Who’s New: Russell Dickerson

Age: 29
Born: Union City, Tenn.
Lives: Nashville
EP: Yours
Single: “Yours”
Twitter: @Russelled
Instagram: Russelled

With a father who was a choir director and a mother who taught piano, Russell Dickerson cultivated a deep-seated love of music from a young age that eventually took him to Nashville’s Belmont University, where he studied music. Russell landed a publishing deal after college and earned his stripes by playing local honky-tonks before releasing his 2016 EP, Yours, which includes the title track that has garnered more than 31 million on-demand streams. 2016 continued to prove fruitful for Russell as he served as the opener on Billy Currington’s Summer Forever Tour and made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Russell has continued his surge into 2017 as he joins Thomas Rhett’s upcoming Home Team Tour and gears up for the release of his debut album.

Musical Roots

“It was a really cool thing to grow up in a musical environment because every day I would come home from school and Mom was teaching piano and I’d see her play piano and it made me want to be a better musician. My dad was the church musical director, so I really couldn’t escape music, not that I wanted to.”

Tennessee Melting Pot

“I think just being raised in the South, music is all around you. Where I was born—in Union City, Tennessee—there were cornfields everywhere and so we used to play hide-and-seek in cornfields. You hear that laid back, good ole country lifestyle in songs and it relates to those times. Nashville gets a rep for country music, but when we moved here as a kid and growing up here, there was all kinds of music to be exposed to in a big city, everyone from Lil Wayne and Michael Jackson to Garth and Tim McGraw. It was all these different styles I was exposed to so those influences of country, pop and R&B are all there.”

“Yours” Truly

“People just connected to my single, ‘Yours,’ and shared it and it became this wedding song. We didn’t write it for that. We weren’t like, ‘Hey, what would couples love to hear for their first dance?’ But it’s turned into the perfect first-dance song. It was just writing an honest love song. I wrote it with two people that had seen my relationship with my wife from day one and so it was just this super honest love song and I think that’s what connects with people. It is an honest love song because when you meet that one person, it changes you.”

The Billy Way

“By touring with Billy [Currington], I learned how he runs his business and we’ve never been treated so well by a staff. Every person on his team was going over and above, and I realized that when I have that many people on my touring staff, that’s exactly how I will run my ship. The atmosphere of playing in an arena is incredible, too. Just learning how to make everyone in the crowd feel engaged in that huge arena setting is an invaluable lesson.”

Opry Debut

“Making my Grand Ole Opry debut [in June 2016] was one of the most emotional periods of my musical career because it had been a thing in my head for so long and we found out a month or two before we were playing, so I had a while to think about it. It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, you’re playing tomorrow night.’ I had this time to sit with it and understand the gravity of it because it’s been a thing that I wanted to do for so long, and then as I’m standing there before they call my name to come out onstage, there’s just like tears streaming down my face and I was just like, ‘What the heck?’ I was just like crying and it was just very, very emotional. It had a lot of gravity to it.”

New Music in 2017

“I just finished recording vocals last week for the full-length album and it’s definitely in the same vein of that very energetic sound. There’s some fun, crazy songs, but there’s also some more serious life songs and some sexy jams in there. I think it’s a very accurate representation of me and my life and where I’m at right now. I wrote all of the songs, and we’re hoping to have it out in the back half of 2017.”

photo by THIEL Audio


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