C2C Festival 2019

Interview: Adam Hambrick talks playing C2C Festival, writing How Not To for Dan + Shay, New Music and more

If there is one thing country music fans love then it is a songwriter and Adam Hambrick is a well established songwriter having penned songs for Justin Moore (Somebody Else Will), Lindsay Ell ( Waiting On You), Eli Young Band, Miranda Lambert and Dan + Shay (How Not To) to name a few.

Adam released his debut single as an artist last year titled Rockin’ All Night Long and is released via Capitol Records Nashville / Buena Vista Records. The song was inspired by his now three year old daughter when she was a baby and had to be rocked all night long. Now that is something I as a parent can relate to haha.

Adam grew up in between Mississippi and Arkansas and cites his influences as Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, John Mayer and The Foo Fighters. Adam grew up singing in a church where his father was a Baptist pastor and his mum played piano – so music was pretty much with him all the time and in his blood.

Adam graduated from the University of Central Arkansas and made an appearance on Good Morning Arkansas where fellow Arkansas-native and country star Justin Moore happened to be watching. Justin was so taken by Adam both as a vocalist and as a songwriter that he got his producer Jeremy Stover to get in contact with Adam. This prompted Adam to move to Nashville with his wife and pursue a career in music full time.

As well as writing an impressive number of songs for other artists, Hambrick has also shared the stages with artists including Brett Young, Jordan Davis, LANCO, and more. Adam is currently working on his debut album with producers Andrew DeRoberts (James Blunt, Miley Cyrus) and Paul DiGiovanni (Blake Shelton, Jordan Davis).

Adam is playing at C2C Festival this year and we cannot wait to hear the stories behind some of the amazing songs that he has written both for himself and other artists. Adam will be a real treat to see.

We caught up with Adam to discuss C2C, his start in the music industry, the story behind How Not To and more.

Since we spoke to Adam, he also released his single All You, All Night, All Summer.

Listen to All You, All Night, All Summer here and purchase it here

Listen to Rockin’ All Night Long here

Purchase Rockin’ All Night Long here

Hi Adam – how are you?

I am doing good Hannah.

How has your week been as you have just been on vacation at Disney World right?

Oh my goodness yes we have. We got back from vacation on Saturday night and the week was amazing. My little girl is three so she is really into the Disney Princess’ and so we got to take her to go meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen; we got to take her to see other characters; she got to dress up like a princess in the Magic Kingdom and we had the best time. It was all my family; my parents; sister and her kids, it was awesome!

Sounds it. That was Florida yes?

Yes. It is one of those things that’s is more like Trip rather than a vacation because you come back exhausted. We walked some 35 miles over the course of the week according to our fit bits.

So, you will be coming to see us soon for C2C which is so exciting. What prompted that decision?

Well I think the country audience that is in the UK is my kind of audience. I feel like people are music fans there and they are fans of songwriting and songwriters so it feels like a good fit with what I do for one. Then the other is, why would you not want to go over and play for a London crowd who is going to be appreciative?  So it was kind of an easy decision when we got the offer.

Well you hit the nail on the head because we absolutely love songwriters and hearing the stories behind the songs. We sing to album tracks and not just hits.

That is exactly what I have heard and I have heard that from multiple people. Jillian Jacqueline is a friend of mine and that’s what she said. She said that people in the UK know all of her music and not just the radio single. I guess it just works different over there? Radio doesn’t really drive like it does in the states?

We don’t really have country radio apart from our independent stations and Bob Harris who plays an hour a week. We make the effort to find the music and to really listen to the artists and what they are about and all they have to offer. We are album people. When Jillian first came over she said “I am barely known and people are singing every word to every song back to me.”

Yeah! Well that is amazing. I am really looking forward to the trip.

As a songwriter, you will have so many people really properly listening. Will you be doing a mix of your own music and music you have written for other artists?

Yeah yeah, we will probably do the Justin Moore song and the Dan + Shay (How Not To) song and then beyond that it will just be songs that are unreleased thus far and then a song or two from the old EP that is on Spotify that came out years ago. I will try to cover as many bases as I can. I just released my first single (Rockin’ All Night Long)  to radio in October and so people are still getting an introduction to what I am doing and what I am about so I will try to cover as many bases as I can.

Do you know what will go down really well and I really hope you do it. We are big Lindsay Ell fans over here.

Oh yeah? So do Waiting On You?

Definitely, definitely!

I bet we can do that.

You have a great story about your start being helped by Justin Moore right? Tell us a bit about that?

Yeah, well Justin has been so unbelievably good to me. I was just this guy writing songs out of my house in Arkansas which is about five hours away from Nashville and I was just making music on the side because I loved it. There was this part of me that was thinking that this was the dream that wouldn’t die. I was working a full time job but music was the thing that would not go away and was kind of tinkering on the side. So I made this record at home in Arkansas and I am doing some local promo TV in Little Rock and Justin just happened to be at home and just happened to be watching TV and he saw me and said “That guy is talented” and he made a phone call and ended up connecting me with his producer. His producer reached out to me and that turned into me coming to Nashville once a month for about a year and a half. I got cut on Justin’s record that came out around then (Off The Beaten Path) and cut my song that he did with Miranda Lambert called Old Habits. That was the song that opened things for me and then I moved to Nashville. It was unbelievable to get that phone call and get the ball rolling – it really changed the game for me, just the way it happened by chance. It was like winning the songwriters lottery. It feels like in a lot of ways, my wife and I were picked up from Arkansas and brought to Nashville.

