This moment is an especially interesting time in country music, as there are so many new names popping up on the charts, and every single one of them has a new way of looking at love and life, adding another important voice to the genre. The past few years have seen several stars break out, and there next few could be huge for any number of artists who have already found some success with debut albums and surprise hit singles.
One name to watch closely is Mitchell Tenpenny, who has been promoting his debut major label album Telling All My Secrets for well over a year now to great success. In addition to spinning off his first top 40 hit on the Hot 100, “Drunk Me,” he has recently pushed a new cut “Alcohol You Later” and even a poppier, danceable version of “Drunk Me,” which is an unexpected move for a country musician.
Mitchell talks about his breakout year and what he has planned next to keep the momentum going.
Last year was really huge for you. How did it feel to finally release your major label debut?
Mitchell Tenpenny: It felt good! It was a dream come true to finally put out something we worked so hard on for so long!
Throughout the past two years or so, you've released some songs as singles, then re-released them as your fan base has grown. How does it feel seeing people catch on to songs that have been out for so long?
Tenpenny: It’s crazy! I think the best part about it is to see everyone singing the songs back to me when I’m on stage. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Tell us about the story behind "Drunk Me," your breakout hit.
Tenpenny: It’s about quitting drinking to stand a chance of getting over somebody. You’re heartbroken and you go to drink, but then they’re even more on your mind, so you realize maybe stopping is the best option.
The song did really well on the charts, and you've just re-released it as a remix. What made you go that route?
Tenpenny: We just wanted to put it out in a way that no one has ever heard it before and I think it turned out amazing. R3hab put an amazing spin on it, while keeping it authentic.
In addition to making your own music, you've written for other people as well. Do you prefer to write for yourself or other musicians?
Tenpenny: I prefer to just write the best song I can, and if that means it’s better for someone else, then I’m always down to let that happen.
Who is someone you'd love to write a song for?
Tenpenny: John Mayer would be a dream come true. I’d love to write it with him if I could!
Is there a piece of music, either recorded by you or by someone else, that you're really proud of?
Tenpenny: I’m proud of my song “Walk Like Him”. I knew I always wanted to write a song to honor my dad, so when it finally came to fruition it was beyond special!
Your album is now almost half a year old--what's the plan to keep promoting it?
Tenpenny: Just to keep pushing “Alcohol You Later” to country radio and keep integrating songs from the album into our live set!
What does the rest of 2019 bring for you?
Tenpenny: Gah 2019 has a lot more to come! Just excited to keep traveling the country and meeting everyone who believes in what we’re doing!