The music of Jake Owen has always gotten attention, though for the past few years, it’s been mostly his uptempo side that has come through on the radio in hits like “Beachin,'” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” However, his current single, “What We Ain’t Got,” (currently No. 23 on the Hot Country Songs chart), showcases a different side of the singer. He admits that the simple and direct nature of the song is somewhat of a risk, yet one he feels was worth taking.
“I’ve had a record deal at this building for about ten years,” the singer said at a press conference last month at RCA’s Nashville offices. “It’s wild to think that, but I want another ten. I never wanted to be the guy who had a hit and seemed to fit in at the time because that’s what is working. ‘What We Ain’t Got’ isn’t what is working right now. There’s no other slow piano ballads on the radio. But, to me, it was a calculated risk because I felt like I have worked hard enough and have been blessed enough to gain the audience that is listening now to be able to put this song out and to have a chance to add to my career, and maybe some validity.”
Billboard.com has an exclusive performance of Owen singing “What We Ain’t Got,” performed live at the Billboard Studio. Watch below.
Owen says regardless of where the song lands on the charts, he’s glad to be the messenger. “If the song goes top ten or number one, that’s great. People are taking a risk on a song that isn’t the mold of what is working right now, and they are playing it because it’s real,” explains Owen. “But, it also shows the power of great music, and it shows the songwriters in town that you can still write great songs like this and have them be heard on the radio. I’m so happy that this song is opening up doors.”
The singer will hit the road with Kenny Chesney later in 2015.