Easton Corbin visited the MusicRow office to accept a MusicRow No. 1 Challenge Coin for his 2015 hit, “Baby Be My Love Song,” from his third album About To Get Real. Jim Collins and Brett James penned “Baby Be My Love Song.”
“I just loved the melody of that song,” says Corbin. “It was like, ‘I can listen to this over and over again, and it doesn’t get old. It has a modern feel to it, but it still is country.”
The past six years have been a whirlwind for the Mercury Nashville singer-songwriter, who earned consecutive No. 1 hits from his 2010 debut, bringing a more traditional country sound back to the radio with “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.” His sophomore album, 2012’s All Over The Road, produced the hits, “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” and “All Over The Road.”
His current single, the earnest ballad “Are You With Me,” paints pictures of drinking margaritas under a Mexican sky and chasing down dreams with a significant other. The track originally appeared on All Over The Road project, though the song wasn’t selected as a radio single. Still, Mercury Nashville and Easton were sufficiently convinced of the single’s radio hit potential to include the song on About To Get Real.
“I believe in the song and everyone on the team believes in the song. I was hoping at some point we could give it a chance to be a single and so that’s why they let me move it over to this record,” says Corbin. “It’s about adventure and it’s a love song, about throwing all caution to the wind. Just throwing it all out there and not worrying about what happens.”
Before “Are You With Me” finally got its run at country radio, the track (well, at least the first four lines) became a bonafide smash overseas in 2014, thanks to Belgian DJ and record producer Lost Frequencies, who sped up the track and remixed it as an electronic dance song. “Are You With Me” topped the music charts in Belgium, Australia, Germany and other countries, and found multi-platinum success.
“That was so random,” recalls Corbin. “My buddy called and told me that and I was like, ‘Are you sure?’”
This year, the majority of Corbin’s time has been spent on the road, opening for Carrie Underwood’s juggernaut of a tour, The Storyteller Tour- Stories In The Round.
By the end of 2016, Corbin will have performed nearly 100 shows as part of the Storyteller Tour, one that finds him entertaining fans with a 360-degree, in-the-round setting on a massive stage.
“That stage is the biggest stage I’ve ever been on and a lot of moving parts,” says Corbin. “It’s been a really awesome experience.”
He says maneuvering the stage and in-the-round format also requires some careful planning. “There are some spaces and gaps where you have to be really careful or you could hurt yourself. So just learning the stage was a big challenge and we really didn’t get to rehearse with the stage much before the tour. Also, making sure you get to all the folks around the stage during the performance within the 45-minute set.”
As Underwood and Corbin launch the fall leg of the tour, which runs through Nov. 28 at West Valley City, Utah, Corbin also has a few ideas for switching up his set list and keeping the music fresh.
“There will be some surprise covers I do out there,” says Corbin, noting fans can expect a non-country cover. “It’s something nobody would ever think I would sing.”
He notes that while he’s occasionally included covers of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” and DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” in concert, but doesn’t mean he will be straying from his traditional country sensibilities anytime soon.
He concludes, “The way I do it, if I put my voice on anything it’s going to sound country and the way I approached it, it’s a country song. It shows a bit of dynamic, like ‘Hey, I can do that too.’ I’m not trying to be pop at all, trust me. But if it’s a good song, it’s a good song. And I think ‘Are You With Me’ is a prime example. It’s an EDM song too. It’s a country song, but you can do it the other way and people still love it.”
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