Colt Ford Laments Radio Roadblock
Only one artist has kicked Zac Brown Band out of country music’s penthouse in the last six weeks: their buddy and fellow Georgian, Colt Ford. While ZBB has held the No. 1 spot on the country albums charts for five of the last six weeks with Uncaged, the country-rapper took over the top last week with his new project, Declaration of Independence, making for a huge career feat considering radio hasn’t given him much of a shot.
While Colt has had tremendous radio success as a songwriter (he co-wrote Jason Aldean‘s “Dirt Road Anthem”), the 41-year-old father of two has celebrated impressive sales of all four of his studio albums by developing a fanbase online and at his live shows. But with his new set of tunes — which includes collaborations with radio hitmakers Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Montgomery Gentry, Kix Brooks and Jason Aldean — Colt is hoping his luck on the airwaves will change.
“I’ve always been on the outside looking in, but it’s not been my choice,” Colt laments to Taste of Country, when asked about the importance of a radio hit. “I would love to be on the radio. I’ve got an iPod but honestly, I listen to the radio. Always have. I feel like I’ve earned a right to be a part of it. If you come to my shows and think that country people don’t like what I do, then you’re just mistaken. It’s diehard country people that like me.”
Colt even has concrete proof that he has radio hits on his hands, especially with his current single, “Back,” featuring Jake Owen. “Radio’s research shows it’s testing inside the Top 10 with females at every age. That’s what they always base everything off of,” he reports. “I’m a good dude. I just want a chance to be heard … I know I don’t sound like everybody else, but I shouldn’t, should I?”
Still, the singer-songwriter is proud to have paved his own way, making the kind of unexpected music he loves, on the record label he co-founded. Thus the Declaration of Independence title …
“That’s an appropriate title for the way I do business,” Colt tells The Boot. “To maintain my independence as a musician, I’ve done everything my way on my own label (Average Joes Entertainment). I think a lot of people in the business sometimes wish they’d done things this way.”
Still, Colt may have a solution for his lack of love on country radio … a solution that could land him on pop radio, as well!
“I’d love to do a song with Taylor Swift,” he tells Taste of Country. “I guarantee me and her would write something cool. She’s always been honest with her writing, which is one of the reasons I’m a fan.”