A Conversation with John King: On the Country Music Horizon

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Photo by Jan Spencer

Photo by Jan Spencer

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I’m always looking for new artists who are on the rise, and John King is one of those artists. With the new release of his song “Tonight Tonight” he’s been able to start to make an impact on today’s country music. He’s an AMAZING performer and a wonderful songwriter! Recently I was able to catch up with this Georgia native during his busy tour schedule and asked him some questions.

JS: What is it about people from Georgia just blowing up the charts with talent? Like your song says “Something in the Water” was that a statement to that effect? Or was it just about girls in the south?

JK: Georgia is just such a beautiful place. There are so man different kinds of terrain, so much beauty.. and obviously a lot of cute country girls!! Makes its pretty easy to find material to write about.

Something in the water was a statement to all the Country coming out of GA for sure.. but I wanted to figure out a way to tie it in so it pointed back to all the beautiful girls down there.. cause hey let’s be honest. The girls are why we write and sing songs period lol!

JS:  You’re a Georgia Bulldog, what is your degree in? And did the University come to you and ask you to write their “Bulldawgs” song?

JK: I’m a marketing major with a minor in music business (which has really helped me with my music career). I just wrote the song out of my love for the school. Its my goal to have it blasting on the stadium one day!!

JS: You’ve said that your mom and dad always had music around growing up.  Were they performers or played any instruments?

JK: My mom played piano in the choir and my dad was a huge music lover. So yes my parents really inspired me to perfect my craft as a singer/ songwriter

JS: How is it having your ‘little brother’ Andrew in the band with you? When did he pick up the drums? Tell us about him!  Did you get into the typical brother brawls as kids?

JK: Its such a blessing to have my little bro in the band. He’s an amazing drummer and a super great kid. We are so lucky we get to spend so much time together. It’s really made us close over the years. We get in the occasional argument but nothing serious. He’s one of my best friends in the world!

JS: You know my favorite song is “Huk’r Shoes” … What made you think of writing that song?

JK: Its just a super fun song. We wanted to write a song for all the girls who blow all that money on those awesome shoes !!

JS: What’s your favorite song right now? Or what are you listening to that you just can’t get enough of? Do you always go back and listen to your ‘favorite’ playlist?

JK: I really love Black Crowes “Shake your money maker” . That whole record is just amazing. I remember being little and my dad cranking that cassette (funny right?) in his old black truck. Such a great memory

JS: So when you decided to pursue Nashville, how were you looking at it from your perspective, as a songwriter or as a lead singer? Did you go in thinking you wanted to perform your songs or write for others?

JK: I’ve always wanted to perform. The stage is home for me. I love to write too so I’m super blessed that I get to do both!

JS: When you were signed to a publishing deal, how long did it take you to get one? Were you surprised at how long or how fast it took?

JK: I got very lucky and got signed my first year in town. That doesnt ever happen.. the good Lord was watching out!

JS: Has any of the top 40 country artists recorded your songs yet?  If so, which ones? What songs?

JK: I just got my first cut on Glorianas new album. I’m so flattered.. such an amazing feeling

JS:  One of the things that was featured at Country Radio Seminar was the “Bluebird Cafe”. You were there with three other amazing songwriters on stage. (Which, btw, your performance afterwards was AWESOME!) Were you or are you one of the artists that ‘made appointments’ and did songwriting sessions? If so, did you learn a lot from the others in the group? If you didn’t, what was the reason why you didn’t? Are you primarily a ‘lone’ songwriter or do you have a ‘go to’ person you like to write with?

JK: Most artists write with songwriters. I love to write with other writers and sometimes I write alone. I wrote by myself for years so it took me a while to adjust to co writing but now I love it. There are some amazing writers here!

JS:  You said recently during a performance that the new album contains all songs written by you except one, which one was that and describe why you chose that song.

JK: There’s actually 2.. Tonight Tonight which is the current single. It was written by Marshall and Dylan Altman. Two amazing writers (barefoot blue jean night, take a little ride, etc). I just knew this song was a hit the first time I heard it. The second song is called “Leaning My Way”. I think y’all will love that too!

JS: When is the anticipated release of your full length album? Do you have a favorite song we should be looking for on it?

JK: Hopefully by the end of the summer! I love them all! No joke, you will not find a record out there with better songs. Each one was carefully picked and I’m so excited for everyone to hear what we did.

JS: You are one of THE hardest working performers in the business! You tour a lot! And, you have opened for some major acts, including Jason Aldean. When you got the call, were you aware they were trying to book you on some shows, or was it a surprise?  Reaction? (freak out? took it all in stride? Fellow GA boy, etc. lol)

JK: Oh I freaked out! I been listening to Aldean since I was a teenager so the thought of sharing the stage with him was so exciting. He is an amazing performer and I’d be honored to have a career path like his.

JS: Fess up, were you nervous that first time onstage before Jason? Who would you love to tour with?

JK: I was a little but I was more anxious to rock the crowd. I love tearing up a stage!! I would love to tour with Church, Luke Bryan, any of those guys. There are so many great ones out there today.

JS: You still have your home base in Georgia. Will you ever move to Nashville?

JK: Yes that is actually in the works.. although GA is always home to me

JS:  You’ve done SO much this year! What is the high point for you so far? What are you looking forward to the most coming up?

JK: So far its been seeing Tonight Tonight climb up the charts. We are in the top 50 and climbing. Its such an honor to see people reacting to the song!

JS: What’s the best part of being on the road? The worst part? Do you drive to every gig? (lol you guys drive so much!!) And WHEN are you getting a tour bus?? :)

JK: We drive and fly. Yes we do drive a lot lol! The old Yukon has been all over the country. It’d be nice to get a tour bus one day. I got high hopes the time will come!

JS: Talk about the others in your band.  I know you guys are very close, Parker, Bobby…how did you find them to be in your band?

JK: Andrew has been with me forever, Parker (who we found on craigslist) has been with me 4 years and is wonderful. We met him when I was at school at UGA. Bobby is our newest addition and had really rounded out this band. All my guys are so hard working. Just good fun, Christian guys. I’m blessed to have them.

JS: In all honesty you fill a void in the music industry. You are not only one of the most talented out there, but you are humble, kind, and make sure each fan you gain has that personal touch.  There was a girl at the show in Nashville weekend. She said she found you online, and was hooked from the start. She is absolutely a die hard fan. These stories are priceless. Are you finding this with each new fan you gain?

JK: You know I have and that’s what I love about Country Music.  The fans are hands down the greatest in the world. I idealized guys like Garth growing up who were so good to their fans. Its my number one priority to be the same way. Without them I’m nothing.

You can follow John on Twitter @johnkingcountry.  Tour dates on http://www.johnkingcountry.com

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