There's a new kid on the country music block, and I think you're gonna like -- no -- love him. Meet Sam Hunt: singer, writer, former football star, producer, tall drink of water. Future star.
He's from Cedartown, Georgia, a very rural place in the northwestern part of the state. It was all about hunting, fishing, church, and he and his pals were all about playing "ball" -- everything great about growing up in a Southern small town. But music would become a huge part of his journey. Hunt admits he was only exposed to what he heard on the radio, but he was passionate about what liked.
Hunt released a four-track EP to iTunes titled X2C on Tuesday (Aug. 12) as a teaser for his upcoming album set for release on Oct. 27. It features one you all know, his big debut single "Leave the Night On," but also a few you maybe haven't heard like "House Party" and the clever and sultry "Ex to See."
It's a smorgasbord of sounds and genres, all reflective of Hunt's diverse musical tapestry. Influences of hip-hop, R&B, rock and blues abound in country-rooted rhythms, melodies and storylines. You'll want to dance. You'll want to throw your hands up and sing along. You'll want to reflect. Heck, you may want to call your ex and let 'em have it. It's just that damn good.
Now if you're keen to further explore Hunt's artistry, I suggest checking out some of his earlier work as well, like his Acoustic Mixtape project, which is still available to stream on Spotify.
Or you could just put on Kenny Chesney's "Come Over," Keith Urban's "Cop Car" or Billy Currington's "We Are Tonight" to get a feel for his style -- yep, Hunt co-wrote them all.
And it's safe to say those songs absolutely come from a real place for Hunt. He revealed in a video blog on his website, "You can't really contrive a great song. No matter what -- how hard you try. Some element of the song has to come from an honest, genuine place, and when I started tapping into that, I started finding some success as a writer."
And he admits landing those cuts wasn't just about chart success. Hunt says, "The most important thing that that did for me was it validated this sound that I was sort of pursuing."
Hunt will make his Grand Ole Opry debut Tuesday (Aug. 19). CMT will feature him as one of their Listen Up artists beginning this October. He'll also join Kip Moore and Charlie Worsham as part of CMT on Tour this fall. Check back for incredible live performance footage and a chat with Hunt about life and his budding career.