Ashley caught up with rising country star, Rusell Dickerson, for a Q&A during week 2 of the Home Team Tour, where he’s opening up for Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini.
You’re in DeKalb, Illinois tonight, how’s the tour been going so far?
Last weekend was our first weekend and it exceeded every expectation. Coming into this, I didn’t know that every show was sold out. So the fact that every night we get to play to a sold out crowd is the best feeling.
Tell us a little more about your backstory. What have the past couple of years been like for you?
When I released Yours, I’d been on the road for 5 years. I loved just playing shows and meeting all the people who are buying my music but once Yours came out everything just exploded thanks to XM Radio and Spotify. It blew up even without any actual country airplay. Things happened so fast and I’m super excited to partner up with country radio now and just take this to the next level.
When you were first starting out, was there ever a plan b if you didn’t make it in music?
There was never a plan b, and there’s a post on my Instagram about when I signed my record deal where I was like “this is what never having a plan b looks like.” If I would’ve, then I wouldn’t have made it this far. I never even was close to having a plan b.
I feel like going through that process and dedicating yourself to it like you did can result in more inspiration for music in itself.
Absolutely and I hope other people can be inspired by this as well. Everybody says never give up your dreams, but literally never give up on your dreams. You never know what’s gonna happen in the next month or next year.
You’ve had a chance to tour with some great artists like Canaan Smith and David Nail. Who were some of your biggest inspirations along the way?
Canaan is a great example of perseverance. I learn a lot from Florida Georgia Line too and how they’re very particular about their team. There’s so many things I can pick up from each artist and now that we’re out on the road with Thomas Rhett I’m super inspired by how he runs his ship.
Have you been able to connect with a lot of fans on this tour so far? I imagine you’d hear a lot of personal stories.
Oh yeah and that’s one thing I really love to do. After the show I go out and meet as many people as possible. Last night they pretty much kicked us out because our line was so long, but they’re spending their money to be here and the least I can do is take 45 minutes to give everyone a hug and say thanks for coming.
Let’s talk about the wedding craze of Yours. Did you ever expect it would be such a popular song for people to get married to?
No, that was never even on our radar. We just wrote a love song, a true honest love song about my wife and I, and I think that’s why it’s been such a big thing. People can pick up on genuineness super easy and if we would’ve tried to write the “next wedding song” then I think people would have sniffed that out.
Your song Blue Tacoma is getting really popular too.
Yeah, that one just kind of happened naturally as well. We were never pushing that song, people just connected with it a lot at live shows. Spotify helped a lot. It’s actually in the movie Logan, the new X-Men movie that’s out today.
That’s huge and it seems like opportunities like that always come along when you least expect it. What has felt like the biggest moment of success to you so far?
I think about that a lot, actually and I don’t think there’s been one giant moment for me yet. Maybe one day I’ll sell out Madison Square Garden. But for right now I appreciae success day by day, like being on this tour and my song reaching 30 million Spotify streams. Number one on country radio would be a huge milestone for me.
If you could put together any tour you wanted, who would be on your dream lineup?
Garth Brooks, and I would bring Michael Jackson back from the dead.
It’s so funny you say that because there are so many more country and pop mashups happening now than ever before.
Absolutely, I think that’s huge for country right now because whether traditionalists like it or not country music is becoming more and more popular and relevant to overall society. Thomas is a huge pioneer of that, and Florida Georgia Line is too. All of these massive artists right now are making the genre more and more popular. You can’t be a fan of country music and be opposed to that, that’s my theory anyway.
Definitely and I think people are starting to adjust more to the idea that there’s no “typical country” because it’s changing so much and we just have that much more opportunity to discover new artists.
Right, that’s like saying if someone doesn’t sound like the Beatles then they’re not pop, it just doesn’t make sense.
What else can we look forward to from you for the rest of the year?
I just finished recording my first full length album, and that will be out this fall. Yours goes to country radio on April 24th so that’s going to be my main focus for a while. We’re geared up for one of the biggest years of my life. I’m so excited.
For more from Russell Dickerson, follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @russelled, and visit http://www.russelldickerson.net/ to see when the Home Team Tour is stopping by a city near you.“Yours” is available on iTunes and Spotify worldwide.