Who Is Jameson Rodgers?
Nashville is considered a 10-year-town, so rising country star Jameson Rodgers is hitting his stride right on time. The Mississippi native celebrates his anniversary in Music City this week, exactly 10 years since he moved to the country music capital in August 2010. He'll also be simultaneously celebrating the rise of his Top 15 radio single "Some Girls."
Rodgers — a songwriter-turned-songwriter/artist — has had plenty of bumps in his musical journey, but it was his breaks, including cuts with country powerhouses Florida Georgia Line and a life-changing Instagram message from Luke Combs (more on that later) that catapulted him from Nashville circles to the country music mainstream.
Rodgers had similar beginnings to many aspiring songwriters who first move to Nashville; play local writer’s rounds, meet everyone who will meet you, take odd jobs to pay the bills and write, write, write until something cracks through.
It wasn’t until he got a random message on ReverbNation (that he initially wasn't going to respond to) circa 2014 that led to a publishing deal that brought Rodgers to the Nashville table as a serious writer. That deal allowed him to focus heavier on songwriting and up his craft by writing with other rising talents in town.
"It was a solid year, year-and-a-half, just writing songs and trying to figure out who I was as an artist and if I was an artist,' he tells Taste of Country.
The deal allowed him to record an artist EP, which began opening doors to play shows, and Rodgers continually built an organic, but small, fanbase from 2016 to 2018. However, that EP would prove to have an insurmountable amount of value, as it also gained him one important fan: Luke Combs.
“This was probably in 2016, this is when I first put my EP out,” Rodgers recalls. "I’d been out grinding, playing some shows, still nobody knows who I am (Laughs) and Luke Combs sends me a random message on Instagram."
"[At the time] Luke Combs was not Luke Combs," he continues. "This was before ‘Hurricane’ was a hit; he sends me a message, he had heard my song ‘Midnight Daydream’ and became a fan so he was like, 'Man, we should write sometime.'"
“So we did, became buddies, and didn't really stay connected though ... then in 2018, fast forward a couple years, he's completely blown up pretty much by then, and I put out another EP with ‘Some Girls’ and ‘Missing One’ and ‘Like You’ve Been There’ and he was impressed again and he was like, 'Man, I’m doing an arena tour in 2019; do you want to do the first of three?' And I was like, well let me check my calendar, but yeah that sounds pretty cool. That opened up a million doors that I didn’t even know existed."
Rodgers signed an artist deal with Sony Music Nashville in January 2019, two weeks before his first arena show with Combs, who was by then the newest high-profile artist in country music.
Now staring at a Billboard chart that has his single "Some Girls" rising to the Top 15, Rodgers has completed the circle of any aspiring Nashville musician's dream; he has a hit song on country radio.
"I’ve been here for 10 years, and the amount of stars that have to align for a song to even get Top 15 right now is pretty insane," he admits. And though Rodgers is now an established Nashville songwriter with cuts by Florida Georgia Line (“Talk You Out of It”), Jason Aldean (“Camoflauge Hat”) and Luke Bryan (“Born Here Live Here Die Here”), his name isn’t tattooed on the song credits of "Some Girls." So how did he end up with the song?
"You come up with people," Rodgers explains. "I feel like there’s classes that come up together and I’ve certainly been blessed with some of the best writers and best buddies of mine over the last 10 years. I got to come up with some of the best. Hardy, Jake Mitchell and CJ Solar wrote this song and they had sent me the demo. We used to share demos with each other back in the day when nobody had anything going on. I guess it felt like no one else was listening to our songs, so we wanted our friends to listen (laughs) and kind of get a reaction."
"I had the demo for two or three years before I even cut it. I always just told ‘em, if nobody cuts this song and I get a shot, I will absolutely cut this song. This feels like something I would do, something I would say. I’ve lived through this kind of thing and I know if I have, everybody else has."
Rodgers noted other artists, such as Chris Lane and Cole Swindell, were interested in cutting the song, but they eventually passed, giving him the opportunity — with the perfect timing — he’d been waiting for.
A win for Mitchell, Solar and Hardy (who has enjoyed his own recent success as an artist), they, along with Rodgers, they are now at the forefront of their "class" as they strive to become the next generation of country music writers and stars.
"I feel like you just meet so many amazing writers who come here in the same time frame, so you kind of just relate in that sense,” Rodgers says. "Everybody knows what everybody’s going through, everybody’s poor, everybody’s trying to get their songs heard and trying to get a publishing deal. … You go through these levels together. You kind of create this bond and come through the trenches together. I think that’s why our relationships are so good."
Rodgers' latest release, “Cold Beer Calling My Name,” features Luke Combs and arrived earlier this year. Listen below:
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