Women in Music 2016

Jake Owen Teams With Salt Life, Talks Upcoming Tour

Wortman Works
Jake Owen (left) and Salt Life president Jeff Stillwell. 

RCA recording artist Jake Owen has a new marketing partnership that he has just entered into -- one that fits him like a hand in a glove. The singer known for such hits as "Alone With You" and "Beachin" has teamed up with outdoor lifestyle brand Salt Life for a marketing agreement that might be a perfect fit for both parties. 

"I have actually worn their clothing for several years now," Owen tells Billboard. "I've just always been a fan of what they do. It's really cool to have a partnership with them."

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The singer said that his lifestyle -- and the Salt Life target audience -- is one and the same. 

"Growing up in Vero Beach, my leisure time was spent either on the beach or on the river," he said. "That whole idea of salt life is really interesting because it's not just on the river or the beach, but rather the whole lifestyle of just being around the water. It's fishing, surfing, going to the beach and any kind of performance sports. They make sunglasses, tank tops and T-shirts. You will see girls as well as guys wearing it. It's great that people show that's their lifestyle and it's their way of sharing."

For Owen, the 'Salt Life' is a way to get away from the rigors of a music business that be very crazy at times. 

"I think we all need a place to unplug and get a relief," he said. "For some people, that's going to a movie or hunting. For me, anywhere there's water. Sometimes, if I have a few days, I might slip off to the Bahamas -- or Center Hill Lake, outside of Nashville. Those places could not be any more opposite in terms of atmosphere, but I get the same release from going to both spots. I love going there to relax and turn my cell phone off and hang out with my friends and family. That's very important to me."

Salt Life will also be sponsoring Owen's upcoming headlining tour and he said that the partnership will give fans more of an idea of who he is as an artist, but also as a person. 

"I've worked for a lot of years to build a brand as an artist where people can understand my persona and what it is that I enjoy," he said. "To be able to align myself with a company like Salt Life that complements how I live is going to be great. I think it will give the fans an insight about how I live my life away from the stage, too."

 
The tour will be his second headlining stint, following 2014's successful Days of Gold stint. Over the past year, Owen has been a part of the Kenny Chesney stadium tour, which has allowed him to pick up a few more pointers from the performer. 

"To watch him and how he runs his business has really been a learning experience," he said. "I'm able to take those things and implement them going forth." 

Owen plans to use some of what he's learned in the future. "We have a lot of tricks up our sleeve this year that will be different than our previous tour," he said. "We've had some more hits and we're currently working on a stage set. It's going to be something I've looked forward to for a long time."

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A song that will no doubt be a part of the upcoming show will be his current single, "Real Life," which hit No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this month. Owen said it's a song that there is no middle ground on. 

"It's a polarizing song and I knew that before I put it out," he said. "That's what I'm enjoying the most about it -- there's folks who love it and some who hate it. I have come to realize that I like that, because it creates passion one way or the other. It's been my fastest-rising record so far and selling well. It sounds different from anything on the radio and it's a great addition to my catalog of hits that I've had."