Interview: Jimmie Allen discusses his Journey to success, the meaning behind Slower Lower and playing in the UK for Country Music Week

US Country Singer/Songwriter Jimmie Allen is not only one of the most promising artists in country music today but he is also one of the most inspiring. From Milton, Deleware, Jimmie has worked  incredibly hard to get where he is today. Determined to work at his dream alone, Jimmie moved to Nashville and just when things were going his way, he found himself homeless. Living temporarily in a car and living off little to no food, Jimmie did not let this hardship break him and he pushed himself even further. Jimmie has released a mini docu series called the All In series where he takes us on a journey of his childhood, his struggles and his current success. Watch the series here

Through years of hard work and determination, Jimmie eventually landed a record deal with Stoney Creek Records. Releasing his debut self titled EP last year which included his single Best Shot, Jimmie has also released a series of songs for his Slower Lower Sessions.

Jimmie will make his UK debut during Country Music Week in October where he will play various shows including the Bluebird Cafe Sessions and supporting Chase Rice on his UK tour.

We caught up with Jimmie to discuss his journey, his record deal, the meaning behind Slower Lower, playing the UK and more.

Enjoy!

Hi Jimmie how are you?

I am doing good, you?

Great thanks. Tell us a little bit about yourself and choosing a career in country music.

I grew up in a place called Milton, Deleware. For those who don’t know it’s south of Pennyslvania, south of New York City. All my dad listened to was country music so growing up, that was the first style of music I was exposed to as a child – so I just fell in love with it. Over the years I fell in love with rock and pop, R & B and hip hop but I realised country was for me and music is what I wanted to do. Music was always something I wanted to do as a kid as I was playing drums, I played in musicals in school, played piano,guitar and so on.

You moved to Nashville with no plan and at one point ended up having to live in your car?

Yeah, I lived in a trailor first for a little while and then the car.

You touch on it quite a bit in your documentary series which I have found really interesting and it is also really inspiring. One of the things that was inspiring about your story is that you didn’t rely on anyone and that you set out yourself to make a career despite the odd struggle. That must feel quite humbling to have achieved what you have achieved through all that and on your own?

Yeah, it’s been great to finally have my career going in the direction that I want it to go in. Like you said, I have spent so many years wanting to rely on other people but didn’t want to rely on people only for them to not let you down necessarily but nobody wants anything for you more than you. It feels really good to be able to say to myself that I was smart for betting on myself and not quitting.

I agree.

Do you find your experiences have changed you as a songwriter?

Definitely! I think anytime that you fight or struggle for something that you want, it makes you appreciate it that much more – you build character and apply it to whatever the job is whether it’s songwriting, whether it’s being an athlete or a school teacher. I have a friend who took the test to be a teacher and failed it twice but went back to do it again and are now in my opinion one of the best teachers in the world. If you stuggle and fight for what you are doing, you appreciate it that much more and you don’t take it for granted because you realise how hard it was to get where you are.

On to your debut EP – talk us through that and putting it together, what songs to choose, what your goal was etc

For me I try to write the best songs and find the best songs out there that tie into my sound and the story that I want to tell. The goal was to share those stories of love and believing in yourself and not giving up. If there is anyway that I can inspire people through a song then that’s what I want to do.

Tell us about being signed to Stoney Creek Records? What happened the day you signed, did you celebrate?

It was great. It was something I had been working towards my entire life. For me, after I got signed I just went home and played playstation because I had worked so hard for so long and I just wanted to take that day to just relax and reward myself with rest.

I don’t blame you.

Lets talk about the video to Best Shot – there seems to be a lot of childhood footage in there

I wanted to cover what is most important to me and what keeps me motivated and for me that’s my family and my upbringing so I wanted to have them in the video to focus on that.

The song is quite personal to you I believe?

Oh for sure. The song talks about making mistakes in relationships but learning about them at the same time and ways to become a better person which then makes you a better friend, a better neighbour. Some advice my Grandma gave me years ago in High School was in there mixed with personal experiences and working on ways to be a better person. 

And you always wear her scarf on every show?

Yes, it is in my back pocket every show.

Tell us about your Grand Ole Opry debut and that standing ovation.

Yeah I got to play there for the first time May 4th. It was great – me and my band were all super nervous before we walked out there but it was great. To stand on that circle where so many country legends had stood and so many more will stand, to be able to join that group was amazing.

Tell us about where you grew up and why it is known as Slower Lower?

Oh so I am from Southern Delaware and people up North, they are closer to the city and they say we are country bumpkins so they have always called us Slower Lower.

Speaking of Slower Lower, tell us about the slower lower sessions- the song Warrior seems to be quite meaningful? It is about your mum?

Yeah so I wrote Warrior about my mum and my grandma. The song is about how strong they are.

What was your mums reaction when she first heard it?

She teared up a little bit and told me it was a great song and thanked me for writing it.

Tell us about the song 21.

21 is a song Brandon Hood, Josh Jenkins, Ash Bowers wrote but when I heard it it painted a picture of the town I grew up in so I wanted to use it for The Slower Lower Sessions to tie in with the personal memories of my hometown.

You are releasing a song a month which I believe is leading up to a full album?

Yes, we have a full album coming out but they will be all new songs, none of the songs from the Slower Lower Sessions or current releases.

You will be visiting the UK soon for Country Music Week which we cannot wait for

Yes. We are playing a few shows and I cannot wait to see the UK country fan base.

Thanks for chatting today

Thank you see you soon.

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