The 27-year-old Alabama native has been producing hits for Thompson Square and Parmalee since his early 20s, but now he’s keen to share his voice with the country audience.
Fanning is set to hit the airwaves next week with his version “Drink You Away” from Timberlake’s monster The 20/20 Experience album.
And Fanning’s version is anything but a simple “cover.” It’s a fine reinvention, a retelling so good, it prompted a great quote from Timberlake after he heard it.
“I never thought I would hear a song I wrote on country radio,” Timberlake said. “My granddad is smiling from a bar in heaven.”
Now Aldean’s support of the budding star reaches back a little more. The superstar’s connection comes through three very special guys — Rich Redmond, Tully Kennedy and Kurt Allison — Fanning’s co-conspirators with their New Voice Entertainment production team.
They are the “dream team” responsible for Keifer and Shawna Thompson’s No. 1 hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and Parmalee’s “Carolina,” to name a few. Now they’re up for the task of turning one of their own — Fanning — into a country star.
Making music truly is a family affair for all of them. Fanning says for as long as he can remember, Aldean has always been supportive of their efforts as individuals and as a group, even when it means “borrowing” Redmond, Kennedy and Allison to play for him onstage. Fanning doesn’t take that encouragement for granted.
“Jason’s known me for six or seven years now, and I think he wants to support whatever,” Fanning said. “He’s fine with everything. … He’s just a good guy.”
He’s apparently a good guy whose goal is for everyone to share the spotlight.
“I think he wants to see Tully and them (succeed),” Fanning said. “He’s always been supportive of all our acts. He brought Thompson Square out with him. I think there’s definitely gonna be support there.”
Obviously, having the support and encouragement of one of country’s hottest and biggest stars as you make your debut is a dream come true. Something tells me there’s about to be even more support from country fans when the single for the Red Bow label officially hits country radio Monday (April 28).
Fanning is daring to do something a little different for this debut, but when the risk is right, you have to take it and trust your instincts. That’s exactly what he did with “Drink You Away.”
“He [Timberlake] heard it as a gospel, R&B thing,” Fanning said. “And when he wrote it, that’s what he did with it. … It took me a second to rearrange the song, but once I did it and we did it so quick, it felt so right.”