Jake Blocker on Riding the Momentum of Newest Single, “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared”

When Jake Blocker released music for the first time, he had just entered his teens, and admittedly, he didn’t have much in terms of a release strategy as the song was put out into the world. And while that may be true, that song, “Just Between You and Me,” and its accompanying album, I Keep Forgetting, laid a solid foundation for the Texas native and put him on the map of many in the traditional country world.

Four years removed from that release, Blocker has learned what it takes to release music, and with his newest single, “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared,” he’s finding some of his greatest success to date. Just over a month since its release, the song is already approaching the top 50 on the Texas Country Music Chart, with an accompanying music video that has earned thousands of views in its own right.

We chatted with Blocker about his early traditional influences, many of his releases so far, new music and more!

Pro Country: Through your music, you’ve shown a great love and appreciation for traditional country music. Who are some of the earliest artists you remember hearing that made you fall in love with that style of country music?

Jake Blocker: The first artist that set me off was Hank Williams Sr. When I was eight years-old, I was listening to Hank Sr. My grandpa got my a guitar and told me that I had to learn how to play it, and if I didn’t, he’d take it away from me [laughs]. He knew I wanted to do it, and he knew I loved it. Later on, I was listening to a lot of Moe Bandy, Buck Owens, George Jones, Patsy Cline and Dale Watson.

PC: You mentioned that you’ve been playing guitar and singing since you were eight years-old. What was it about music that connected with you at such a young age?

JB: Ever since I was a baby, I’ve always loved music. It’s always been engrained in me. My mom said that when she was pregnant with me, she would turn on the radio in the car and could feel me moving to the music, and then when she turned the radio off, I’d stop [laughs].

PC: When did that early interest in music translate into realizing you wanted to, and could, pursue music as a career?

JB: When I first started learning guitar, I realized I could play. Once I figured out my first few chords and starting singing and strumming, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Even when I was eight years-old, I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

PC: You released your first single, a cover of Charley Pride’s “Just Between You and Me.” What was it like to offer your take on a song by such a legendary artist, and why did you feel that was the right song to debut yourself with?

JB: I loved that song; it’s such a great song. I changed the tune a little bit, but it was a song that always stood out to me, so I wanted to record it. When I recorded and released that, I really didn’t know what I was doing [laughs]. I just kind of threw it out there with no promotion. It was all new to me. I was experimenting; it was a learning process.

PC: As someone who had a deep love of music for most of your life, what emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with “Just Between You and Me,” especially being just 14 years-old at the time?

JB: It was neat. At first, I couldn’t believe I had a song out. Like I said, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I learned a lot from it. In high school, it was cool to tell my friends that my song was on iTunes [laughs].

PC: You released your debut album, I Keep Forgetting, in 2020, which laid a solid foundation for your career and received a strong review from Saving Country Music and Country Music People Magazine. What did the response mean to you and do for your confidence as a young artist?

JB: That boosted my confidence a lot. It wasn’t just a friend or family member telling me it was good, it was somebody else complimenting my work, and that really meant a lot to me. It was an honor that they took the time to review my music.

PC: Why did you feel that your newest single, “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared,” was the right follow up to 2022’s “My First Day Without Her”?

JB: It’s like a contrast to “My First Day Without Her.” That one is sad and about a girl leaving, and then the new one is the opposite, about a girl leaving, finding somebody else but he leaves her. She wants you back, but you don’t. It’s a get even song, like you had your chance, now it’s gone [laughs].

PC: Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration for “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared” and how the song came together?

JB: I had written it years ago, but it wasn’t really a song yet, it was more words on paper; I never had a tune for it. It sat in my notebook for about a year and a half before I did anything with it. One day, I was going through that notebook of songs I had written or half-written, and I saw that one and thought there were some good words in it. I had my guitar and started writing the tune for it, and it all came together.

PC: You recently shared on social media that “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared” has made its way into the top 100 on the Texas Regional Radio Report and is approaching the top 50 on the Texas Country Music Chart. What has it been like for you to see the momentum the song has picked up to see it continue to climb the charts?

JB: It’s really amazing to me. It’s doing better than I’ve ever had a song do on the charts. I have a radio promoter helping me on this one, and he’s helping me a lot. It’s amazing to see it grow and climb the charts, I love it!

PC: You shared a music video for “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared” in the past few weeks as well. How much fun did you have shooting the video and having the chance to present the song that way?

JB: That music video was a blast! Some of those parts where we’re acting were filmed about 30 times [laughs]. I had to get it just right. My friend from high school was in town for Christmas break, so we had him do that first part. Whenever he would come up to steal the girl from me, we would look at each other and one of us would smirk, and then we’d both start laughing, which ruined the whole shot [laughs]. None of us really knew what we were doing. I had a plan in my head of how I wanted it to look, but we didn’t know how to start. Everybody was nervous at first, but we started having fun with it, and it came out pretty good!

PC: In a previous interview, you mentioned that you’re continuously working on new music. What information, if any, can you give about any upcoming releases? What can listeners expect to hear?

JB: I have a couple songs I recorded at the same time as “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared” and “My First Day Without Her.” I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do with them yet; if they’re going to be singles or if I’m going to record an album and put them on there. I have a lot of songs that I’ve written that I haven’t recorded yet, so that’ll be happening in the future.

PC: You mentioned that when you recorded “Just Between You and Me,” you didn’t really know what you were doing as far as a release strategy. Now that some time has passed since then, what have you learned about releasing music that has helped you with “You Could’ve Had Me When I Cared” and your upcoming releases?

JB: Don’t ever go in without a plan; always have a plan of when a song it going to be released and what you’re going to post about it. You can’t just jump straight into it [laughs].

PC: What do you have planned for the rest of 2023?

JB: I have a few gigs coming up! On June 16, I’m playing at a bar in San Antonio called The Lonesome Rose, and then June 30, I’m playing at Riley’s Tavern in New Braunfels. I’m working on getting a few more gigs too.

PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?

JB: I’m really thankful for everybody that chooses to listen to my music. I really appreciate all the support! 

*Jake’s music is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*


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