Why Granger Smith Didn’t Share New Song

Holding “Happens Like That” for Official Release Date

You’d think that if you went to a Granger Smith show the night before his new single was released, you’d be one of the first to hear it.

But that’s not at all how it happened on Thursday night (May 18).

Smith played an intimate acoustic show at a Kmart store outside Chicago, and he explained why he wouldn’t be playing his new song “Happens Like That.”

“We have a brand new song coming out tomorrow, but I’m not gonna play it,” Smith told the crowd packed in tight around the stage in the outdoor living area of the store.

“I have very strict rules. Everyone has to experience it at the same time.”

Before the show started, Smith told me the story behind the song, and a little bit more about why he was keeping it to himself until the whole world could hear it on Friday.

“With social media the way that it is, if it gets out there before we can control what people hear, and if an acoustic version of the song goes viral and is the first one everyone sees, that’s not good,” he said.

What Smith did share with me, though, was what it was like at the writing session back in November.

“We were on tour with Florida Georgia Line, and I had some of my favorite writers — Jordan Schmidt, Justin Wilson, and Andy Albert — with me,” he said. “(FGL’s) Tyler Hubbard, I know, was a little bit jealous because he didn’t have any writers with him, and he loves to write.

“So that morning at breakfast, Tyler said, ‘Man, if you guys get on something, will you tell me please?’ So at lunch we started a new song, and I texted him and said, ‘We’re on to something.’ And he opened my bus door 30 seconds later, and we wrote the song right there on the bus,” Smith said.

Smith’s tour continues Friday night in Grandview, Missouri. And now that the song is officially out, he will be officially adding it to his set list.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.