Next Up Now brings together a variety of country music videos each week. Check out these artists and find out who their influences are — directly from the musicians themselves. Then come back each week to discover who you should be listening to next.
George Ducas, “Unlove You”
Influences: Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones
From the Artist: “I’m really proud of this entire album, Yellow Rose Motel. That said, to me “Unlove You” is one of the tracks that turned out really special. I believe it merges and blends the gap between traditional roots and modern country — and that’s a territory that I tend to explore, both as a songwriter and as a recording artist.
Aaron Goodvin, “Bars & Churches”
Influences: Eric Church, Keith Urban, Tracy Byrd & Bryan White
From the Artist: “’Bars & Churches’ is a once-in-a-lifetime song. What I think I love most about it is that it’s a real country song that doesn’t make anyone wrong for finding community wherever they choose to find it. This video conveys that idea beautifully — and with depth and hope. I also really do believe that no matter how long we live, we’re all searching- always…for something. ‘Bars & Churches’ is my ode to that belief.”
Bailey Hefley, “Dust on a Diamond”
Influences: Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Ed Sheeran, Queen, and Christina Aguilera
From the Artist: “I couldn’t be more proud of the way my first music video turned out. The video for ‘Dust on a Diamond’ was directed by Roman White, which was a dream come true! Filming it was one of the highlights of my music career thus far. When Roman sent the final product, I teared up a little because he truly brought this song to life.
“This video perfectly reflects what I wrote the song about. I was mentally abused and gaslighted by a pathological liar who didn’t know how to love. When I would try to leave him, he would run crying to my best friend and my mom so that they would convince me to take him back. I got so lost that a part of me truly believed I was the problem — doomed to want the player type and just unable to appreciate a ‘nice’ guy.
“Also, no one really reacted strongly when I told them the things he would do that seemed like major red flags to me, so I thought I was just going crazy and looking for flaws. Then one day he couldn’t outrun the truth, and I found out I should have listened to my gut all along. I left and felt at peace for the first time in years.”
Honey County, “Country Strong”
Influences: Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Allman Brothers, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Dan & Shay, Haim
From the Artist: “We were honored to take on this opportunity to write a song and create a video that celebrates our resilient country music community. We have so many friends that were affected by the tragic events that took place over the last two years and we hope that with ‘Country Strong,’ we can contribute to the healing and love that helps to bring us all even closer together.”
Chance McKinney, “Backyard”
Influences: Jake Owen, Trace Adkins, Will Smith
From the Artist: “We really tried to re-create the vibe that both women and men get from the song. To some, it’s a perfect ‘date night’ and to others it’s a ‘neighborhood party.’ Either way, we think we got you covered.”
Jontavious Willis, “The World Is in a Tangle”
Influences: Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson
From the Artist: “There’s so much going on in the world right now. We all have to figure out how to make the world better. We have to start working on ourselves on a micro level before we can fix anything on a macro level. Not even in a political way, just be better people, love one another!”
Tiffany Woys, “Spark”
Influences: Celine Dion, LeAnn Rimes
From the Artist: “’Spark’ was such a fun, high energy video to create! Instead of telling a typical love story that aligned with the lyrics, I had a vision of sparklers and fireworks, making it more about having a fun summer day and night with friends. I am so happy with how it turned out, and I hope everyone loves it!”