Devin Dawson Prepares to Release Debut Album, ‘Dark Horse': ‘It Feels Right’
Devin Dawson scored a Top 20 hit with his debut single, "All on Me," from his upcoming album Dark Horse, which is even a surprise to Dawson himself. The song, written by the artist, his twin brother Jacob Durrett and his good friend Austin Smith, wasn't intended to be a single, let along the song that would introduce Dawson to country music fans.
"It was just kind of a random Sunday. We had a thing where we wrote every Sunday, which my publishers hated. I would write all day, every day, and then I was supposed to take a rest on the weekends, but I am obsessed and addicted to songwriting, so I do it at all times every day," Dawson tells The Boot. "It just kind of came out. It’s one of those songs: It had the melody I wanted to sing, had the words I wanted to sing, had the groove I wanted to move to. It just felt good ... It’s been a good time to see it have a life of its own."
Dark Horse, which will be released on Friday (Jan. 19) on Warner Music Nashville, shows the different inspirations Dawson draws from in his music: his love of the storytelling in country music and, perhaps a bit surprisingly, the heavy rock he grew up on.
"I started playing when I was 12, and we played rock," Dawson shares. "It got heavier and heavier through high school, but I grew up listening to country, and that’s how I learned to write songs. I would always do that on my own, on the side, just selfishly in my room, and those songs took over more of my heart, and I moved here to Nashville to pursue that."
Despite his love of songwriting, the California native wasn't initially sure how much he would write for Dark Horse, especially given the immense talent in Music City. In the end, though, Dawson co-wrote every one of Dark Horse's songs.
"It wasn’t something that I set out and said, ‘I need to write every one.’ It just happened," Dawson reveals. "This town, in Nashville, there’s so many amazing writers. We searched a little bit for something that might be said better than I could say it, but it just happened that way."
After spending years dreaming of making a living as a singer-songwriter and having people listen to his music and perform it live, Dawson admits he still can't quite believe that everything he hoped for is actually coming true.
"These are dreams that we’ve set as kids, and as musicians ... And so, it feels surreal, but it feels right," he says. "It feels right because these are goals that I’ve set for myself, and I’m just excited to be here and accomplishing them ... I’m just excited to have the full record out, and all the different songs and all the different parts of my heart that people can latch onto and get to know me through."
Dawson will hit the road in April to serve as the opening act on Brett Eldredge's The Long Way Tour. A list of all of Dawson's upcoming shows is available on his website, and Dark Horse is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes.
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