Georgia native Kolt Barber grew up on a ranch and now marries his passion for the land with his love for music as a country singer. He just released a new single “Cowboy”, which was inspired by his background.
I got the chance to talk with Kolt about how he got into music originally, his new single “Cowboy”, what he nerds out about and so much more! Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into making and performing music originally.
I grew up playing and singing. Music was big in my family, and we just always loved it. I tended to soak up all the different styles and I’ve always been [into] country, so everything that I am today is a mixture of all the music I grew up on.
Was there a specific moment or person though that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Nah, it was always just a part of me. As I started doing songwriting, I had people say that you should really go play and sing out. So [I] started doing some stuff here and there and it just kept evolving into where I am today. I’m just thankful for the entire journey. It’s been a lot of moments throughout the years.
You said there’s been a lot of moments through the years, so what was your first “pinch me, holy crap, I can’t believe this is what I’m doing as a career” moment? Do you remember that?
Early on, there were a lot of small shows, but I did a large show in Texas, opening up for some other acts and there was around 25,000 people there. I remember walking out on stage, and I had started playing the songs that I had written and they started responding. I think it was in that moment when I was on the stage where I was like, “This is awesome that I get to do this and that there’s such a response from the people that enjoy my music.”
I want to ask you about your new single, “Cowboy.” What’s the story behind that song? What inspired it?
It was inspired by growing up around horses and cattle and on the farm ranch. My heroes through the years were always the guys that would be at rodeos and in the westerns on TV. I think we all have a little cowboy spirit in us. So the song is to the cowboys and to that cowboy spirit that runs in all of us. That’s what inspired me to write it.
So what was your songwriting process like for this song?
The songwriting process was pretty simple. I wrote the song in one day and it was, just putting down really – on this one – feelings of that spirit, like I said, that lives in us, living in that cowboy life every day and loving horses. So the song came pretty easy and blending the cowboy spirit and the cowboy attitude in my music was also a big part of the song.
Were there any majors changes made to “Cowboy” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically or was it pretty much the way you wrote it?
Yeah, it’s pretty much the way I wrote it. I heard it from day one how I heard it and we went in and cut it and it turned out really, really good.
So I know you mentioned some of the earlier country music that you listened to growing up, but when it comes to songwriting, are your musical influences any different? Who are some of your influences when it comes to songwriting?
Definitely Waylon [Jennings] as a songwriter. I mean there’s so many but I really have tried through the years to just hone my craft. I always wanted to be independent and have my own style and sound. Dean Dillion was a big influence and his writing. There’s just so many great writers and without them, music wouldn’t be what it is. But I really just tried to kind of stay in my own lane and do my thing.
Speaking of that, do you typically write your songs by yourself or do you like collaborating with other artists and writers in co-writes?
Um, yeah, I pretty much write everything myself. I do co-write some, but I tend to just get the idea and sit down and write it, and then we see if it makes the record or not. So I do co-write some, but generally I’m more to myself.
Gotcha. And speaking of a record, I know you’ve got a new record coming out this summer, right?
Yes. We’re in the studio every chance we get working on a new project.
Is it finalized enough yet where you know how many songs are on it and what people at least can expect from it when it comes out?
Yeah. I mean we’ve got some stuff still to pick but it’s going to be a good blend of traditional and then a couple of slow songs definitely, but then some more mid-tempo to upbeat. There’ll be something for everyone on the record for sure.
Gotcha. And it’s going to be a full length record, not an EP.
Yeah. There’s going to be 10 to 12 songs on the record.
Very cool. You just kicked off or you are getting ready to kick off your Farm to Flight tour….
I kicked it off this past weekend in Texas and had great crowds. We had a great time out and I’m looking forward to some good stuff this summer.
So if fans are coming to see you this summer, what can they expect from a Kolt Barber show?
You’ll get a lot of great music, some laughter. You’ll get encouraged. You’ll want to dance a little bit. You’ll get just a good time to just get away from the troubles and problems in the world and just enjoy yourself.
Awesome. Last question — our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd. So what is something you are currently nerding out about?
Yeah. We’re experimenting with some cool stuff with the banjo, so it’s got a lot of my attention right now.
Do you know how to play the banjo or are you learning?
I’m learning a little bit. I’ve got a guy in my band that can play and so we’re experimenting with some really cools sounds and we spent several hours this weekend on the road sitting on the bus, learning about the banjo.