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Nashville

Matt Stell

By Music, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas had a fun and candid conversation with the country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Matt Stell. Join us as Matt shares stories from his roots in Center Ridge, Arkansas, to the bustling streets of New York City. Matt isn’t just carrying his guitar on tours; he brings along memories, aspirations, and heartfelt stories that resonate across every destination he has been to! We are sure that this podcast episode has something delightful for everyone. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “GST” on their website and enjoy an exclusive 10% discount on your favorite shoes!)

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Discover how people from small towns like Center Ridge “round up” when explaining where they’re from.
  • Get a taste of city life through Matt’s eyes and why he appreciates visiting places like New York but prefers living elsewhere.
  • Learn about being a “professional traveler” as part of a singer’s job and why sometimes life gets in the way of exploring new cities.
  • Gain insight into his record label experience with Sony in Manhattan and how his authentic style resonates beyond traditional boundaries.
  • Pizza talk! Find out if New York really does have better pizza and what constitutes an acceptable topping, according to Matt.
  • Explore destinations still on Matt’s bucket list.
  • Understand the allure behind festival shows both as an artist performing for large crowds and as a fan enjoying other musicians’ sets.
  • Delve into who inspired him growing up (hint: ’90s alternative bands) and who he’d love to collaborate with today.
  • Peek into the creative process behind hits like “Prayed For You” starting with just one line that sparks an entire song narrative.

Quotations:

The thing about New York is their bad pizza is good. You know what I mean? Like the floor is so high.  You can walk into anywhere and get a slice and it’d be amazing. Uh, and quick and ready to rock.” ~ Matt Stell

“I really want to go to Japan. I want to see, I want to see, uh, Tokyo. I want to, I want to just see how other people do it.” ~ Matt Stell

“Even on the other side of the world, you know, we’ll have some things in common for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“Well, it’s better to be lucky than good. Sometimes for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“It’s just such a vibe when people show up to listen to the live music and I want to be there all day and you get to be a part of it. And then also I get to be a fan. You know, I get to see these bands that I’m a fan of that. I usually don’t get to see ’cause we’re on the road.” ~ Matt Stell

“It just makes you appreciate all different kinds, you know, and I always make you appreciate how, uh, a lot of people can like a lot of different things, which is, you know, variety is the spice of the spice of life.” ~ Matt Stell

“I always love to get a ball in my hand and, uh, get some shots up for sure.” ~ Matt Stell

“Most of the time you start from the chorus and kind of work your way out.” ~ Matt Stell

“When I have kids, they’re not gonna have any choice. They’re going to love those garden greens.” ~ Matt Stell

“That’s just great to see music resonate with people all over the place, man, for sure. I didn’t know that song was going to do that when I wrote it, but man, I sure love it when it does.” ~ Matt Stell

Guest’s Bio:

Matt Stell is an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Matt began releasing music in the early 2010s after teaching himself guitar while in college. He had a breakthrough with the streaming hit “Prayed for You” in 2018, which topped the Country Airplay charts in 2019, a position matched by “Everywhere But On” that year. After a couple of quiet years, Stell delivered the One of Us EP in February 2023.

Raised mostly in Center Ridge, Arkansas, with some time spent in Central Florida, Matt Stell grew up listening to a mix of classic country, country-rock, blues-rock, and rap while making a name for himself in basketball. He went on to play college basketball at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where he started playing guitar between school and team obligations. As soon as he could play barre chords, he began writing songs and performing at a local bar. Music quickly became a passion, though he finished a master’s degree in communications at the University of Arkansas, made missionary trips to Haiti, and considered medical school before deciding to pursue it as a vocation.

Talking about the beginning of his career as a singer, he was the lead singer of the band “The Crashers” in the late 2000s and early 2010s. This personality released three albums independently while being involved with the said band. Those albums were The Sound & the Story, Vestibule Blues, and A River Through It. Followed it with the single “Country Love Song” in 2015. In the meantime, he opened shows for headliners including Luke Bryan and Eric Church. An offer from Wide Open Music in Nashville, Tennessee, led to the release of the single “Prayed for You” and the EP Everywhere But On in 2019. “Prayed for You” went viral, amassing over ten million streams across platforms before the end of the year. The single’s success translated to the charts: it topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as did “Everywhere But On.” Another EP, Better Than That, arrived in October 2020 and included the song “Look at Me Now.” The non-LP single “That Ain’t Me No More” followed in 2021, with 2022’s “Man-Made” teasing the early 2023 release of the One of Us EP.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Conner Smith

By Music No Comments

In this week’s episode of Here’s What We Know, Conner Smith dives into how he communicates through song, getting started in Nashville, College football, collaboration, and the examples of the industry stars that have gone before him and paved the way.

