Interview with Brett Eldredge: ‘Beat of The Music’
By: Markos Papadatos
People have always asked me: “If there was one country song that would describe your life best, which one would it be?” My response to them has always been Brett Eldredge’s “Signs,” which hits home to me due to my upbringing in Aigion City, Greece, where I lived from 1994 to 1998.
Atlantic Nashville recording country artist Brett Eldredge revealed that he has never been better. “It has been an awesome week,” he said.
He was just nominated for “New Artist of the Year” at the upcoming Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards, which will take place on April 6 in Las Vegas and they will be co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. “I was doing a photo shoot when they announced it, so I never smiled that big for pictures in my life. I didn’t have to fake a smile for any of those photos. It was pretty cool experience to be able to hear your name out of that great pool of artists. It’s an awesome thing for my career and it is fan-voted, so they really spoke out for me. That keeps me going and it makes me want to go and see them out on the road,” he said.
His previous single “Don’t Ya” reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts and his latest single “Beat of The Music” sits at No. 18, for the week ending February 22. “Having your first hit is really cool and now that you can release another song and I’ve been fortunate that ‘Beat of the Music’ is moving up on the charts pretty quick, in a good way. The opportunity has been amazing. When I go out there and I hear people singing back the song, it adds another energy to the show,” he said.
He celebrated “Don’t Ya” going No. 1 on the country charts by going skydiving, where he and his team members jumped out of an airplane on August 27 outside of Nashville, Tennessee. “I did that skydiving thing and people think that I am the biggest daredevil on the planet,” he said.
Eldredge is getting ready to embark on two tours: Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight Tour,” as well as Keith Urban’s 2014 “Light The Fuse Tour.” “Life is good right now. It has never been better with the whole music world and sharing it with my friends and travelling the country,” he said. “I’ve known Billy for quite a while and I love the soul that he puts in his music. It’s a great opportunity to go on tour with him. It’s a great way to meet new fans and be out on a really cool tour. We got to play several shows with Keith Urban in Canada and his concerts are incredible. I think Keith is everything that an entertainer should be and he is at the top of his game.”
Eldredge either wrote or co-wrote 11 out of the 12 tracks featured on his debut studio album Bring You Back.
He listed “Mean To Me” and “One Mississippi” as two of his personal favorite songs on his critically-acclaimed CD. “I love singing the lyrics to ‘Mean To Me’ and I love writing that song and it has a really cool message. I love it when there are beautiful girls in the crowd singing it back. ‘One Mississippi’ is a big power-ballad and it’s all about the lyrics. It’s just me and the piano on that one. It’s a magical and emotional journey,” he said.
Yet another song that stands out to Eldredge is “Signs,” which takes him on a trip back to his hometown: Paris, Illinois. “Every line of that is true to my hometown,” he said. “Whenever I am homesick, this song helps me go home for 3 minutes and 20 seconds.”
Speaking of Paris, Illinois, on December 22, the country star was honored with his own “Brett Eldredge Day,” where the town’s new sign states “Home of Nashville Recording Artist Brett Eldredge,” and he subsequently received a proclamation from the governor of Illinois and a key to the city. “I have never, ever imagined to have my own day. That is the greatest feeling since growing up that town was all that I knew. It was my world and it still is. It was hard to take it all in. It is something I’ll never forget, for sure,” he said.
This past Thanksgiving, Eldredge performed on the Domino Sugar float in the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. “I grew up watching that parade my whole life. It was great to see all the floats such as Snoopy and it was exciting. Although it was freezing, there was so much energy there. It was great to see how many people came out for that. Everybody was wishing each other ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and everybody was so happy and now I want to do this every year,” he said with a sweet laugh.
His breakthrough single was the emotional ballad “Raymond,” which deals with the subject matter of Alzheimer’s. In its music video, the woman in the song, Katherine Davis, is suffering from dementia and she calls Eldredge’s character “Raymond,” which happened to be the name of her son who passed away as a result of the Vietnam War. Eldredge’s character tries to stay strong for Ms. Davis while she is in the nursing home and he is doing his best to fill in “Raymond’s” shoes in any way he can.
This tune was inspired by Eldredge’s own grandmother and in return, he is a huge supporter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “It’s hard to watch people with Alzheimer’s. It’s tough on families and it helps families cope. I try to do anything I can to help find ways so that other people don’t go through that,” he said.
Throughout his career, Eldredge has performed on such television shows as “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Today,” “Live with Kelly & Michael” and “Fox & Friends.” He has also penned songs for an array of artists that includes Trace Adkins, Gary Allen, Jake Owen, Hank Williams, Jr. and Neal McCoy.