So much about country music is about the familiarity of home. The people, the sights, the sounds, the events; country music truly gives life to the phrase “home is where the heart is.”
With the release of his debut EP, Dillashaw, Johnny Dailey proves that he is still rooted in his small town upbringing, and offers a glimpse into it. Named after a creek that ran through the land he grew up on, Dillashaw delves into stories of loss, love and the scenery that shaped the man Dailey has become.
We caught up with Dailey to chat about the success the early singles from Dillashaw, all about the EP, signing with a major publishing group, his plans for 2022 and more!
Pro Country: Your debut single, “Burns Like Whiskey,” has earned over 500,000 streams since its release. Is there a sense of validation that comes with having that success on your debut release?
Johnny Dailey: That was my first song release, so it was definitely validation to keep putting out music! It gave me some confidence to keep putting out more music and I’m grateful people have responded the way they have.
PC: “24” has earned over 1 million streams since its release in October of 2021. What do you think it is about that song that has allowed it to connect with listeners the way it has?
JD: I think it connects with people because the lyrics are something we have all been through. Everyone has lost someone they love or have someone in their lives that they hate to think about losing. It’s just an honest song that connects with a real emotion.
PC: What went into the decision to release “Trouble” as the last single prior to the release of Dillashaw?
JD: Ever since we recorded that one in the studio, it’s been one of my favorites, because it keeps that small town nostalgia feel going. It felt like the right song to connect to the Dillashaw EP release.
PC: The EP title, Dillashaw, comes from a line in “Trouble.” What was it about the name “Dillashaw” that you felt encapsulated the entire EP?
JD: It’s a creek that runs through the land I grew up on. I’ve got so many memories out there, and my hometown really plays a big part in the man I am today. It’s where it all started for me, so that’s where my music had to start.
PC: “Bonnaroo” is one of our favorite songs from Dillashaw. Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration behind the song?
JD: Yeah, I really love that song. My co-writer, Scooter Carouse, and I were in the room fishing for ideas. We had a couple verses about this couple meeting at a festival, and next thing I know, Scooter just sings the line ‘are we gonna stay in touch, or break up in Bonnaroo.’ It’s like it fell out of thin air. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever been a part of.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from Dillashaw after listening all the way through?
JD: I hope it lets them in on the small town life I grew up on, and takes them back to where they grew up and those hometown experiences.
PC: You had the opportunity to share the stage with Old Dominion last summer. What was it like for you to be around musicians with that level of success and to be able to bring your music to new audiences?
JD: It was an amazing opportunity. Their show is so dialed in and it was great to watch and learn from them. Grateful for that experience!
PC: You recently signed a worldwide publishing deal with Endurance Music Group. What does it mean to you to be a part of the collective roster of talent that EMG has built?
JD: I moved to Nashville because I loved songs and songwriting. I really feel like EMG is all about the kind of songs I moved here to sing. I’m honored that they believe in me and my music, and I’m excited to continue this journey with them!
PC: Along with releasing Dillashaw, what are your plans for the rest of 2022?
JD: Get out and play some shows, meet fans and release more music this summer! Excited for 2022!
*Johnny’s music is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*