If you think Mason Ramsey has forgotten how to be kid in the midst of his meteoric rise to stardom, think again.
There may not be a more quintessential 11-year-old on the planet, and if you’re like most of us, that’s a relieving and welcome thought; because fame can make things messy. And is it really better than a delicious chocolate malt on a summer day?
Although I’m not very well versed in sports or cars, I do know my ice cream and my country music history, which proved to be a fine place for Ramsey and me to start on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in East Nashville.
After completely schooling me in a rousing game of Monopoly (I went to jail on the second roll) he made up for it by buying us both the best chocolate malt we’ve ever tasted at The Soda Parlor.
As we sipped and sat together, trading hilarious one-liners and telling ghost stories about the Grand Ole Opry, Ramsey filled me in on life: he’s still in public school back home and drives down to Nashville for meetings and appearances and such. His grandfather still makes his favorite barbecue and he’s still quite upset about LeBron James officially becoming an L.A. Laker (Aren’t we all a little bit?).
Girls are becoming a “thing” in his world now, and when my protective nature kicked in mid-conversation, he was quick to assure me he still had his wits about him.
“Don’t worry,” he told me with a confident and mature look on his face. He’s keeping his head on straight.
I asked Ramsey if he was excited about his debut EP Famous being released into the world, and he just smiled and shyly said, “Yeah.” Making the EP came with its perks. “They had video games at the studio—that was a really cool part of making it!”
Also pretty cool and definitely a perk is having superstar writers penning songs for you. Ramsey’s current single, the title-track “Famous,” was penned by Sarah Buxton, Canaan Smith, Corey Crowder and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard…not a bad way to kick off a career.
“You know I’ve never heard it on the radio! I guess it just plays when I’m not listening to it,” he told me.
That “problem” will no doubt easily correct itself in no time.
Ramsey’s EP also boasts another original “The Way I See It,” along with three Hank Williams classics: “I Saw The Light,” “Jambalaya (On The Bayou),” and the fan favorite “Lovesick Blues.”
Ramsey had a chance to meet Hilary Williams, Hank Williams, Jr.’s daughter and Hank Sr.’s granddaughter, during an Opry appearance, where she presented him with a one-of-a-kind commemorative poster of the icon and thanked him for carrying on the tradition of her grandfather’s music.
“I’ve still got it! It’s hanging up in my museum thing-a-majiggy,” he said excitedly.
So, does he get nervous performing in the circle at the Opry? After all, it’s the circle where Hank and so many others once stood.
“Are you crazy? No!” he joked to me. “I got a standing ovation the first time and then at the Ryman, too,” he recalled.
Spoken like a true seasoned veteran. All that’s left for him to do now is celebrate all of these tremendous moments and the release of the EP, which arrived at digital retailers today.
By the way, I’ve officially retired from ever interviewing adults again.