Even before his success as an artist, Swindell was gaining traction as a songwriter, contributing several songs to Bryan’s series of Spring Break EPs and having other songs recorded by Thomas Rhett , Scotty McCreery, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young and others. Still, the Georgia native told Alan he’s unaware of all of the terminology the record and radio industries use in compiling chart numbers.
“Man, honestly I don’t know enough about the points and stuff yet,” replied Swindell. “But I will say it’s different than having a song you’ve written for another artist on the chart. I do keep up a little more with it because it’s my name on there. It’s my song. And, you know, this is what I’ve worked so hard for. So, of course, I want to know what it’s doing.
“But they say it’s a good thing to not get too wrapped up in it, so I try not to look at it too much. I get updates from family and stuff. They figured it out faster than I have.”
Swindell followed up the single’s release with the premiere of his first music video, and paralleling the success of the song itself, the “Chillin’ It” video is steadily rising on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.
“I love seeing tweets every morning, no matter what time it is,” he said. “‘Cole Swindell on CMT’ — it’s awesome to hear that.”
Swindell is also getting a great deal of support and guidance from pal Bryan. Currently opening shows on Bryan’s That’s My Kind of Night tour, Swindell once sold T-shirts and merchandise at Bryan’s shows. He says he learned a lot during that time but hopes fans aren’t expecting him to dance like his mentor.
“I don’t think my dance moves are worthy of comparing,” Swindell joked. “I saw somebody started off an article the other day. It said, ‘Complete with awkward, white-boy dance moves,’ and I thought that was perfect. I was like, ‘Man, that’s great.’
“It’s not really dance moves. I just feel it, and I’m having such a good time. That’s the biggest compliment I ever get is somebody saying that it looks like we’re having fun. Because that’s what I tell the guys every night — ‘Let’s go, this is our last one.’ And I think it translates to the crowd.”
For more from Cole Swindell, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 8-9) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.