From The Football Field To Center Stage: The Rise Of Gavin Adcock

With nearly 300 million U.S. streams to his name and a 16-track album on the way, Adcock is quickly making a name for himself in country music and beyond.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 12, 2024

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4:33 pm

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Gavin Adcock; Photo by Ash Summerford

Meet Gavin Adcock, a 25-year-old rising singer/songwriter from Watkinsville, Georgia. He found his way to music from the football field after winding up on the sidelines due to a knee injury. Using his recovery time to dive deep into songwriting, Adock ultimately realized his dreams of becoming an artist and began to share his music via social media while his injury healed. When he attempted to return to the football field, music drew him back, and he never looked back. With multiple singles now surpassing 270 million streams and his latest hit, “A Cigarette,” amassing over 50 million streams, it’s evident that he made the right choice between music and football. 

Small-Town Georgia Upbringing

Growing up in the small town of Watkinsville, Georgia, Adcock was introduced to country and rock music at an early age, thanks to his parents. His mother, a nurse, and his father, a cattle farmer, influenced his musical taste, with his father primarily shaping it during their time working together in the barn.

“‘Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys’… That was one of the first songs I ever listened to in the truck with my dad. And he was a big Kid Rock fan, so we listened to ‘Cowboy’ and ‘Bawitdaba’ and all those wild songs from ‘99,” Adcock recalls while speaking with Country Now. “I was born in ‘98 and I always loved singing along. We’d listen to ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ and go feed cows. And I’d always found it fun to sing along and I didn’t know what notes were, but I would try to hit the exact same ones that they would.”

By the time he was in high school, Adcock decided to try his hand at songwriting. Eventually, his friends and family recognized his vocal talents, however, Adcock admits he shook off the compliments at the time. 

“I was like, ‘Cool, thanks…whatever.’ I didn’t have any thought of a music career, honestly. I thought I would just get out and go to hauling cows and just work on the farm,” he explains. 

An Injury Changed Everything

That all changed, he says, when he suffered a knee injury while playing football at Georgia Southern University. “I tore my knee up. I was in a full leg cast.”

With nothing to do but sit and heal, Adcock got together with a friend who had a guitar. 

“We just picked around and played on a couple of songs that I’d already written, made a video, posted it on a brand new Instagram I made and on my Snapchat. I was like, ‘I’m going to make music if y’all like it, follow me.’ I posted the video of me singing the song I wrote in high school about football and it got 10 to 15,000 views on the first post. And I was like, ‘That’s pretty cool!’”

Gavin Adcock; Photo Courtesy of Red Light Management
Gavin Adcock; Photo Courtesy of Red Light Management

He decided to lean into it and continued to share his music via social media. After recovering, he rejoined his football team but soon faced a major life decision when his coaches asked him to choose between football and music.

“The team wasn’t doing very good at the time and they brought me in there and said, ‘Hey look, everybody’s on the hot seat around here. We’re not doing very good. We need you to not post about your music until the season’s over or you got to go.’ And I just made the decision that it was time to go.”

Bid Farewell To Football And Never Looked Back

Without hesitation, Adcock “started writing religiously” and continued to release music independently. By the next February, he released his debut EP. 

As for his songs, he says “most of ’em are about my life” – but not all of them. 

“Sometimes I put myself in the mindset of somebody that I’m writing a song about,” he tells us. “I started out with a love song, then I wrote a couple of sad songs and a party song. I like writing songs that are not love songs. If I get done with a song and it’s not a love song, I’m like, ‘Thank God!’ It’s so easy to write a love song. It’s just what’s most relatable to everybody else, but I just like to write other stuff.” 

With nearly 300 million US streams to his name, Adcock has found a way to connect with the masses through his music. He says it’s all about speaking to the right audience. 

“There’s a fine line between good and cheesy…I really try to stay away from cheesy music,” he admits. “If I want to, I’ll throw a cheesy line in there, but you can tell that I am saluting to everybody that I know it’s cheesy. I just try to stay in the pocket of what 15 to 30-year-olds are thinking because younger people want to be older. Older people want to be younger, so they want to be somewhere between that range. And I just try to put my mindset on that age group and make my music sound youthful.”  

Building A Fan Base Through Touring

With the release of his music came the opportunity for live performances, and Adcock fully embraced these chances to connect with his growing audience.

“I had my first concert on the back deck of Southern Social in Statesboro on August 10, 2021. It was a Tuesday – syllabus week. They paid us 500 bucks.” 

Gavin Adcock; Photo by Maddie Ormond
Gavin Adcock; Photo by Maddie Ormond

Although the band had never met prior to their performance, they got together about an hour before they were scheduled to play and rehearsed a bit. 

“We played about 25 songs and honestly didn’t miss a beat,” Adcock remembers.  

They continued to play shows around the Southeast and the rest is history. Now, he’s headlining the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour and appearing on the Rock The Country Festivals with Kid Rock, Jason Aldean, and more. 

This is quite the full-circle moment for someone who grew up listening to the Detroit rocker. “He puts on the best show I’ve ever seen,” Adcock says of Kid Rock. 

Gavin Adcock; Actin' Up Again
Gavin Adcock; Actin’ Up Again

New Album Coming In Early August

Next, Gavin Adcock is set to release a 16-track album: Actin’ Up Again. Fans got a preview of the project with last week’s release of the single “Sweetheart.” 

Of the project, Adcock shares, “I don’t like to let out the same song twice. There might be a heavy rock song, might be something that’s more a little bit up the middle of the road country. It could be sad, could be happy, could be a little bit of anything. We’re about to put out the best album that we can put together and I guess you could say the style is reckless…you can’t put it in a box.” 

Actin’ Up Again arrives on August 2.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.