He also talks about what he has in common with Michael Jackson.

This episode is also sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Living out childhood dreams
  • Telling stories through song
  • Meeting your heroes
  • Being a new artist on the radio
  • College Football
  • “Take it slow” song with Ryan Hurd
  • The example of older stars
  • The impact of social media

Quotations:

“I’ve been a product of being in the right environment, and that’s something that I don’t take for granted.” – Conner Smith

“Growing up … song was just how I expressed things.” – Conner Smith

“As a new artist with your single on country radio, it’s like all of your dreams hang inside of that one song.” – Conner Smith

“How much of Tennessee’s success right now is dependent on Hendon Hooker? Is it this the sort of thing where, you know, we’re gonna continue this and really kind of build a program that can sustain itself and last for years to come? Or is this kind of the perfect mix of ingredients? Either way, we finally have a coach that I can trust in, and that means something.” – Conner Smith

“Well, at the end of the day, it’s been a long time since we have been worried about another team taking our coach.” – Conner Smith

“I’ve kind of just become the Tennessee guy a little bit, with the songs, and it’s become so much a part of the brand.” – Conner Smith

“Are there some student athletes? Yes, there are. And the majority of those kids are student athletes who are truly trying to get the education and stuff. But also, I’ve talked to so many division one athletes who go, ‘It is all-encompassing. All you have time to do is workout, practice, train, workout, practice, train.’” – Conner Smith

“That’s a special song, and it’s one of those songs. I think you put out songs in the world and, you know, some of them catch fire and some of them don’t. That was the one that did, and fans just really gravitated towards it.” – Conner Smith

“Thomas Rhett … more than anything he’s ever done for me, he’s taught me how to do this thing the right way.” – Conner Smith

“It [social media] definitely changes the way you kind of view life and for better or worse, and it’s something you grow to live with. I think, especially my generation, you kind of grow up understanding that you’re accountable at every second.” – Conner Smith

“Keep the people around you that truly know your heart and truly know who you’re trying to be” – Conner Smith

Watch the Video:

Guest’s Bio:

Just 22 years old and already a seasoned veteran of Nashville’s elite songwriting community, Conner Smith has become one of Country’s most hotly-anticipated new artists – an uncommon talent mixing prime-of-life passion with old-soul perspective. After penning his first song at 6 and scoring a publishing deal at 16, the Country prodigy wrote five of the six songs on his Zach Crowell-produced 2022 debut collection DIDN’T GO TOO FAR (The Valory Music Co.). The charismatic effort laid an artistic foundation that earned Smith 2022 Artist to Watch status from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Opry NextStage, while also making him the only Country artist on Pandora’s Ten List 2022 and securing 2023 recognition from MusicRow Next Big Thing, CMT Listen Up, and more. Often hiding deep-thinking themes in plain sight, Smith scored his first Top 40 hit with the young-at-heart “Learn From It” and followed up with love-savoring “Take It Slow,” which quickly racked up nearly 100 million global streams to date. Tracks like “I Hate Alabama,” “Orange and White,” and “Summer On Your Lips” are my unexpected insight from vivid everyday stories. As Smith grows up in full view of his fans – both on the page and the stage – CMT calls him “an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.” That momentum will keep building in 2023. Smith follows a year of touring alongside Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, and Ryan Hurd with upcoming select dates opening for Chase Rice and promises a new batch of “next level” music, further mixing in-the-moment energy with timeless meaning. Smith is currently on the road for his first-ever headline IF I WENT TO COLLEGE TOUR with special guests Mackenzie Carpenter and Jonathan Hutcherson, presented by the Monster Energy Outbreak tour, and joins Luke Bryan’s COUNTRY ON TOUR this summer.

Guest’s Contact Info: