Earlier this year, Billboard shone the spotlight on Dustin Lynch as part of our "615 Artist Spotlight" series. It has been a sensational ride for the singer since, with his "Cowboys & Angels" single climbing steadily throughout the spring and summer (currently at No. 11 on the Billboard Country Songs chart). Tomorrow, it gets even better for Lynch, as he releases his self-titled debut album on Broken Bow.
In an exclusive interview for Billboard, the singer said it has been a year to remember. "Life is good right now," Lynch said with a smile.
Releasing his debut disc will also be a huge moment for the Tullahoma, TN native, he tells us. "Moving to Nashville nine years ago, it was my goal to make a country album. I will be in line wherever I'm at. I've put so many hours into writing it and recording it, so I'm interested to see what songs people start taking a liking to. We tried to make a well-rounded album that you can listen to from top to bottom."
Lynch wrote or co-wrote ten of the thirteen cuts on the album, and one that has made an impact with the crowds at his live shows has been "Name On It." He said his audiences have made it one to watch.
"It's a song that has already taken off -- even with the record not being out. Every time we do the song live, people are screaming back the hook. I think what it is that they can relate. I wrote the song about what I love to do - go out with some friends, have a few drinks, get out on the dance floor and hoot and holler. It's the essence of our live show. If you come out to our live show, you're going to get a rockin' good time that takes you away from the reality of life for a little while."
Another part of Lynch's reality this year was making his Grand Ole Opry debut. "I told myself that I would never set foot in the circle unless music took me there. When John Conlee called me out and introduced me, I walked out and set my foot in the circle, (a wooden circle taken from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, the Opry's home from 1943-1974) and got chills all over. It was a moment that was a blur because I was so elated to be in it, but after my two songs, I leaned down and kissed it, because I wanted to soak in as much as I could," he said.
With "Cowboys" poised to possibly crack the top ten in the coming weeks, Lynch is not letting the success get to his head.
"It's been amazing to see what the power of 'Cowboys and Angels' has had for us out on the road. My favorite thing to do at the shows is go out after, and meet the fans that have given us the chance to live out our dreams. Lately, that has been two hours a night, and that has been amazing. What's really cool is to hear their stories about what the song means to them, and what the other songs we play means to them. I love getting to know the people that come out to see us!"