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Casey James’ ‘Crying on a Suitcase’ Had Him Thinking Twice

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Casey James loved everything about his new single, “Crying on a Suitcase,” the first time he heard the demo, but he confesses there was one factor that made him hesitant to cut the tune.

“The song really jumped out at me,” Casey tells The Boot. “Even the way that the song is presented. The title of the track, the syncopation of lyrics and lyrics themselves — everything about it is very standout. Plus the idea of the song is so relatable. Who hasn’t been in the situation where their pride has gotten them in trouble? Maybe it’s a case where they don’t want to break down and lose that pride to make a situation right. The whole thing is just great and I love it.”

While that sounds like a ringing endorsement for it, and a no-brainer as far as wanting to be involved with the song, there was one thing still nagging the singer.

“I was a little bit scared of it, to be honest with you,” he acknowledges, “because the guy who sang the demo really sang it. I thought, man, I’m not gonna do it justice. Chris Lindsey, who I co-produced the album with, really is the one to thank if you like the song. He pushed me. He said, ‘I believe you can do this, and you should give it a shot.’ I loved the song so I said OK, I’ll do it. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb.”

Casey is also proud of the video for “Crying on a Suitcase,” which he describes as very fresh. “It’s not a literal interpretation in any way,” he explains of the clip, which was shot in Nashville. “Normally, a song like this would have the guy getting in his truck right away to go after the girl, and the song would play out on camera. This is not like that … this video delves into the reason for the song. It shows the relationship between the couple, their good and bad time. You also see the breakup, and her packing and leaving. Then it shows the anguish and torment of the guy who knows he made a mistake but is trying to overcome his pride so he can go after her.”

Noting that it’s an emotional video with some symbolic things happening throughout, Casey says being able to showcase his acting skills was worth the challenge of making it. “It stretched me in a lot of ways because I’m not used to acting in a video,” he explains. “I put a lot of time and effort into it and I think it’s all going to pay off.”

“Crying on a Suitcase” is the second single from Casey’s self-titled debut album, and the follow-up to “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night.” The CD is the “American Idol” alum’s first Nashville production. He and Chris, who also produces Eric Church, spent over a year getting the disc to the point where Casey would sign off on it.

“I’m so blessed to say that there’s nothing I could have done better,” he says with confidence. “I’m always gonna be unhappy, wish I had done this better, louder or quieter, bent that note a little more … you’ll have those little things. Overall and music-wise, the choices I made with production, musicians, sound, mixing, everyone who worked on it, the overall outcome, I can’t say I could have done a better job, not at that time. I spent my waking hours and every bit of concentration, thoughts, passion and heart on it. Now here I am and I get to feel good about my record and that’s a good place to be.”

“Crying on a Suitcase” is currently in the Top 30 on the charts.

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