Sam Hunt’s Pretty Serious About His Music Taking a More Traditional Turn
There have been a lot of changes in Sam Hunt's life and music lately, and the "Downtown's Dead" singer says there are more to come. Hunt shot to fame with his hit "Body Like a Back Road" and has become an icon for blurring the lines between pop and country, but that's not all he is. Hunt says he wants to get back to the foundation of the musical genre that he identifies with.
"As I continue to write songs, I may lean on country roots I think a little more than where the culture is going, musically," Hunt tells Taste of Country in a backstage interview at the 2018 Taste of Country Music Festival. "So I don’t know how that will work out, ultimately, but I think it will be fun for me to kind of create a more pure version of the music that’s been influenced by my country background."
Hunt's headlining show at ToC Fest played out like a country flashback. It's the first time that traditional country has been the centerpiece of one of his shows, and it marks another turning point for the record-breaking artist. Covering classic hits including "Brand New Man," "Heads Carolina, Tails California," "Goodbye Earl," "Where the Green Grass Grows" and "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up," Hunt was unapologetically trad-country for most of the set.
Hunt's trademark style has earned him a devoted fan following and paved the way for many non-traditional country musicians to break into the scene, but he says that even though he found a solid niche, he's hankering to go back to the traditional style he grew up with. He lists Tyler Childers, one of The Boot's 2018 Artists to Watch, as an artist that he's been listening to lately.
"Tyler Childers is a good example of someone who inspires me as a songwriter and I want to make a record like that at some point, potentially," Hunt goes on to say. However, he adds that he's nervous to wander too far away from his own style: "Sometimes I hesitate to deviate too much from what we’ve been doing because I don’t know if my fans’ tastes are as eclectic as my own as a songwriter."
Hunt says that he's working on lots of new music, but a sophomore album hasn't come together just yet. His latest single, "Downtown's Dead," is available for download now, and he's promised a new single, "Nothing Lasts Forever," in the very near future.
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