With the release of his debut album, Montevallo, newcomer Sam Hunt is finally seeing his big dreams realized.
Having already marked gold-certified success with his first single “Leave the Night On,” Hunt admits it’s an overwhelming feeling. And so is being called one of the hottest new artists on the country scene.
“I am feeling the pressure,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown . “But only when I hear that from reputable sources, ’cause I really am not aware — I guess — of the reach that we’ve had this summer. But it’s really cool to get that response. We work really hard to get people responding like they are.”
In addition to “Leave the Night On,” Hunt’s album features a variety of musical influences.
“It’s really just a product of us all having the same taste,” he told CMT Listen Up about writing songs and putting the project together with his team. “We’ll have song ideas, we’ll pull up tracks or beats, things that just really inspire us musically, and we just try not to put any boundaries on where we can go.
“It’s gonna always be rooted in country because that’s what I’m mostly rooted in, but experimenting is fun and inspiring, so that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s the approach we’ve taken to making the record.”
Though he’s taking the spotlight as a solo artist for the first time, Hunt is not exactly new to the industry. He’s already penned hit songs for Kenny Chesney (“Come Over” ), Keith Urban (“Cop Car” ) and Billy Currington (“We Are Tonight” ).
“Those were songs that I was writing during this time when I knew I wanted to make a record, but also I was all for having (other) artists record my songs,” he said. “There’s a little bit of a delay between having an artist cut a song and having it reach the radio, and I got to watch that process up close — the recording, the radio release, the albums coming out. So the last year and a-half has been exciting.”
Hunt says the opportunity to hit the road on tour has also been exciting. He kicked off CMT Tour: Up in Smoke with Kip Moore and Charlie Worsham in September and will continue through November at venues across the U.S.
“They’re as good of guys as they are musicians,” Hunt declared. “Their shows are great. We’ve just been hanging out, having a ball.”
For more from Sam Hunt, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 1-2) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.