Russell Dickerson reveals his most authentic self on his just-released self-titled album.
Not only is Dickerson a co-writer on all 15 tracks of his third full-length collection, but he also served as co-producer alongside Dann Huff, Zach Crowell, Casey Brown, Josh Kerr, Ben Johnson and Alysa Vanderheym.
During the creative process, the “Forever For A little While” singer took the hands-on approach to the next level, making sure to capture that “100-percent me” element he wholeheartedly strives for in his career.
“I know these songs are bangers ’cause I love them. I’m excited to play every single one of these songs live and that’s it. I don’t have to worry about like, ‘are they gonna like this? Are they gonna think I’m really a country? Am I gonna fit in with the cool country people?’ No, it’s Russell Dickerson. Take it or leave it,” he said in a statement to Country Now.
Dickerson starts things off on a strong note with “Blame It On Being Young,” a youthful track that wraps up all the best memories from growing up into one account. Based on its separation from Dickerson’s usual stylings, the song is a prime example of the different course he took with this collection.
“I just really wanted to kick it off with a different vibe, something that was kind of surprising. Like, oh, this isn’t your typical, big RD love song or up tempo whatever,” he shared. “I feel like it’s such a well-written song, but also a heartstring puller. It gives you the nostalgic feels and all that stuff. I mean, it really is one of my favorite songs and one of my most played in my demo folder. So I was just like, ‘You know what? If I’ve listened to this song a million times, somebody else might.’”
The rest of the album contains themes of romance, high energy and pure honesty drawn straight from Dickerson’s massive catalog. In addition to “Blame it On Being Young,” fans got a hint of what the album will sound like from his previous releases, “Big Wheels,” “I Wonder” and “She Likes It,” ft. Jake Scott, which has earned 200 million streams worldwide to date.
“I was up to 25 plus songs and then we sat down in the management office and put all the titles on a piece of paper and started building the album. There would be songs left out like ‘no, this song has to be on there.’ And then I’d pull one out that I didn’t have as much of an emotional feel, like it could be like a fun song, but just doesn’t really do it for me.”
Although he assisted in co-producing all three of his full-length projects, this one, in particular, gave Dickerson more freedom and allowed him the opportunity to be more involved. When reviewing the songs for consideration, the country star made sure to stop and ask himself, “Is that Russell Dickerson?”
“I was at the console the entire studio session talking about like ‘no, I actually didn’t like when you played that or what if you did this?’ And you know, just constantly back and forth with making it sound like what I wanted it to sound like.”
He added, “I also think involving five different producers on this album, I really had to step up in the production role to be that common denominator for the kind of cohesiveness of the whole album. Each producer brings their own personality and their own vibe and me stepping in there is kind of that like Russell Dickerson filter that all these songs go through in the production.”
For the Tennessee native, success is not measured by an artist’s ability to go with the flow and only produce what’s popular. Instead, he feels he has achieved success when he pushes the boundaries and sometimes goes against the grain to create the music that feels right to him. This thought process helped him retain the confidence to trust his gut on his decisions.
The result is a project filled with Dickerson’s genuine talent that provokes the listeners’ deepest emotions to come to light and follow the sound of his Inimitable vocals and striking melodies.
“Format comes into the question all the time. Like even some of my closest co-writers are like, ‘well the format is really, really country right now. So we should lean into that. Like they’re not gonna like this, you know, what you’ve been doing.’ I’m like, ‘No. I’m gonna be me. I wanna do my thing. I’m gonna be the Russell Dickerson that everybody knows and loves and I’m not gonna cave in. I’m not gonna follow whatever trend is going on cause it’s gonna change.”
This album follows Dickerson’s four back-to-back chart-topping singles including, “Yours” (3X Platinum), “Blue Tacoma” (2X Platinum), “Every Little Thing” (Platinum), “Love You Like I Used To” (Platinum) and his most recent single at platinum status, “She Likes It” ft. Jake Scott.
Russell Dickerson recently wrapped up a sold-out tour in the UK and now, he’s currently preparing to head back on the road one more time this year. His next set of shows will be held in the US for his headlining She Likes It Tour with special guest, Drew Green. The trek kicks off on November 17 in Indianapolis, IN and wraps on December 10 in Denver, CO.