It was a dream of becoming a songwriter that first brought Shreveport, Louisiana native Jordan Davis to Nashville in 2012. A lot has changed for 2020 ACM Best New Male Artist of the Year nominee since moving to Music City. From signing a record deal with MCA Nashville and racking up over one billion streams of his debut album Home State to touring the country playing for fans and notching three consecutive No. 1s with Platinum-certified “Singles You Up” and “Take It From Me” and most recently “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot,” one thing has remained constant for the breakthrough hitmaker, his love for the craft of songwriting. That passion continues to drive his latest project, a self-titled EP out May 22.
“We closed Home State with ‘Leaving New Orleans’ and it was one I almost didn’t record…I got too caught up in the lyrics and worried if you were not from New Orleans you wouldn’t be into the song. But at shows across the country people would sing the chorus back to us. The location didn’t matter to them, it was the meaning behind the lyrics that struck a chord. I wanted to lean into that and create more songs like it for this project.”
Davis toes that rare line between commercial viability and intricate songwriting. A paradox of reflective and feel-good, he proves the two are not mutually exclusive with his new EP. Teaming once again with Home State producer Paul DiGiovanni, Davis delivers the catchy hooks and the sing-a-longs that have become his signature, with tracks like “Ruin My Weekend” and latest single “Almost Maybes” written with songwriting heavy weights Jesse Frasure and Hillary Lindsey, while going deeper with the personal “Detours” and spiritual “Church In A Chevy.” It’s an artistic dichotomy Davis has been aware of since he started listening to music as a kid.
“When I was little I never got to be in charge of the music on a family road trip,” Davis notes. “My go to guys were John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Don Williams…that’s who I grew up loving but that wasn’t necessarily getting the party started, you know? Then when I went to college, I got really into Usher, John Mayer and Maroon 5. Still love ‘em!”
From Prine to pop, you can hear both musical influences bubbling under the surface of Davis’s work, a constant creative tug-of-war where there are no losers, just a growing fan base anxious for new music and an artist ready to give it to them.
“Home State is over two years old…I was ready to get new music out,” Davis continues. “I wanted to create a bridge between the two albums…a nod to where we’ve been and a preview of where we are going.”
Currently off the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis is relishing extra time at home with wife Kristen and daughter Eloise. Constantly writing new music, he is hard at work on his next album and its life’s changes, both personally and professionally, that continue to inspire Davis’s writing.
“Touring the country and sharing Home State with the fans these last couple years, I’ve realized we all have a lot more in common than we think,” Davis reflects. “It inspires me to be more honest when I’m writing because if I’m going through something…chances are so is someone else. Every time I step in that writer’s room it is an opportunity…an opportunity to create something that resonates, that lasts, and that hopefully makes a difference.”