Since first breaking out in a major way back in 2013, Cole Swindell has proven himself to be one of the most consistent songwriters and performers in the country music world, earning every spot on the charts with plenty of hard work along the way. The singer-songwriter has now racked up a trio of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200, and his singles seem to always rise toward the top of the country-only rankings fairly reliably, including his recent cut “Break Up in the End.”
That tune has turned out to be particularly special for the musician, as it just recently earned both he and the songwriters an Academy of Country Music Award nomination for Song of the Year. Swindell won’t find out if he’s won until April 7, but after speaking to the man behind the popular song, it sounds like being nominated is almost just as good as actually collecting the prize.
Congrats on the ACM nomination for Song of the Year! How does it feel to be nominated for such a prestigious award?
Cole Swindell: To me, the Song of the Year is one of the biggest awards of the night. There are so many great songs every year that come out and to have a song in that category with everybody in this group I’m a fan of...it’s a huge honor.
How did you link up with those songwriters, and how did this track come to you?
Swindell: The songwriters are Chase McGill, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jon Nite, and I’ve actually known Jessie Jo Dillon the longest. I met her right when I got my first publishing deal. I remember sitting around on the weekends with a group of friends just listening to songs we were writing or songs other people had written that we thought should be recorded. We used to call it Saturday Song Day, and it was just a bunch of writers and friends sitting around listening to music. Chase McGuill and Jon Nite have both become good friends over the years. We’ve written together and I’ve written some of my favorite songs with them. So for all three of these amazing writers to believe in me and let me record a song that means so much to them, it’s such an honor. I’m glad we crossed paths. I think you meet everybody for a reason and I think this song was special.
Your latest album was huge on the country charts when it debuted--how did that reception feel?
Swindell: For an album to debut number one is the goal, but that was a first for me. Anytime you’re releasing new music, you’re anxious. You want people to love something that you work that hard on. You know how much the songs mean to you and you’re ready for everybody else to hear them and for that to be validated, for all that work to be worth it. It was great to get that reaction and support from my fans.
You have a full year of touring ahead of you. Do you find that many shows in your future exciting or daunting? I imagine it's really hard work!
Swindell: Touring this year is gonna be fun. I had my first headlining tour last year and that was a blast, this year we’re headlining some stuff but also going out on the Sunset Repeat Tour with Luke Bryan and my buddy Jon Langston, which is something I’m really looking forward to. I’ve always wanted to go out and tour with Luke one more time and it’s gonna be a party, I can’t wait. I love what I do, so I don’t look at it as work. Come out and see us!
What can fans expect from your upcoming tour that they haven't seen before?
Swindell: With this new tour, we’re going to have different production. That’s one thing I always look forward to. Also, our set list is going to look different. We play songs from every album at every show, but I’d like to go in and play some of those songs that didn’t get released to radio on each album that the fans love. That’s always cool. Me being a personal fan of other artists and being able to hear them play something they normally don’t is always a nice treat. We’re looking forward to adding some new songs on the setlist!
What does the rest of 2019 bring for you in addition to all these shows?
Swindell: Outside of my touring this year, I’m looking forward to getting back in the writing room more. That was my New Year’s resolution--to get back to what got me where I am today. Writing songs is why I moved to Nashville and as much as I love standing up there and singing them, I love writing them just as much. That’s what’s in store for me 2019, a bunch of writing and playing shows!
Photo Credit: Cole Swindell