In an era of country music where it’s becoming harder and harder to find that classic country sound of yesteryears, it’s easy to look at the state of country music with a glass half-empty mentality.
Kentucky-born and raised singer/songwriter Korey Rose is doing his part to fill those cups, filling his to the brim with his self-titled debut EP in 2016.
Rose is looking to overflow those cups with his sophomore effort, which features the fan-favorite single “Cowboys Left in These Boots.”
Read below to get more details about the new album, including which former major label artists will be featured, as well as Rose’s influences, the stories behind some of the songs on his debut EP, and more!
Pro Country: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Korey Rose: Keith Whitley for sure is my biggest influence from early on. In my household growing up, I heard mostly old country and rock. Hearing people like Keith Whitley, George Strait, The Eagles and Bob Seger shaped the way I sing today.
PC: Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to make music for a living?
KR: When I was 17, I made it to the finals of what was then the Colgate Country Showdown. Making it to the finals landed me a spot playing at the Ryman Auditorium. Walking out on that stage and feeling and the energy from that room is definitely something you can get addicted to. I’ve took breaks from playing for a few months in the past, but i’m addicted to country music and the energy from the fans. It always wins the battle.
PC: Were you feeling any type of pressure, internally or externally, as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your self-titled EP?
KR: When I first started the recording process, I was so excited that I didn’t realize how long of a journey it would be. Paying for the EP out of my own pocket was the main stresser of the whole process, it made me be proud of what we had accomplished once it was completed.
PC: Taylor Stephenson adds a great new dimension to “One’s a Couple.” What drew you to Taylor to have her sing on the song? How do you think it helped bring out the song’s story?
KR: Taylor is a killer vocalist! I first heard of her through my guitar player at the time, Justin Konsler. He showed me a ton of videos when we came up with the idea to do the song as a duet. We got in touch with her, and she came on down the studio without hesitation. One take and she nailed it! This song did just as much for my musical career as it did hers. She is now working on her own project and playing shows all over Texas.
PC: “A Mile and Six Feet Away” is one of the standout tracks in your catalog. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
KR: When I first started writing full-time, the title was brought up in a writing session with Justin Konsler. The object for the day was to write a faster, catchy song, but I just couldn’t get that title out of my head. Sad songs being my forté, we came up with a storyline and wrote the song in about an hour. I’m very proud of the comfort it brings to so many people.
PC: “What’s Right for Me” is the most progressive song on your EP, but still maintains the traditional feel of the rest of the EP. Was it at all important for you to show that versatility in your sound on your debut release?
KR: All I wanted was to show you can make modern sounding music and still stay true to the roots. I wish more of what is put on the radio today could grasp that concept.
PC: What kind of validation do you feel when your newest single, “Cowboy Left in These Boots” becomes your most streamed song on Spotify many more views on YouTube? Was it important for you at all to take that jump when releasing music for the second time?
KR: I’ve written a ton of songs with my friend Donovan Chrisman, but “Cowboy Left In These Boots” has always been a favorite of ours. Seeing the reaction of the people after the release definitely fueled the fire to start working on the current project that will be released this year.
PC: What can fans expect to hear on your new album? What information can you give about it?
KR: The new album is something really special to me. Not only is my band playing on the album, but I also have some amazing friends joining me such as Ashton Shepherd, Tim Culpepper and Wesley Dennis. Also, Wyatt McCubbin, Steve Maynard and Tim Baker gave us some awesome material to add to our own catalog of songs chosen for the album. I believe this album is a cool drink of water (or Bourbon) for the thirsty country music listener. I am very excited!
PC: You’ve opened for a few very established artists, such as Lee Ann Rimes, Charlie McCoy, Mo Pitney and Confederate Railroad. What can you take away from those experiences that helps you in your own career?
KR: Being around such great artists is a truly humbling experience. I was always told, “Surround yourself with people who are better than you.” Doing just that, I’ve created lifelong friends and have always strived to do better.
PC: What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
KR: I hope people find comfort and relaxation. I can hardly bare to turn on the radio anymore. Hearing artists that make the same kind of music I love to make has always been relaxing to me. Having songs that get you through a breakup, losing a loved one, or even getting you in a mood to go honkytonking is what I like to hear on an album, and that’s what I try to incorporate into mine.
PC: What are your plans for 2019?
KR: My wife and I will be having our first son in May, so we are excited for that. Also, giving the fans new music they have begging me for for so long. We have really taken our time on this album to perfect what we want our sound to be. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it! Lastly, plenty of country music shows coming to promote the release of the new album.
*All images courtesy of Korey Rose Facebook Page*