615 Spotlight: Chris Janson's 'Better I Don't' Follows Tim McGraw Success

Chris Janson
Kristin Barlowe for Bigger Picture Group

Chris Janson has seen his career heat up in major fashion over the past year. As a writer, he enjoyed his breakthrough success with Tim McGraw's "Truck Yeah," and he is finding favor with radio programmers nationwide, as his current single "Better I Don't," is No. 49 on the Country Airplay chart this week.

"I've got a great team around me, and they watch it more than I do," the Bigger Picture artist admitted. "When I'm home, I'm writing songs – keeping my head in the game – my nose to the grindstone. I try to keep my mind motorized and going. The song is going to do what it's going to do. It's in a higher power – in God's hands."

The single was co-written by Janson, along with Pat Bunch and his wife, Kelly. What's it like writing with his spouse? "It's the best thing ever," he says, smiling. "She's my best friend and a great writer. The number one best person to pull things out of me that you would want to know. The synergy was great. It was the first thing we ever wrote together."

"Better I Don't" was produced by the legendary Keith Stegall, who has Alan Jackson and the Zac Brown Band to his hits credit list. Janson says there is no one he would rather be working with on the other side of the glass. "He was the first person – along with my wife – to tell me 'Just be your own person, and forget everything else. Do it the way you want to do it.' That was the biggest turn-on about working with Keith Stegall to me. He's a gem to work with, a good man, and an excellent music guy."

As much as he loves being an artist, he doesn't take songwriting for granted. When asked what it was like last summer watching McGraw take his song up the chart, he didn't miss a beat. "It's twice as cool, and extremely humbling, thanks to Tim for that. It was my first major cut. I would have been happy with just an album cut, but it turned out to be his first single for Big Machine, my first top ten, and first Gold record. It's an incredible honor – something every songwriter dreams of."

Janson has written with some musically diverse talents. "I wrote my first songs with Guns N Roses, which was kind of random, but was awesome. There is nothing better than being in the Nashville songwriting community, and being able to get respect everyday from writers like Jim Collins, Casey Beathard, or Bill Anderson – He asked to write with me! What an honor that was," he says, admitting that he was somewhat awestruck.

With the single gaining traction, Janson is excited for fans to hear his album. But, he's taking one step at a time – thankful to have a single that fans can hear. "I'm so thrilled to have product that my fans can get their hands on and play in their trucks or cars," he said, admitting his fan base has been loyal – having been there since he released "Til' A Woman Comes Along" for BNA back in 2009.