Singer/songwriter and mom-to-be, Elle King has made a huge step in immersing herself in the country music community with her first official country radio single, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”
From indie, Americana and rock all the way to country music, King has shown that she can shine in pretty much any genre, but her career journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In an interview with The Ty Bentli Show on Apple Music Country, King shared her thoughts on the country music genre and the impact it has had on her life already.
“It’s just fun because the shows are so great because it’s hardworking people. They save up for months and this is their night to let off some steam and let their hair down and go sing along to their favorite country artists,” King explained. “That’s what I started to see when I came into country music, I was like, ‘These people, they don’t care. They want to have fun tonight and they want to see you having fun, because we’re all in this together.'”
“I don’t know, country music has just really grabbed me and grabbed hold of me, and it’s really opened up my career and it’s kind of changed my life in a lot of ways,” King added. “It’s just been amazing, and I felt really, really embraced. I feel like it’s my people.”
King’s debut solo single, “Ex’s and Oh’s” quickly rose up the charts and peaked at No. 1 in 2015 on Billboard‘s list of “Greatest of All Time Adult Alternative Songs.” A year later, she branched out into the country genre for the first time as she joined Dierks Bentley on his single, “Different For Girls.”
Now, with her very own country single, King is ready to embark on her next chapter within the genre. She revealed the writing process behind Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” and how she came to join forces with superstar Miranda Lambert to record the single.
“I started writing it when I was 24, much, much drunker,” King revealed. “I was really living that life too. I wrote it with Martin Johnson and then we wrote two songs in two days. The other song was ‘America’s Sweetheart’ and ‘America’s Sweetheart’ made the record. I always knew that the chorus of ‘Drunk’ was a banger chorus. It was a big chorus. I always felt like I had that in my back pocket, but I didn’t like the original verses.”
“Six years go by, and then Martin reaches out to me to ask me if I would sing on something. I was like, ‘This is perfect because this is my segue into rewriting the verses,'” added King. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do you favor. I’ll do you a favor.’ Well, we have to rewrite ‘Drunk.’ I was going back to Nashville from tour with Miranda, and I was working with Martin and we were writing songs, we were rewriting ‘Drunk,’ and then it was done by the end of tour. I was like, ‘Okay, this is good.’ We were just going to put it out, and then this idea came, Miranda and I, we were becoming friends and everything. We were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be crazy, but wouldn’t it be fun if Miranda sang on this?’ She thinks so too.”
King and Lambert gave an electrifying performance of “Drunk” on stage as they opened the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards. This powerful duo brought the same energy to the music video for this single, which showcases the pair living it up at an ’80s-era wedding.
“When it came down time to the video, I was like, ‘How can we make this really fun, so that it’s one day of her life that she enjoys, and that if we had to sing it together, she’s going to be happy about it.’ I was like, ‘Why don’t we play characters and take the pressure off of Elle king and Miranda Lambert,’” she recalled. “Honestly that music video day, that was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had working because it was just me and Miranda in these ridiculous costumes and we laughed the whole time.”
Although her songs are full of vigor and fun, King revealed that her daily life doesn’t quite match that energy anymore. She opened up about previous drinking habits and feeling blessed to be pregnant after two miscarriages.
“It’s weird to be putting out a song that’s like all about partying and raging and being outside of your house, when I’m very much inside my house, baby chickens, lots of animals, baby inside here, many naps,” King reflected. “It’s weird, cause I feel like I always have to really live up to the music that I put out. This is weird, but I also feel like I’ve been drunk enough my entire life that people get that. They know I’m pregnant. They know how I got pregnant, probably drinking, and so I feel like it’s fair game. I don’t know.”
This summer King joins Chris Stapleton as a special guest on his “All American Road Show” tour beginning July 28 in Gilford, NH.