Rhett Akins Expresses Confidence in His Son, Thomas Rhett
Thomas Rhett just scored his third No.1 single with "Make Me Wanna," making the song -- which was written by Rhett along with Bart Butler and Larry McCoy -- his third chart-topping hit from his freshman It Goes Like This album. And while it might seem like Rhett had an advantage in the tough-as-nails country music industry, since Rhett Akins is his famous father, the proud dad says that all the credit belongs solely to his son.
"I’ve learned that he knows what he’s doing." Akins tells The Boot. "Ever since he was seven or eight years old, he always knew what worked for him, whether his friends liked it or I liked it. He always had the coolest shoes, the coolest skateboard, the coolest paint ball gun, the coolest drum set. He instinctively knew what was cool before his friends and I knew it was cool.
"So even though some of his choices make me squirm sometimes -- I’m like, ‘I don’t know if you should put that out. I don’t know if that should be the first single’ -- but he just has a gut instinct that he knows what’s right."
Still, Akins admits that his experience in the industry has come in handy as Rhett navigates the troubles that inevitably come up along the way.
"I do give him advice, but it’s not as much anymore what I think he should do; it’s the way I think maybe he should handle a certain situation or something. It’s not necessarily songs," Akins explains. "I’ll tell him, ‘I think this song sucks,’ or, ‘I think this song’s great,’ but in the end, he knows in his gut what songs are best for him.
"You don’t know how many hit songs he turned down for this new album," the proud dad adds. "And he knows they’re hits. They’re just not what he wants to do."
Akins, who had his own No.1 single with "Don't Get Me Started" almost 20 years ago, says that he is excited about his son's accomplishments, but not just because he is following in his own footsteps.
"This is the most thrilling thing for me," Akins adds. "Obviously, a parent wants to see their kid do well, no matter whether it’s a Little League baseball game or their grades or whether they work at Dairy Queen. You want to see your kid do well. It’s a very rare occasion that a father and son get to work together, especially in the music business. That hardly ever happens. And for him to be successful like he is, and for me to be able to write songs with him -- you can’t dream it up."
Akins has been focusing much of his own attention on writing. In addition to penning five of the 12 songs on It Goes Like This, including the No. 1 single, "Get Me Some of That," he's also written hits for other artists, including Brooks & Dunn's "Put a Girl In It," "All About Tonight" by Blake Shelton, "Parking Lot Party" by Lee Brice and Luke Bryan's "I Don't Want This Night to End." But while Akins admittedly sings most of his own demos, he is perfectly content staying away from the spotlight at this point in his career.
"I could do my own thing," Akins acknowledges. "I could definitely do it. I write enough songs. But I definitely don’t want to do it, as far as have to go out, promote it, do the whole radio tour and be on tour the whole time. I did that. I like being able to go on the road with Thomas Rhett or Luke Bryan or Brantley [Gilbert] or Justin Moore and write songs with them doing the day, and watch. And every now and then, they pull me out on stage to sing with them. That’s about all I need."
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