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.
Cameron Hawthorn, “Oh Hot Damn!”
Writers: Cameron Hawthorn, Jeffrey Laliberte, Paul Laliberte & Shelby Archer; Director: Cameron Hawthorn
Influences: Elvis, Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers, Shania Twain, Eric Church
From the Artist: “It just felt right for there to be a line dance to ‘Oh Hot Damn!’ and to center the video around it. I wrote this song as an exclamation of getting to explore more of myself and what turns me on. The video was an opportunity to tell more of that story, tying in the idea of ‘joining the dance.’ Because when you finally get up and do the dance, literally and metaphorically speaking, it feels so damn good.”
Corey Kent, “Hold Up”
Writers: Corey Kent + Brad Clawson; Director: Preston Leatherman
Influences: Kings of Leon, Eric Church, The Rolling Stones, Dierks Bentley, Eagles, John Mayer, Turnpike Troubadours
From the Artist: “‘Hold Up’ was such a natural song to write. I bet we didn’t spend more than an hour writing this one. I had just seen a Turnpike Troubadours show in Tulsa and was pretty inspired. Life was moving pretty fast and that concert slowed life down for a couple hours. Just a couple beers and singing along to some great music. That’s where this song came from.”
Abigail Lapell, "Devil in the Deep"
Writer: Abigail Lapell; Director: Chris Godziuk
Influences: Neil Young, Neko Case, Sharon van Etten, Fairport Convention
From the Artist: "‘Devil in the Deep’ is part nursery rhyme, part blues-rock-noir ballad -- it's a song about facing your own demons, and maybe even discovering their playful, colourful side. To bring the song to life, I worked with Montreal puppet artist Christopher Godziuk -- this is our second in a three-part collaboration. His team spent months designing and constructing characters and sets (and filling their whole studio with sand!) to film this project, which follows a trickster-like devil figure through a watery underworld.”
Chuck Mead, “Big Bear in the Sky”
Writer: Chuck Mead; Director: Billy Woodward
Influences: Hank Williams, The Beatles
From the Artist: “‘Big Bear in the Sky’ is a song based on a Mi’kmaq (a First Nations people from up in Canada) legend about the constellation Ursula Major represented as a giant she-bear being chased across the sky by hunters as the seasons pass. I pretty much tried to tell the whole story like in one of those Johnny Horton historic songs but all revved up like Dick Dale."
Carolyn Miller, "Summer Time"
Writers: Blake Bollinger, Lance Carpenter, Leah Turner; Director: Preston Leatherman
Influences: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, Adele
From the Artist: "This song reflects back on that one summer romance you'll never forget. We all have one - it doesn't matter if it happened when you were 14, 22, 35, etc... No matter how much time goes by you'll always remember those days like it was yesterday! This is my first ever music video and it was such a blast to film.
"I split my time between New York and Nashville, so it was important to capture both of those places in the video and stay true to who I am. The performance scenes in the house and field were shot in Nashville and all the other locations you see in the video are spots I grew up going to on Long Island during the summer months. Fun fact - my costar is my husband! We had so much fun filming this video together."
Olivia Ooms, "California Country"
Writers: Olivia Ooms, Jamie O'Neal; Director: David Javier
Influences: Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris
From the Artist: “The lyrics in ‘California Country’ were born out of my California roots with my love for country music and all things Southern. I write about what I know and what I dream about. I thought of the road trip concept in the video because I did a spontaneous summer camping trip down the coast of California this summer and ended up sleeping on the sand at Pismo Beach high above the clouds at a very remote area that didn’t have bathrooms, but had a five-star view from our tent.
"It was exhilarating to head out with no plan. And breathtakingly beautiful! When discussing possible storylines for this music video with my Director David Javier, the idea of road-tripping with my band took on a life of its own. I knew how visually appealing we could make it. And the fun it would portray! It quickly became a metaphor for ‘traveling along the road of life and the many people we meet who influence us along our journey.’”