CMTT Exclusives / New & Noteworthy

New and Noteworthy: Robert Counts

A biochemistry graduate walks into a bar and gets a publishing deal. It doesn’t sound like your typical country story, but Robert Counts was on a path to become an orthopedic surgeon when songwriting consumed his world. After graduating from Lee University with a degree in biochemistry, Counts was back in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee (just outside of Nashville) for the summer and playing an amateur songwriting competition at Puckett’s restaurant. He ended up with a publishing deal and decided to take a year off from pursuing medical school to focus on music… and the rest is history. His self self-titled debut EP has a lyrical focus, a first step in transitioning from songwriter to artist.

Current single: “What Do I Know”

You’ll hear a distinct change on his new song, “What Do I Know,” which feels like a southern rock anthem.

With this shift, I really want to show an edgier side of what I do. I felt like there was a big side of what I love musically that was kind of left out and I wanted to tap into that a little bit. So this song came out of a day that I wrote with a guy named Jake Mitchell and HARDY (which I’m sure you’ve heard of him… he’s all over the charts, fantastic songwriter and artist).

I started playing that little guitar thing that just sounded swampy and cool. Hardy’s idea was to kind of take all these things that you’ve heard growing up in the South and things you hear your dad say, little words to live by, rules of thumb, that kind of stuff. We just put all those in the verses of things that we’ve learned growing up in rural America. It was kind of a joke really. We got to the end of it and we were like, man, this is really cool. There’s some really great life advice. I don’t think it ended up being as silly as we thought it would… but more of a Southern anthem.

Musical Influences: 

I always like to kind of categorize the influences that my parents were listening to in the car when I was growing up and how I was influenced by some of that music. My mom loves Springsteen and Mellencamp and Bob Seger… she was kind of the Midwestern rock fan. So I listened to a lot of that, which is where I think I got get my kind of my singing thing that I do, that place that I go, I got from those guys. In more contemporary influences, it’d be John Mayer. I grew up listening to him. I love what he does. Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams. I’m big into folk Americana, but then I also like a lot of indie rock. I love Kings of Leon and Coldplay, and there’s a band called Dawes that I really love. I’m a fan of anything with a really solid lyric and kind of just driving musically.

Why You Should Be Listening:​ ​This is your guy if you love raspy rock vocals with dirt road lyrics.

Music Sounds Like:​ ​Kip Moore, Drake White, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr., Gary Allan

Get social with Robert online:
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