Jake OwenJake Owen's latest album 'Easy Does It' hit stores earlier this year and already has spawned the hit singles 'Don't Think I Can't Love You' and the current 'Eight Second Ride.' But there's one song on the disc that strikes a particularly sensitive chord with the singer. 'Nothin' Grows in Shadows' is the haunting story of kids who are tormented by bullying and the effect that has on their adult lives.

"I heard it in a meeting one day," Jake tells The Boot. "We were playing some songs, and the minute I heard that, it really hit home for me on a lot of levels. Being a kid, I was bullied a little bit, but I was also a bully to a lot of people, too. I think everybody in their life, at some point, has been a bully or been bullied."

Jake says the song, written by Dallas Davidson, Doug Johnson, and Rhett Akins, contains a verse depicting some harsh parental criticism, which stirred up a few difficult memories for the singer himself. "I remember being a kid in school and my dad always yelling at me from the bleachers about keeping my head down when I was playing baseball. When you're a kid like that, I don't think people realize -- especially parents or kids in general -- how much effect you have on somebody when you're constantly downplaying them or keeping them in the shadow of you."

The song also includes a verse about "the doctor that saved my mama's life, helped beat her cancer, made sure she got well," revealing that as a kid, the boy who grew up to be that doctor "was a kid I went to school with all my life. Man I used to give him hell."

"My mom had a heart attack last year," Jake says softly. "Luckily she came out of it fine and everything, so the line about the doctor that saved my mom's life ... you just never know."

Jake and his twin brother Jarrod are featured in the current issue of PEOPLE Country Magazine, on newsstands now.