ve added more to that. I am up to 40 states now in the last seven months. So, growing up in a small town, it seems like everything is slower-paced. Now, it’s go, go, go. With that being said, I’m thankful that I can see all these different places and meet all these different people and different styles of living. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Does your family support your dreams of pursuing a career in country music?
Absolutely. Anytime I play within a four-hour radius, you can count on my parents being there. I’m very blessed and fortunate to have a family that supports me in whatever I decide to do. I can tell them I want to do something, and they’ll back me 110%. They’ve been there for me since the beginning of this.
You recently released a three-track EP called Maury County Line. What is the significance behind that title?
Maury County is where I was born and raised. You know how you hear people always say, ‘Don’t forget where you come from’ – That’s why I wanted to name it Maury County Line because it is where I’m from. I’m no better than anyone else in Maury County. I was very blessed and fortunate to have these opportunities to get me where I am. Naming it Maury County Line and that being my first-ever EP, I can always look back at that and go, ‘That is where it all started.’
What’s the inspiration behind ‘How It Oughta Be‘?
With ‘How It Oughta Be,’ in the chorus of the song, it says, ‘The world oughta try a piece of Mama’s chicken / Feel the love around her tabletop in the kitchen.’ I’m 22-years-old, but I was very fortunate and blessed to grow up in a home instead of a house. What I mean by that is my mom would cook supper just about every night. We would sit down as a family, have those family dinners, and pray as a family. We would be a normal All-American family. If there were every bit of that going on, we would all be living in a better world than what we are living in now. That’s what that song is about.
What do you want fans to take away from your music?
I want to represent the everyday, hard-working, blue-collar men and women. They get up and punch that clock at 6:00 in the morning. Not that long ago, I was doing that. Whenever people turn on their radio and hear that voice for the first time, I want them to know, ‘Hey, he’s one of us.’ With guys like me, I feel like we definitely hit the mark.
What is it like when you’re playing shows for your live audiences?
That’s one of the coolest things in the world. I want to mention that I will get to play the Grand Ole Opry on Nov. 1. I’m very excited about that! But, I can play in Florida, or California, or wherever and it just seems like every one of the fans is out there always having a good time and just enjoying that thirty minutes or however long of a set I have when I’m up on that stage. That’s what I want. Whatever they have going on, they clear their mind, and they’re there to enjoy country music.
What goals you have set for the rest of 2022.
My biggest goal right now is getting to play the Opry. That’s hands-down everybody’s goal when they get into music – standing in that circle. The fact that I’ll get to do that is a dream come true. And obviously, I want ‘How It Oughta Be’ to keep growing, but I’d say, overall, I just want to grow my fan base. I want people to know that I am one of them. Also, more music is coming very soon. And I’m looking forward to 2023.
Fans can keep up with Shane Profitt on Instagram.