Jake Owen Widens His Country Canvas
With several chart-topping hits such as "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," Jake Owen is on country music's A-list. But he'd rather not be pigeonholed.
"I think it's crazy the way people try to label our genre," the Florida native tells The Boot. "My Dad always said, 'There's an ass for every seat.' That just means there's something out there for everybody. Not everyone goes into the store and buys vanilla ice cream. Some people like chocolate chip, some people like chocolate mint, some people like Rocky Road. It's still ice cream though. You can find what you want. I think people start labeling what is and what isn't country, or what is and what isn't rock and roll, or why this is a sell-out sort of a town, or whatever. Everybody has their own path."
The 31-year-old singer says his goal is to make music his fans appreciate, regardless of what it is labeled. "As long as you're true to you, you believe it and you make others believe it, then what you're doing is just art," he notes. "If you give everybody a blank canvas and some paint, not everybody's picture is going to be exactly the same, but it's still art. I just do what I do. If I'm happy with the song and it's a hit song or not, for the rest of my life, I can hang my hat on knowing I did the best I could, and I'll enjoy getting out there and doing it. That's all that really matters for me. The icing on the cake is people actually enjoy it and sing it back to you. That's when you know that you've done something great. It's like somebody taking a painting and hanging it on their wall in their home, and it will live there forever. You've made it into someone's household. That's neat."
Jake adds that he takes his role as an artist very seriously. "I went from a playing in a bar on a bar stool for free beer and tip money, where people weren't paying attention to me, to now I've got their attention," he explains. "It's up to me to what I feed them with my music. It's up to me how I do that. I've put a lot of thought into how great the songs are, and how I want people to perceive me."
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