Thomas Rhett was ready to solidify his place on the country charts and knew he needed an undeniable smash of a radio single to do it. He found it with "It Goes Like This," and after a weekend appearance with Jason Aldean at the Hollywood Bowl, Rhett will be performing the song Monday (Oct. 21) on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
Rhett's previous single was the poignant yet slightly controversial ballad titled "Beer With Jesus." If it was a mixed bag for many listeners, it had to be the title. However, a deeper listen would have eradicated any question about the song's spiritual leanings since the lyrics had little, if anything, to do with alcohol.
Regardless, it was time for Rhett to move forward and step up his radio airplay game. Enter a track called "It Goes Like This," an infectious, hooky midtempo song that became Rhett's first single to top the chart. Interestingly enough, the seasoned writer actually didn't have a hand in writing this one. However, his dad -- hit singer-songwriter Rhett Akins -- co-wrote it with Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Robbins.
"I knew we needed a really big hit after 'Beer With Jesus,'" Rhett told CMT Radio about selecting "It Goes Like This" as a single. "I knew we needed a really monster hit song. I knew the song was a hit. I did not know that it was a big of a hit as it is now. ... Thanks, Dad!"
Before becoming one of Nashville's most successful songwriters, Akins had several hits during the '90s, including the No. 1 single, "Don't Get Me Started."
Sure, a little help from a famous father goes a long way, but does it make climbing the music business ladder easier or more difficult?
If anything, Rhett probably feels more pressure to deliver because of his father's track record. Dad could certainly help him grow as an artist and make business connections, but will that compromise his integrity and independence as an artist? Will people still take him seriously?
They absolutely should. As a songwriter with cuts like Jason Aldean's "1994," Florida Georgia Line's "Round Here" and Lee Brice's "Parking Lot Party," it's clear Thomas Rhett's talent speaks for itself.
His debut album, It Goes Like This, will be released Oct. 29.