Things like that make you believe in fate.

Yeah! I come from a pretty strong faith background and that really made me feel like there is somebody looking out for me.

He took the song Somebody Else Will to number one, how did that feel?

He did and that was one of the cool things that was like a full circle moment. He did so much for my career just by making that phonecall so for me to contribute something to his career and give him a song that did well for him in radio, that is unbelievable, that is a really cool thing to get to do. I can’t say enough about what a good guy he is. For one, how talented and under appreciated in Nashville he is. He is a great singer, great entertainer, a passionate dude, he is one of my favourite people.

You will have to tell him to come over here, he hasn’t been yet.

He hasn’t been yet? What is he waiting on?

I know right? You should both come over together.

That would be cool, I am up for it.

Good. So how did you celebrate the number one? Was there a number one party?

You know, funny thing, we never had a number one party for that song. I am really bad at celebrating, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself when good things happen sometimes haha. I remember that day when it went to number one. It was on the radio constantly and I was listening to the radio all day and I started that day with a cup of coffee and I sat down on my porch and just rehashed all the stuff that had brought me to where we were and when I moved to Nashville and the success so far, it was a good day. I am not a big party guy, I don’t go off Broadway and party, I like to take it all in.

Tell us a bit about the story behind writing How Not To. How long did it take till Dan and Shay picked it up and how did that come to be?

Oh man. How it got picked up is a funny story. I kind of forgot that I had scheduled a write that day. It was the last day of the year before I was going on vacation for Christmas and so I got a text from Paul ( DiGiovanni)  saying “Hey are we writing tomorrow?” And I was like “Eugh..I guess”. Haha so I showed up and I only had a couple of hours for that day. I showed up to write with Paul and Kevin (Bard) and Paul had this idea and we just started riffing on it . Before we know it, two hours later the song is done and it just sort of fell out. As we were writing it I kept going back to work on the melody and help contribute to lyrics and we kind of just ping ponged back and forth and in two hours the song was done. We came back and did the demo and that demo hung around for about a year. Rascall Flatts had it on hold for a long time.  The following January, January 2016 – Dan + Shay were going into the studio and they had space for one more song on their session and Dan emailed our friend Rohan and said “Hey Rohan, send me a hit, send me a song that you are digging that you think will work for this record” and he sent them How Not To. That was a fateful email because Dan + Shay took the song into the studio that day. It was a very fast process after the song had been written as it was on hold for a year. It went from Dan + Shay having never heard of the song to recording it for their album four hours later.

That is a great story, thank you so much. Now you have a new song out yourself called Rockin’ all night long which is inspired by your daughter?

That song was a song that I tell people is about the moments that are too good to sleep on and how that kind of changes from when you are a kid. When you are a kid you are just looking for this thrill and the feeling the freedom of being alive late at night gives. Those kind of moments sort of happen late at night and when you are older it is kind of the same thing but feels a little different. For me, it is an autobiographical song, it is very much my story and that’s why I love it so much, it is like the introduction to the stories I like to tell and the songs I like to sing. It was the first song that I wrote that had a nod to me being a dad. I am so pleased with the response from fans and radio so far and I am really proud if it and is my first single.

Have you written any other songs for her?

Yes. I find that more and more she is in every song, much like my wife and my family. They are all in these songs in some way, especially the song that I am writing right now. It is cool to see how the people that you love guide what you write. I have written other songs about being a dad. There is one song I can tell you about that will be on the record and it’s called Kill A Man. It’s about being a non-violent person but if push came to shove, I think everybody has it in them to stop a heartbeat for their kid.

Oh I agree. When you become a parent an automatic protection mode sets in place.

Yes.

I have been listening to your EP Wheels or Wings that you mentioned earlier and am enjoying that. Tell us a bit about that EP.

That EP was my first ever recording project and putting it out as an artist and trying to do it the Nashville way. I had been in town for about a year and we recorded that and it was our first effort. I feel like it was a good solid first effort of me figuring out what is my sound and what I am doing. It is really cool looking back and seeing the growth from that because we didn’t get any offers from any major labels and so I kind of stepped away from that and said that I am going to set this artist thing down for a minute and am just going to write. I kind of wrote with a bit of a chip on my shoulder for the next little bit and really just tried to figure out what made me as a writer. I then just started trying to write hits for country radio. Those songs off the EP were the first songs I really loved when I moved to Nashville and started writing professionally. It is kind of old now. There is a lot of stuff there which I have grown from. I am excited for people to get a taste of the new stuff. I have a new song out called All You, All Night, All Summer. I did a you tube version of that song about a year and a half ago and now we are putting out the studio version and I am looking forward to seeing how people react.

I know C2C will be brilliant for you and hope that the UK is going to be a regular stop for you.

I hope so too. I look at Jillian (Jacqueline) and what Charlie Worsham does over there and Cadillac Three. Friends of mine who are still dangling the spines of where they fit into the American country landscape but have such devoted following in the UK. It is amazing,  it seems like a really good place to start. I am looking forward to getting to meet you guys and play for you.

Well we look forward to having you. Thanks so much Adam and see you in March.

Thanks Hannah, see you soon.

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