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Go Backstage With Jordan Davis, Conservationist Turned Country Hitmaker: Exclusive

Jordan Davis
Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic

Jordan Davis performs during the Tortuga Music Festival at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park on April 7, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

MCA Nashville recording artist Jordan Davis has become somewhat of a chart watcher these days with the climb of his debut release, “Singles You Up,” which is currently sitting at No. 37 on the Country Airplay chart. Watching his song take flight with radio has been entertaining for the singer. “A couple of weeks ago, when I saw it getting closer to that forty spot, I remember just thinking it was crazy. But, hopefully, it will be the first of many. I’m enjoying the first one a lot, it’s definitely worth celebrating.”

While “Singles You Up” continues to gain favor at radio, Davis released another song to digital retailers this month, as he tries to build momentum for the upcoming tour with Kip Moore and Drake White. “We just released a song called ‘Slow Dance In A Parking Lot.’ It’s one of my favorite songs that I have ever written. I wrote it with a guy named Lonnie Fowler, and we replayed his first date with his wife. It was the first song I wrote since I signed my publishing deal. It’s a song that means a lot to me. It’s something we wanted to get out before the tour started, and get some more music out to the fans.” The Plead The Fifth tour kicks off Oct. 19 in Bowling Green, Ohio. See what life is like on the road for Davis in this Billboard exclusive clip.

He admits that he hasn’t had a chance to listen to the weekly country music countdowns yet to hear his song and name mentioned, though he laughs and says that someone he knows is keeping him posted. “That’s one thing that my mom is calling me about these days,” he tells Billboard proudly. “She listens every Sunday, and has been asking when I’m going to be on there. I got to meet Bob Kingsley at the Radio Hall of Fame dinner, and told him that I’ve always been a big fan since I can remember. It will be a pretty cool moment for me when I get to hear Kingsley intro one of my songs. That will be an awesome feeling.”

Davis is enjoying seeing his crowds gradually grow as the single continues to climb. “Country music has some of the best fans in the world, ones that really love good music. We’ve put a lot of work into the song, and it’s good to see the payoff happening. As more people hear it, I think that’s one of the things I look the most at as opposed to numbers. I’m really pumped that more people are hearing it, and it’s really starting to take off live. We’ve been playing these shows, and we’ll do some of the other songs from the record – then do ‘Singles You Up,’ and you can see people light up, and think ‘Oh, it’s that guy.’ Everybody at country radio has been so supportive, and it’s been an awesome feeling.”

It’s a magical period for the Davis family right now. Not only is Jordan climbing the chart, but his brother Jacob is also watching his first single start to gain traction, “What I Wanna Be.” Jordan says the siblings are enjoying the shared experience. “We’re actually each other's biggest fan. He was one of the first to call me and congratulate me on hitting the top 40. It’s been so cool also that he’s part of the project, with songs on the record. We’re still writing together a lot, so it’s been cool to hit a lot of the same places. We’ve met a lot of the same people at radio, and have played some of the same stages.”

This fall, Davis will join Drake White and labelmate Kip Moore for the latter’s Plead The Fifth tour. He got a taste of how life on the road will be with Moore recently when he shared the spotlight with him and Tony Hawk at the Music City Skate Jam, a benefit for Kip’s Kids Fund, the Tony Hawk Foundation and victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. “When I first heard about it, I was stoked to kick of the fall with Kip, and to also meet Tony Hawk. That was crazy. I was never a skater, but I played his video games until I was blue in the face. To get a chance to meet him and help to bring people together to help out for hurricane relief was a lot of fun.”

Also fun for Davis is watching his alma mater play football, though it hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for fans of the Tigers of LSU thus far. Still, he’s very loyal to the home team. “I love LSU football, and the university in general. Being from Louisiana, on Saturday nights, that’s what you do – watch the Tigers play. I can remember my whole family being die-hard LSU fans. I graduated from LSU – me and Jacob both. I think we’re at a crossroads right now. Maybe they can turn around. I know that win or lose, the fans will still be there each Saturday at Death Valley. And, I’ll be watching them play.”

The singer-songwriter graduated with a degree in environmental science/resource conservation, and put his education to work before taking aim at Nashville. “I got a chance to work with some saltwater disposal wells when they drill for gas, a lot of times, they use saltwater to drill, and when they use it, they have to get rid of it. I was over the disposal wells in the middle of Louisiana. I also did some asbestos control work in the schools around my hometown. When I graduated from college, I went to work for an environmental group in Baton Rouge that dealt with residential erosion problems, which is a big issue in Louisiana. It was very much all over the board in environmental work. It’s something that I have a passion for, and believe in a better world for tomorrow,” he states.

What are the challenges of such a job? Davis admits there were a few. “First of all, there were a lot of long hours. Whenever I was doing the disposal wells, we would work around the clock. We’d work 48 or 72 hours on, and every two hours, you would have to go check the meters. I’d have to try to find time to take little power naps in between that. I would also have to say that it’s tough to get people to rally behind environmental work. Nobody thinks it’s their problem as much until it becomes their problem.”

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