Granger Smith will always remember the date of Feb. 27, 2016 — the day his “Backroad Song” topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
“It was a very special feeling,” he reminisces. “For the first time, I was able to attain something that you could stamp on history in country music and say ‘On this date, we had a No. 1 song.’ I’ve got some plaques on the wall at home that are very special to me, which means if it never happens again in my career, I could tell my grandkids that it happened on that day. That’s a big deal to me.”
Today (May 10) the Wheelhouse artist reveals he’s releasing a brand new single, “Happens Like That,” available worldwide next Friday, May 19. This will be the first single off a new album due out this fall. He and his team have high hopes that the song will follow in line with “Backroad Song” and his top 5 “If The Boot Fits.”
It might seem a little unusual to move on to a new project after just two radio hits from Remington, but the Texas A&M alum has always marched to his own drumbeat.
“We’ve always moved quickly on records. We were two singles into Remington, and obviously, that record is very special to me – as all of them have been. They are all little snapshots of my life. But, at the same time, I think it’s also important to keep things fresh and have new music out there, to keep the momentum going. Our diehard fans that bought the album the day it came out, they were coming off of an EP called 4×4 that also had four songs from Remington. So, there are people out there that have had the music for over two years now. I always want to cater to them first, and if they haven’t had new music for a while, I think it’s time they get some new music, some new stories to come out to see a show for.”
Smith says he’s never loved songwriting more than he does right now. “The approach to this entire new album is very unique from the way I’ve worked in the past. With any time I have during my days on tour, I have taken that opportunity to fill it completely with making music. Bringing writing friends out on tour has allowed the creativity to be so relaxed and free. There is a special camaraderie and in many ways, making music feels like it did in the early days of my career — a few buddies sitting around with guitars telling stories. Writing on tour, in the heart of all our fans, where ultimately the songs will be delivered, is a game changer for me. We can literally look out the window of the bus and write songs about the town where we are parked. That’s exactly how ‘Happens Like That’ was penned, sitting on the bus in a parking lot in Tacoma, WA, watching fans file into the show. I can’t get more connected than that.”
Smith is one of five writers listed on the track, alongside Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line, Jordan Schmidt, Justin Wilson and Andy Albert. “The song came from the idea that as soon as you sort of stop looking and are content with being single, that’s when the love of your life walks into your life. That narrative unfolded as all of us had lived it. It’s when we least expect it — it happens like that.”
In the studio, Smith had one goal in mind — make the chorus huge. “For me, there’s always an endless pursuit of chasing the energy from our live show, where everyone hits harder, plays louder. The tough part is trying to capture that for the records. ‘Happens Like That’ was one of the first songs we tracked for the new album and I’m really happy with the live room we captured for a darker groove, story-driven tune.”
The singer/songwriter takes time out from his headlining tour this fall to join Luke Bryan on his Huntin’, Fishin’, And Lovin’ Everyday Tour.
“Happens Like That” will be available for purchase worldwide on May 19 and impacts radio on June 12.