Rising star Mitchell Tenpenny has country music running through his veins, as he was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Throughout the years, he would watch musicians make their way down Music Row, but Tenpenny was always walking to the beat of his own drum and found his place in Midtown.
Losers, Winners, and the Red Door Saloon are some of the hotspots that made Tenpenny into the musician he is today. If those walls could talk, they would reveal some of the hitmaker’s lowest of lows and highest of highs. So, in true songwriter fashion – the breakthrough star pulled from his emotions that began to bottle up as time went on to co-write his eight-track collection, Midtown Diaries.
The Riser House/ Columbia Nashville EP serves as a love letter to the honky-tonk town that built him. “I love to see which song hits home for people or just hear different stories about them,” says the multi-platinum artist during an exclusive Country Now interview. “My goal is that each song will hit everyone differently, and people can find their story in it,” he adds about the moving songs that make up his track list.
The project includes his current radio single “Truth About You,” which quickly became his largest streaming debut of his career. The 2.5 million streams speak for themselves, as it highlights his growth as a vocalist.
“I’m older, and I have learned a lot more since my first project. I think the lyrics tend to be a little bit more on the mature side and full of life lessons than some of the other stuff…where it was more about having fun and living in the moment type of thing, “Tenpenny told Country Now reporter Tiffany Goldstein about the inspiration behind the lyrics. “This is more about what I have learned the last three years, which have defiantly helped me in my life as I matured and became a man.”
The raw and authentic ballads that make up his most vulnerable collection to date came naturally to Tenpenny and his fellow co-writers. The “Good Thing” singer explained that most songwriters walk into a Nashville studio with a mission to create the next chart-topping hit. Most times, the overused buzzwords and the forceful storytelling does not successfully come together. However, when Tenpenny and his team sat down to pen his latest EP, they all left their hearts and souls on the writing-table.
“A lot of songs get watered down when you go into a room just wanting to make a single. I understand why songwriters want to do that because it’s important, and they are taking the time out of their day. But, every one of these co-writers said, ‘no, we will write the best songs possible.’ I couldn’t give them more credit for wanting to try to dive a little deeper, and I think it shows in these lyrics,” says Tenpenny.
He continued to shared how rare it is to find co-writers in music city who could flip a switch and get in touch with their inner emotions. “It’s weird… you’re asking three people to become extremely vulnerable in a room. You know, when it feels right, when it feels like friends when it’s organic…I think that’s when you get the best stuff,” he adds.
Once the emotion-driven tracks are penned and recorded, Tenpenny revealed that he brings the demos to TikTok to test the potential hit with his followers. “I need to listen to the people that listen to me, and that’s exactly what we did. I will admit, I did not want to get on TikTok… I did not want another media platform, but I have found out that it’s a whole different fan base, and it’s new people discovering music. If it wasn’t for TikTok, I probably wouldn’t have my single “Truth About You” success right now and wouldn’t hear people singing back. So, I do owe a lot to that,” he disclosed.
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As he remains interactive with fans on the application, he will be hitting the road to headline his own tour to meet country music fanatics live and in person. Rising country artist Drew Green will be kicking off the To Us It Did Tour with Tenpenny come September 23. The two will be hitting up 12 different cities across the United States and will even be fulfilling his lifelong dream to perform at the legendary Nashville venue, the Ryman Auditorium.
“It’s a full-circle moment for us, and it’s just crazy. I have seen so many incredible acts there, so to get the chance to do it is just really cool,” he says about his upcoming performance at the world-renowned concert hall. “The younger me has sat in the seats and those upper balconies a billion times. So, he would probably say ‘don’t mess up.'”
When he’s not bringing down the house, he will be making a special appearance on Chris Young’s Famous Friends 2021 Tour and will be joining forces with Dierks Bentley for two dates only on his Beers On Me Tour. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.