Shelby Lee Lowe’s stock has been on a steady rise over the last few years. With each new project he releases, he continues to lay a foundation for new fans to hop on board. With his last album, Stubborn Heart, he released his best collection to date; a collection that felt 100% him, and 100% country as hell.
Looking to keep momentum rolling, Lowe has a new collection of songs set for release in 2022, with the first taste being his latest single, “Loving You is Killing Me.” Though a bit of a sonic shakeup for Lowe, it captures everything we’ve come to expect from a Shelby Lee Lowe song: a well-written, steel-driven country tune.
We caught up with Lowe to talk all about “Loving You is Killing Me,” as well as the success of Stubborn Heart, new music, hitting the road and more!
Pro Country: The songs on your last album, Stubborn Heart, have earned nearly 700,000 combined Spotify streams and countless more across streaming platforms. How do you look back on that project and how encouraging is it to see the response it earned?
Shelby Lee Lowe: Stubborn Heart was a labor of love for me and my producer Andy Scott Wills that took years to write and record, so the fact that it is continuing to do well is encouraging. To put that much time and effort into a project, you really hope people will enjoy it. I think that album is slowly growing in popularity with organic word of mouth promotion.
PC: Why did you feel that your newest single, “Loving You is Killing Me,” was the right song to follow Stubborn Heart and serve as your first release in 2022?
SLL: “Loving You is Killing Me” is one of three songs I recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals recently, and I just love the song so much start to finish. It’s quite a bit different than anything I’ve released so far, but I think the traditional country thread connects it to records I’ve done in the past.
PC: “Loving You is Killing Me” was written with Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Rivers Rutherford. Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration behind the song and what is was like for you to be in the room with such an accomplished writer?
SLL: “Loving You is Killing Me” is a title I had floating around in my head for a while, and I always thought it would make a great classic country heartbreak song. Rivers is someone who has written some of my favorite songs of all-time, and this was our first write together. Writing with someone like Rivers is really an honor and a privilege. I just try to throw out the best ideas and hooks I can bring to the table and see where that takes us. With a writer like that, I’m always going to trust their instinct, and 9/10, you are going to have a great song.
PC: “Loving You is Killing Me” landed on an Apple Music curated playlist and has already earned thousands of plays/streams across YouTube, Spotify and other platforms. How encouraging has the response to the song been out of the gate?
SLL: The response has been pretty good! You always appreciate when a big streaming service puts you on one of their playlists. It’s no secret how important that can be. I always wish for more, but I am grateful for the folks that have listened. Whether this song blows up or dies in obscurity, I’ll be able to look back on this song years from now and be proud of it.
PC: You’re launching a Kickstarter campaign to help with the marketing and promotion of new music. What information can you give about the campaign and new music? What can listeners expect to hear?
SLL: I just actually launched that Kickstarter campaign! I guess I couldn’t wait anymore. I’m trying to raise at least enough money to make a professional music video for another one of the songs I recorded at Fame Studios. I can tell you it’s as country as cornbread, and I’ll have a special guest buddy of mine singing on the track as well. If I hit my goals, I’ll make a music video and do some promotional stuff to help keep getting my name out there.
PC: What do you have planned for the rest of 2022?
SLL: I am currently sitting on a handful of songs that I’m planning on releasing very soon. Some of the songs were written by me, and some of them were written by folks like Chris Stapleton and David Lee Murphy. I’ll be touring a good bit the rest of the year. I’m playing the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year for Jack Daniels, and I really hope to ramp up my tour dates in 2023.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
SLL: This is a tough business, and as always, I’m super thankful for outlets like yours that promote folks like me! Anyone reading who hasn’t followed me on the socials or streaming sites should do that to keep up with this new music!
*”Loving You is Killing Me” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*