Being in touch with supporters is a key aspect of artistry. If they latch on to something, it’s typically smart to follow their lead, which is exactly what Derek Austin has done with the release of his newest single, “Her Daddy Don’t Like Me.”
After initially being well-received on TikTok, Austin decided to unveil his newest single as the lead from his forthcoming EP, Barstool Saints. Penning his new single with heavy-hitting writers Adam Wood and Pro Country alum Mark Irwin and produced by Nashville heavyweights Jonathan Singleton and Jimmy Robbins, Austin has big names in his corner as he prepares to release his sophomore EP.
We chatted with Austin all about his new single, what he takes from writing with high-quality songwriters, what listeners can expect from Barstool Saints and more!
Pro Country: You’re more than two years removed from the release and success of your debut self-titled EP. What did it mean for you to be able to hit the ground running and tangibly see the support the EP and songs like “Good at Being Young” and “Heatwave” received?
Derek Austin: It was great to see the support I had for my first EP. I went ‘round and ‘round on it, but at some point, you just gotta jump. I felt like I needed to get something out in the world to kind of say, “This is me” and establish who I was in Nashville.
PC: What went into the decision to release “Her Daddy Don’t Like Me” as the lead single from your upcoming EP Barstool Saints?
DA: We went with “Her Daddy Don’t Like Me” first because I made a little acoustic video singing it for TikTok and it blew up. I think it’s got over 170k views! It just felt right; kind of rolling with what the fans want is really cool.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Her Daddy Don’t Like Me”?
DA: Man, the inspiration came from wanting up-tempo songs that aren’t the same thing you’ve heard a million times. And I really wanted a story song. I asked my writers that day, Adam Wood and Mark Irwin, what they thought and we started kickin’ around ideas for the story. Somehow we landed on “her daddy don’t like me,” and were trying to make it, “but she does.” And jokingly, Adam said, “her momma does,” and I was like, “That’s it!”
PC: “Her Daddy Don’t Like Me” was written with writers who have had a lot of success in the industry. What can you take away from being in writing rooms with writers of that caliber that you can take away moving forward in your career?
DA: I try to learn every day from writers in town. A big thing I’m learning from them is landing the hook. You can have lots of great lines leading up to it, but if the setup/hook is 80% there, it’s just not truly great.
PC: Jonathan Singleton and Jimmy Robbins are serving as your producers. What is it like for you to work in the studio with people that have that level of collective success?
DA: Sometimes I gotta pinch myself. It’s great to work with both of these guys. They’re both super laid back and a fun hang. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with them and see how they approach production.
PC: What information can you give about Barstool Saints? What can listeners expect to hear?
DA: Barstool Saints is my new EP. We cut five songs for it and we’ll be slowly rolling out a few singles before we drop the album. I can’t give an exact date yet, but expect it early 2021! I’m really happy with the types of songs we picked for it. It’s got some fun, some heartbreak, a little love and some real depth.
PC: 2020 has altered most of the plans of artists so far. Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?
DA: Besides rolling out the album and doing everything we can to get it in front of country fans, we’re not really touring. I’ve done a few acoustic gigs here and there, but hopefully we can get back to booking shows soon!
*”Her Daddy Don’t Like Me” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*