THURSDAY - JULY 22, 2021


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A songwriter utterly unbound by the conventions of country music, Sam Hunt has transformed the sound of his genre more than any artist of his generation. Hunt’s deliriously catchy songs—often offered in a breezy half-sung, half-spoken cadence—have the sleek polish of postmillennial hip-hop and R&B. And while genre-bending experiments in country music are nothing new, Hunt’s gift is his fluency with so many styles—he cites both Usher and Conway Twitty among his early influences. The Georgia-born singer moved to Nashville in 2008 after an unsuccessful bid to become a pro football player, then scored a record deal after co-writing hits for Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, and Keith Urban. With its clever songs about rowdy weekends and heartland romance, Hunt’s 2014 debut, Montevallo, combined the spirit of old-school country heroes with sequenced beats and glittering production. Tunes like “Break Up in a Small Town” and “Leave the Light On" are an earnest and urbane counterpoint to the guitar-driven party anthems that dominated ‘10s charts. Hunt doubled down on this formula with the sly 2017 single “Body Like a Back Road,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country chart for a record-setting 34 weeks. Like many other tunes on 2020’s Southside, it blends instrumental twang, crackling hi-hats, and R&B shimmer, helping Hunt secure his place as an ambassador for country music’s sleek modern era. “It felt like the beginning of the next chapter in my life,” says Sam Hunt of finishing his second studio album, SOUTHSIDE. Daring in both its emotional heft and sonic explorations. As for the title, Hunt says it perfectly encapsulates the duality of where he hails, something ever evident in his music. “It captures the urban and rural side of my upbringing,” he explains. “I associate that word with a lot of the music I grew up listening to; the different artists I grew up listening to—and the place that I’m from.” Put more simply: “It felt like this record. It felt like me.”


Hanging on the wall, there is a photo of Roman Alexander at 7 years old on stage with a full-sized guitar in hand and a smile saying “This is where I’m meant to be.”  Now in his mid 20s, he has nearly two decades of performing under his belt, opening for acts such as Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, Billy Currington and more. Alexander is signed to Nashville’s Twelve6 Entertainment. Notable highlights include Roman being named one of Spotify’s Hot Country Artists to Watch 2021, as well as “Between You & Me,” charting on the Spotify US Viral 50 and being one of the longest running independent songs on the Hot Country playlist. Additionally “Cocktail Conversations” has been featured on The TODAY Show, Billboard’s First Country, and Rolling Stone Country’s Music Picks. Roman's most recent release, "Better In A Car", received almost 70k streams in the first week and has gained support across all DSPs as well as








JULY 21, 2022