Dustin Lynch is a big fan of MacKenzie Porter. So much so that he went out of his way to support the Canadian singer/songwriter and actress when the two met in person to record her vocals on a new version of his song “Thinking ‘Bout You.”
Lynch showed up at the pair’s first in-studio session wearing Porter’s merchandise. And, the sweet move caught her by surprise. Lynch’s adorable gesture even managed to calm Porter’s nerves a little bit before she cut vocals on the track.
“It was like a perfect ice breaker,” Porter said, remembering the moment, as Lynch sat beside her in an interview on Connect with Country Now on CTRL_Music_. “…. It was so nice. I remember I texted my manager, I was like, ‘Did you send [these]?”
Still confused by how Lynch got a hold of the merch, Porter turned toward the country crooner to ask him where he retrieved the items.
“[I got them] from your website?” Lynch replied, later revealing that he might even rewear the swag in the future.
“You bought it? We could have given it to you,” Porter told him.
“Then It wouldn’t have been a surprise,” Lynch laughed.
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As it turns out, Lynch is full of surprises.
Fans may recall the Tennessee native initially sang “Thinking ‘Bout You” with Lauren Alaina on his 2020 album Tullahoma. When Alaina wasn’t available to promote the duet, he asked for her blessing to enlist a new female counterpart for the fan-favorite track. After realizing Porter was the right choice, Lynch immediately followed Porter on social media.
“I laid a demo vocal on his track, and I want to say like a week and a half later that Dustin followed me on Instagram. [He has] a million followers, so [he] probably [doesn’t] see all [of his] followers. I see who follows me,” Porter said of her reaction to what Lynch now considers to be a ‘rookie move’ on his part. “So, I’m like, Oh my God, he followed me. So I texted my team and I was like, ‘I feel like this means something really good!’ And they were like, ‘Calm down. It doesn’t mean anything.’ A week later, Dustin called me and told me [I got the part,] so that was pretty cool!”
Lynch, of course, had good reason to check out Porter’s online pages. He previously hadn’t known much about her. Before selecting her to duet with him, he told his team that he didn’t want to be “persuaded” to pick someone by who they were or where they came from. So, he went into the audition process blindly. In order to not know anything about the artist, he had a number system created, so when he heard the demo vocal, he was only judging the singer’s voice.
“I kept coming back to this one version, and my friends and family that I was with kept coming back to this one version, and it was Mackenzie,” he said.
Since releasing the newly recorded version of “Thinking ‘Bout You” on March 19, Lynch and Porter have shared an accompanying video for the track. The video, directed by Justin Nolan Key, reflects the song lyrics that share a story of remembering good times with a former love interest.
“The video is a bit of jumping in each of our minds, and our memories of each other, you know, in the past,” Lynch said. “So that’s kinda what we wanted to create. Not an actual scenario, but something that we’re, it’s kind of, you jumped into our daydream, I guess.”
“Our director had all this stock footage,” he added. “And it was somewhere exotic… so yeah, definitely that wasn’t Kansas, long ways from it…. And, they built, well, a phone booth. I don’t know how they found one of those.”
“Yeah, they just brought it into the warehouse, and it was like legit old school. I mean, maybe not old school, but I’ve never really called anyone from them,” Porter added.
Aside from sharing a duet and releasing a video, Lynch and Porter are working hard in the studio on separate projects. Porter, who is working on what she hopes to be a full-length album, will begin cutting songs for the collection in early May. Lynch, meanwhile, hopes to have an album completed by the end of 2021.
Fans can look for Lynch in the coming weeks as he will perform live from Brooklyn Bowl Nashville as part of Country Now Live on May 12.