Sincere, endearing, energetic, and always smiling: All words that have been used to describe emerging country music star, Russell Dickerson, by his fans and peers alike. His infectious personality radiates in everything he does, whether he’s writing a song, singing in the studio, or meeting fans. He’s constantly making people laugh, and makes new friends everywhere he goes. He asserts, “I just love life. Every day is a great day!”
And lately there’s been plenty to smile about. The Nashville native and Belmont University alumnus had quite the surprising summer with the incredible grassroots reaction to his current single, “Yours.” The power ballad was selected for Sirius XM’s The Highway Find program, which showcases new, and often times unsigned, artists to country music fans across the country. In a blink, Dickerson found himself competing with artists such as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan on the satellite station’s weekly Hot 45 countdown, and successfully reaching #3.
Dickerson quickly released his EP, “Yours,” and debuted at #2 in the iTunes country store and #8 in all genres. The album also premiered at #1 on Billboard’s Heat Seeker chart and #14 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. The album features five songs co-written by Dickerson, including a stripped down wedding version of the title track “Yours.” Boosted by the power of his hit single, he recently landed on the iTunes Best of 2015 year-end list, TheKnot.com’s Best Wedding Songs of 2016, and Spotify’s #SpotifySpotlight 2016.
In just a few short weeks, Dickerson’s fans have solidified him unanimously as the next big thing. Over ten million streams on Spotify, one million views on YouTube, and skyrocketing social media followers have come pouring in. He happily keeps up with the messages daily across all his social outlets and reciprocates their dedication by responding to his fans personally.
“Since day one, all I’ve ever known is music. I love touring, I love playing the shows…I love connecting with every single person.” The multi-instrumentalist, and successful songwriter, is busy recording his next project, and is characteristically optimistic that his fans will embrace the album just as much as they have him. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the fans. I want them to leave my shows feeling changed. I live to make them smile.”
The Shotgun Seat
As one of our featured artists on our 16 Artists to Look Out For in 2016, Russell Dickerson is no stranger to us here at The Shotgun Seat. We spoke with the artist about growing up in Nashville, his musical influences, and the inspiration behind his single “Yours.” “I have been around music my entire life,” he tells us. “I was raised in church and my dad was the choir director there and that was my first memory of anything having to do with music.” Having the desire to be on stage from a young age, he formed a band in high school and would play to a packed house at a small place in Franklin, TN once a month.
Currently an independent artist, Dickerson had no idea that he could have this much success without a major record label. “Honestly, as it started happening I was like’ ‘Alright, well we are doing this on our own,’ but prior to that, I had been turned down by every single label in Nashville,” he says. He and his manager decided to record his EP as an independent artist after seeing the incredible response to his first single. “My manager said, ‘Shoot a music video for ‘Yours,’ and let’s start there.’ He expected us to come back in six months with a video but we came back in five to six weeks. If you have seen the video it’s like a magical moment and currently has over 662,000 views,” he says. “We took that video to XM Radio and showed the head programmer and he added us in six weeks and then the rest is history and here we are now.”
The five-track EP includes not one but two versions of his first single “Yours,” the radio version and an acoustic wedding version. Inspired by his beautiful wife Kailey, this timeless love song tells the story of finding the person for whom you want to change. “You find that person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and they make you want to be a better person for them. You want to treat them as good as you possibly can,” he explains. “Before you meet somebody you are super selfish – not everybody – but for me, I was selfish and I only thought about myself and now I have this responsibility of a wife and she is the one who makes me want to be that way.” He speaks earnestly, clearly heartfelt about the love he feels and wanting to share that feeling through his music.