You can’t step up as one of country’s most exciting new stars without knowing exactly what you’re about. Lucky for Big Loud Records breakout artist Morgan Wallen, that quality runs in his blood.
With his debut album, IF I KNOW ME, the hit maker behind “Up Down” (ft. Florida Georgia Line) and “The Way I Talk” lays his cards out on the table: Work hard. Love hard. Party down. Respect the past and make your own future. … Know yourself.
“I’ve never been the type of person who’s good at getting my feelings out, so for me music is a way to do that,” Wallen explains. “I just hope people get to know me and see my true colors.”
Still only 24 years old, those colors have already started to show. Working with a vocal blend which marks the spot where interstate blacktop changes over to gravelly, Smoky Mountain backroads, Wallen’s a rock and hip-hop loving country boy with a sound straight out of the modern South.
He mixes boondock bangers, amped-up anthems and sensitive, shade-tree poetry like a one-man playlist. He’s a fireball onstage, thrilling stadium crowds with superstars like Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan and headlining his own 2018 Up Down Tour. He’s a chart-topping songwriter with his name on tracks like Jason Aldean’s “You Make It Easy,” a Grand Ole Opry performer and an artist on the fast track with over 100 million Spotify streams, earning the respect of legends like Bill Anderson and country’s new generation at the same time.
Born and raised in the tiny, two-stoplight town of Sneedville, Tennessee, Wallen began singing in his father’s church at 3 years old and was writing songs by 18, melding a variety of influences right from the start. Sneedville is the home of bluegrass icon Jimmy Martin and Wallen went to the same high school as Kenny Chesney. But while his mother loved Christian music and he was into rap, his dad was a hard rocker all the way – laying the foundation for his son’s own fearless creative identity.
“It’s not something you would expect – a Southern Baptist preacher who loves Bad Company – but I think that’s part of what makes him genuine,” Wallen explains. “He wasn’t the kind of preacher who was throwing judgment toward anybody. He just found a way that helped him and he wanted to help other people, and if he liked a little rock-and-roll, then so be it. I looked up to it all.”
That willingness to break the mold peppers IF I KNOW ME, filled with equal parts confident charm and heartfelt vulnerability. Wallen co-wrote 6 of the album’s 14 tracks, working with established country hit makers like Craig Wiseman and Jessi Alexander, up and comers like Michael Hardy and crossover-rap tunesmiths like Ernest K. and Ryan Vojtesak (Kanye West, Young Thug, Post Malone).
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