Kingsport, TN native Brinley Addington has loved music ever since he was a little boy. Since then, he’s worked to make a name for himself, both as a performer and as a songwriter. He penned Tyler Farr’s hit single, “I Should Go To Church Sometime” and has performed with Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Jon Pardi, and most recently with close friend and writing partner Ryan Hurd. His latest single “Come Back” was just released last week.
I got the chance to talk with Brinley about how Bryan White made him realize that music is what he wanted to make a career out of, what he’s learned from performing with guys like Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Jon Pardi, and Ryan Hurd, the story behind “Come Back” and so much more! Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I’ve loved music since I was little. I used to watch the Grand Ole Opry on TNN as a little boy, hop up on the coffee table at my parent’s house and pretend I was performing there. My first time singing in front of anyone was my fourth grade talent show, but I didn’t really start taking in seriously until I began singing in church at age 12 or so.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
When I was about nine years old, my parents took me to see Bryan White (my favorite artist at the time) play in Knoxville. His show was so high energy and by the end of it, I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. You classify your sound as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
I’d describe it as honest music for real people. Songs that tell the truth, encourage you to feel something, and meet you right where you are. Those are the kind of songs I care about.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Tim McGraw, James Taylor, Vince Gill… I could go on and on. I take something away from most everything I hear.
You’ve performed with Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Jon Pardi, and Ryan Hurd. What did you learn from those guys?
I learned that you have to have fun with your show. You have to commit and really let loose or no one else is going to connect with it. All those guys are great performers and you can tell they love being out there. I’ve also learned a lot about stylish footwear from Ryan Hurd.
Let’s talk about your new single, “Come Back.” What’s the story behind this song?
It’s a song about loving someone and letting them go do what they need to do and be who they need to be, while letting them know you’ll be there if they ever want to come back. It’s kind of my version of “Every Light In The House Is On.”
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into what it was like specifically for “Come Back.”
I wrote “Come Back” on a Friday night in January, sitting in my kitchen. I had some thoughts rolling around in my head about what I was going through in the relationship I was in at the time and they just started shooting out of me and this song took shape. I don’t write by myself too often, but sometimes the moment just arises and this was for sure one of those times.
Speaking of songwriting, who are some of your musical influences when it comes songwriting?
Anyone and everyone who ever wrote a song that I love is a musical influence to me. But if I have to name a few, James Taylor, Alan Jackson, Steve Leslie, Tom Douglas, and Craig Wiseman.
Were there any major changes to the song that happened once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
This was one of the very few times where we didn’t change a thing. I really feel like the way I wrote and played the song was the way the recording needed to be treated. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Any plans for more new music in 2019, whether it’s more singles, an EP or a full length project?
No real plans as of now ,but I’m always daydreaming about the next project. I’m taking a different approach these days, but I’ve got plenty more songs so there’ll be something before too long; I just don’t know what that is yet.
What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in your career over the next couple of years?
I want the same thing I wanted when I moved to Nashville almost 11 years ago: for people to like my songs and let them be a part of their lives. Whether it’s me singing the song or not, I want my songs to reach people and make them feel something. Recognition and everything else is just gravy.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something that you nerd out about?
I nerd out hard on NASCAR. A lot of people I know like to go to races and party (which is fun too), but I’m really into the sport. I’ve never raced, but I’m really into the details and point system and different mechanical aspects of the sport. Most of my friends give me a hard time for it, but usually come around if I can get them to go to a race with me.