Parker McCollum Reflects On The Making Of His Fourth Consecutive No.1, ‘Burn It Down’

McCollum admits the massive success of the song caught him off guard: “I didn’t know it would do this.”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 9, 2024


3:32 pm

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Parker McCollium; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

Parker McCollum is reflecting on the success of his latest chart-topper, “Burn It Down,” as his fifth studio album is simultaneously in the works and is gearing up to be his “best” collection of songs yet. 

The Story Behind “Burn It Down”

The hit songwriters behind this heartbreaking narrative include McCollum alongside Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey (collectively known as The Love Junkies). He admitted to Country Now and other outlets that “Burn It Down” was an unexpected triumph that came from that writing session with the trio of female artists. He went in with no inspirations to draw from and ended up hearing the chorus unfold over and over again in his head, which eventually got “bigger and heavier and darker” throughout the verses. 

As they got more of a feel for what the song was evolving into, the Texas native and The Love Junkies made a point to conjure up the most rip-your-heart-out, pain-filled lyrics that they could think of. The result is a scorching heartbreak anthem that illustrates the relatable experience of wanting to eliminate any and all painful memories of a relationship that ended in smoke. 

Parker McCollum; Photo by Jim Wright
Parker McCollum; Photo by Jim Wright

“I like to go to those places when I write songs and I think that’s what’s real. I like songs that make me think, and so I try to write songs like that. ‘Burn It Down’ was no different,” he shared honestly.

McCollum Admits The Success Of The Song Surprised Him

McCollum can admit he always knew it was a good song but that doesn’t mean he expected it to become his fourth No. 1 single on the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase charts.

I knew it was so different and it was going to be big in our live show, so I was like, maybe it could do something. I didn’t know it would do this. It’s been a really big hit for us and thank God for that.”

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New Music

“Burn It Down” appears on his latest album, Never Enough. Fans can expect to hear a few more tracks on his next album that were penned with The Love Junkies and followed a similar writing technique for McCollum, which he describes as “freestyle rapping” over a country melody. 

“The Love Junkies and I have only written together a few times, probably four or five times now…Lori McKenna is so good at making stuff up, just saying stuff and singing lyrics. I’ll do that and just rhyme and rhyme and rhyme and some of ’em are good and some of ’em are bad. It’s how I’ve written every song I’ve ever written, but most people don’t write like that. She’s really good at being like, ‘That’s your thing, do it.’ And she’s like, ‘keep going, keep going, keep going.’ It’s literally freestyle rapping. You’re just singing lyrics over a country melody,” he explained.

He recently got to celebrate his latest success on the charts when he performed the tune at the 2024 CMT Music Awards. Brittney Spencer joined McCollum as a special guest, and together, they lit up the Moody Center stage with a scorching delivery of powerhouse vocals.

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Promises His Best Record Is Yet To Come

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday (Mar. 19), McCollum updated fans on the status of his next full-length project, which has yet to be named, and expressed how proud he is of this new set of songs. 

“Studio tomorrow. Crazy to be recording my 5th studio album,” he wrote in the post. “I know for 100% fact that these songs and this record is best I’ve put together since the kid. Took me a long time to get back to this place as a songwriter. Feels good to be happy about my songs again.”

In addition to seeing himself advance as a songwriter, the rising star also explains he has been experiencing growth in his abilities as a performer and entertainer, which is something that didn’t come naturally for him. 

“I think just me as a performer, I’ve come so far…I think singing and playing guitar is very natural to me and writing songs, but entertaining did not come natural to me. Putting on a big entertaining show is something that I’ve gotten better and better. I still watch videos of it all the time and I’m like, golly dude, what do I have to do to be better? It’s just not good. That’s what I think when I watch it,” he admitted before adding, “I think just that side of it, working a crowd, you get better with it at time. But performing and having a smooth flowing set and being entertaining and being personable and not just looking like a robot every night and finding that little something different, that little magic each night, it’s out there somewhere. You got to go get it and it’s harder to find some nights than others. I think I’ve gotten better at that. Maybe not very good at it, but it has improved a little bit.”

Parker McCollum; Photo by Chris Kleinmeier
Parker McCollum; Photo by Chris Kleinmeier

Parker McCollum is taking those self-evaluations and implementing changes into his sets throughout his current 41-date Burn It Down Tour. Named after his latest fan-favorite, the trek features stops in headlining arenas and amphitheaters alongside special guests Corey Kent, Larry Fleet, George Birge, and Catie Offerman.

A complete list of upcoming dates can be found HERE

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.