Newcomer Baylee Littrell On Taking His Own Path

CMT Hosts the World Premiere of the Music Video for "Don't Knock It"

You only have one first video premiere: that’s just one of the million thoughts racing through Baylee Littrell’s mind today.

The newcomer is celebrating the world premiere of his debut music video for the single “Don’t Knock It,” and to say he’s over the moon is an understatement for the Georgia native.

“Right now, I’m living the dream. Getting ready to drop a record, dropping my first music video…I’m living the dream, I’m on cloud nine,” the singer told CMT.com.

It started when a handful of songs landed from Florida Georgia Line’s publishing outfit Tree Vibes Music. Littrell knew “Don’t Knock It” was for him from the moment he heard it.

“It was the first song I heard,” he said. “I was really excited when I heard it. I was like, ’man, this really describes me and my life at home, my family. Let’s cut it and see how it sounds.’ Well, it was on hold. A couple of months later, I was cutting some more songs in Nashville and my producer told me, ’you remember ’Don’t Knock It?’ I say, ’Yeah. I really love that song.’ He said, ’Well, someone took it off hold. If you want to cut it, we can.'”

And the rest, for Littrell, is history. Now it’s the first single. And this video debut is a monumental moment in time, an opportunity for him to pursue his dream while carrying on a family legacy, on his own terms, of course.

“I think this song kind of shows that I’m going on my own path, and that I’m not going to fake who I am at all,” he said. “This is my life. I’m a Georgia boy, I grew up in Georgia. It’s my lifestyle.

“I was raised on country music. My grandpa is from Athens. I was raised on Georgia football and country music,” he continued. “My grandma is the same way, and my mom is a diehard Bulldogs fan. She would play me Travis Tritt, Randy Travis, and Tim McGraw, and then my grandma would play me George Strait, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. It was surrounding me and I knew it was the path.”

Littrell admitted filming the video for the single was a little more difficult than he expected. Videos are tough; days are long, it’s more awkward than we could ever realize and not nearly as glamorous as you’d think. Even still, Littrell spoke with the excitement and gratitude as he talked about the memory of the day.

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More photos from the set of #dontknockit

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“I was so nervous to do this video,” he said. “I was thinking to myself, ’what am I gonna do? What do I do when I’m just lip singing to the camera and everyone is jamming out? It’s gonna be so awkward!”

But he had a very special team at the helm of the shoot: his mother, actress Leighanne Littrell, who wrote the treatment for the video with her husband, Baylee’s dad, Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell.

“My mom directed it,” Littrell revealed. “This was her first music video directing job and she was incredible. I was like, ’My mom is the bomb,’ he said with a laugh.

And that’s not all.

“We didn’t hire one person for this gig, except the crew. All my friends were in the video. Amber Davidson played my girlfriend in the video and we’ve known each other since we were nine years old. My best friends Nate and Aidan are in it, so many of my lifelong friends are a part of it. I thought, ’You know what? If I’m going on this journey, they’ve gotta come to.'”

Littrell even got a chance to hop behind the camera with his mom to help direct and set up scenes and film.

For Littrell, the single and video debut is a monumental moment in time, an opportunity for him to pursue his dream while carrying on a legacy, on his own terms, of course.

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