While he was backstage at a recent show, David Nail saw a copy of Billboard Magazine. He began to wonder as he picked it up if this could be the issue that his "Let It Rain" would be listed as the No. 1 song on the country charts.
"I could feel the suspense coming up," said the MCA Nashville recording artist. "I knew the chart was going to be toward the back, and I wondered what the odds were if this was going to be the issue. To see my name listed there, along with Jonathan Singleton as co-writer, was a great moment," he said at a press conference at Nashville's ASCAP offices on Monday celebrating his chart-topping success.
The press conference took place immediately preceding the No. 1 party for the song. Nail said his emotions were running very high that afternoon.
"For the past few weeks, everyone has asked me what it feels like, and I say 'It's great, it's great,' but it really didn't sink in until this morning. I've been to a few of these, and I've always wondered why I was there. It started hitting me today. I'm sure I'll look around and see a lot of people here, and I'll be a little more emotional than I wish that I were."
The song had a record-breaking run up the charts. It took forty-nine weeks to climb all the way to the pinnacle -- nearly an entire year. Nail said despite the slow climb, his optimism regarding the song remained.
"I always had hope. I'm a worrywart, so I'm always a bit more stressed out than I should be or wish I was. I think that - without getting too spiritual - that the good Lord had a plan, and sure, I wish things had moved a little quicker, but I'm sure that the people who have twenty to twenty-five week number one records wish it was fifteen. I guess you always think it's greener on the other side. But, whether it was a twenty-five week or a forty-nine week ride, it's just as sweet. My philosophy has always been that I hope I have a good enough day to give me another one, I hope that I have a good enough year to give me another year. I know that's clichéd, but it's the truth in how I approach my career."
The success of the single has also helped spike sales of his sophomore disc "The Sound Of A Million Dreams," and also increased the attendance at his shows. "It's been wild because I think with a few exceptions we've had sell-outs this year, which is very surreal as I say it. Obviously, when you have a record this big and has been on the charts this long, it's been great. I think the most gratifying thing has been that we play 'Let It Rain' fairly early in the set, and you always wonder when you get that really big applause, and they sing it so loudly, I remember the first few shows being nervous if the fans would remember 'Red Light' or 'Turning Home.' It's definitely enhanced things and helped our show a lot."
Still, the singer says that he recently had dinner with a fellow artist, and that helped put things in a proper perspective. "I had dinner with Luke Bryan the other night, and he referenced the fact that he only had to play two album cuts off his record (during his show). I thought 'That must be nice. Here I am with three or four singles to spread out over a set, and forty-three of your fifty minutes are hits," he said with a grin. "So, that keeps you humble, but I'm not fulfilled yet or content. I think this motivates me to have more of these moments," he confessed.
Nail is touring to promote his album - both on his own, and also with pop sensation Gavin DeGraw for some dates in March. "I'm a huge fan," he says. "I remember buying his first record at what was Tower in Nashville. I told myself that it would always be a thrill and honor to go out on tour with someone like that. From following Gavin, it seems like he has a strong appreciation for Nashville and our format. For the last six to twelve months, I would hear people ask why a pop act doesn't go out with a country act. I always thought in the back of my mind that would be a cool thing. Hopefully, I think it will cause us to step our game, and maybe we can convert some people to not just me, but also to recognize there's a whole host of people they need to pay attention to."