Zac Brown Band’s “Same Boat” became the group's 16th No. 1 song – just in time for Christmas. While Zac Brown wrote the song with Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton about unity all year, he believes “Same Boat” is also the perfect unexpected holiday hit.
“We wrote ‘Same Boat’ to help remind us of what we have in common and what makes us human,” Brown told Billboard. “I’m really grateful that our fans are listening and connecting with that feeling of togetherness and unity. It’s what makes our country great and gives us all a little hope this holiday season.”
Brown said he wrote the song to be consumed in layers. Listeners can dive as deep as they wish to uncover the social commentary or enjoy “Same Boat” at face value.
“You can drink a margarita and have fun, or you can really listen to the words and be like, ‘Hmm,’” Brown said. “That's the goal, is to take it on different levels and meet people where they're at.”
Brown calls himself a “student of life” and said that as he’s trying to make sense out of things that don’t make sense, sometimes he writes a song about it as the pieces fall together.
“When I feel like I have something to write that's helped me to understand all the weirdness or something that's going on, that’s when I feel comfortable turning it into a song,” Brown said, explaining that’s was the genesis of “Same Boat.” “I'm not going to take a political stance as an artist, because that's just going to create enemies on one side or the other. Where I do have some influence is philosophically. I had something that's meant something to me in rebuttal to all this division that's happening, and I wanted to create something that would help to remind people of how we're the same.”
The Atlanta-based singer said he’s sick of the manipulation in politics and in the media because “that’s not America.” Brown explained he wants to “throw some light out there” any chance he can get.
Country music fans can catch Brown when he performs on ESPN’s College GameDay for the SEC Championship and later in December on CBS “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” Special. The show will air 8 p.m. -11 p.m. ET/PT and 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.