You might not have heard of Jordan Davis before his breakout hit “Singles You Up” hit the radio this past spring, but he’s been working on that song and the others on the his debut album Home State for five years now.
The Louisiana native sat down with the Hustler to discuss that songwriting process and his music ahead for his upcoming Nashville show. Davis is opening for Kip Moore on one of the final stops of Moore’s “After the Sunburn Tour” this Saturday, Nov. 17 at War Memorial Auditorium.
Read more to learn about Davis’ music influences and his favorite restaurant in Nashville.
Vanderbilt Hustler: Your debut album came out earlier this year. Which song from the album best captures your sound and your take on country music?Jordan Davis: I’d have to say either “Leaving New Orleans,” which is one of the last songs, or probably “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot.” I feel like those are lyrically really who I am, we wrote those songs really strong and I feel like the sound and production is what gets across who I am as an artist.
VH: You co-wrote all of the songs on Home State. What was that process like? Who did you enjoy writing with?
JD: It was a long one. Some of those songs are almost five years old—some of them are five years old. I think there are probably ten co-writers on the whole album, and I enjoy writing with every single one of them. You know, I had my favorites that I just really enjoyed sitting down and kind of seeing them write songs. When you get a chance to be fans of these guys and then they kind of become idols, then you sit down in a room with them and write songs with them, it’s kinda cool. But it’s tough to say that I enjoyed one write over the other one for Home State, just because I had so much fun making this album. It’s kind of tough to pick a favorite one—they’re all good friends and people that I look up to.
What are the major influences on your music?
JD: I always lean more towards songwriters. I grew up with my Dad listening to guys like John Prine and Jim Croce. So that was where it started. And then as you grow up you get introduced to different genres, especially in an era where music is so accessible. You get introduced to Southern Rock, the Black Crowes, the Allman Brothers. And R&B finds its way to influence stuff. It’s just kind of a mixed bag.
VH: Is there a song from another artist that you admire and wish you would have written?
JD: There’s a whole lot of those. I always go back to some of those early songs. There’s a song called “Hello in There” by John Prine that I like a lot. But then there’s new songs. There’s a guy named Foy Vance, an Irish singer-songwriter that I’m a big fan of. He’s got a song called “She Burns” that I’m a big fan of. I feel like I could name any artist and name some. There’s a lot of good artists out there.
I guess my latest obsession or song I wish I would’ve written is probably Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers.” I think that’s an incredible song.
VH: So you’re playing the War Memorial Auditorium on November 17th. What’s special to you about performing in Nashville?
JD: It’s kind of like coming home and finally getting to play a home game. We don’t get to play in Nashville too much. We spend a lot of time travelling all over the country, and spending time away from our friends and family. So this is a fun way that we get to come back home and not only see them and get to sleep in our own beds, but also get to play for a lot of people that have helped us be out on the road. My record label is in Nashville, my management company is in Nashville, my publishing company, so it’s a chance for us to go home and play a show for a lot of people that allow this thing to get off the ground and go.
VH: You’re touring with Kip Moore—what’s that been like?
JD: Kip’s one of the good ones. I’m glad to call him a buddy. He’s taken me out [on tour] twice now. I think that was one of the coolest things, when we got the call to come back out with him for a second tour. That meant a lot to me, that he thought that much of us to want to have us back out. I’ve developed a real good friendship with Kip. He’s very passionate, loves his music and always puts the music first. As a young artist, to see somebody that’s done it and been as successful as Kip and has continuing success, it’s good to have those friends that you can look up to and stop on the way to soundcheck to ask questions, like I did today. That kind of advice is priceless.
VH: I got a Kip Moore CD stuck in my car last year, so I could only listen to Kip Moore when I wanted to listen to a CD, but I didn’t mind.
JD: I’m telling you, he’s got some great music out and is continuing to put out some great music. It’s pretty cool.
VH: So changing topics—what is your favorite restaurant in Nashville?
JD: There’s a whole lot of them, but the one that we continue to go back to is Lockeland Table. It’s on the East side, it’s just a spot that me and my wife like. We don’t live too far from it, so we can go and have as many drinks as we want and are still able to get home. I’m kidding, we Uber, we never have too much to drink. But the food’s incredible, it’s a cool little Nashville spot. Anytime we go out to eat, we usually go to Lockeland Table.
VH: Last question—what are some of your plans and goals for 2019?
JD: We’re out with Old Dominion starting early in the year. So I can’t think of a goal that I can set that’s gonna beat going out and touring with those guys and opening a tour for them. So I’m pretty satisfied with where my touring is at. I never dreamed in a million years— I’m such a big fan of those guys and I have been since I moved to Nashville.
But my main goal is to write another record—to finish another record. I started the writing process, and I have a couple songs that I’m really really fired up about. But these things take a long time and I want to get my fans some new music to hopefully have them fall in love with like they have Home State. So that’s my immediate goal in 2019, is to make another record that I’m really really proud of.
Tickets are available via the TPAC box office here.