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Story Behind the Song: Thomas Rhett, ‘Make Me Wanna’

Thomas Rhett co-wrote “Make Me Wanna” with Bart Butler and Larry McCoy, releasing the song in August of 2014 as the fifth single from his debut album, It Goes Like This. The tune became Rhett’s third consecutive No. 1 single — all from his freshman album — and was certified gold in February of 2015. Below, Rhett and Butler tell The Boot about how the song came to be.

Rhett: At the time we wrote the song, it was in a time period where I had no idea if that song was going to even make the record. I remember when we wrote the song, radio was really different … So once the song made the album and we started playing the song out live, it just became one of those infectious songs that we play every night.

I was watching the movie Airplane the night before, and there was a scene where they’re in that bar, and “Staying Alive” comes on. I was on a Bee Gees high.

Butler: Thomas was running late. He shows up, and he says, “Guys, I’m sorry. But do you know who the Bee Gees are? I was watching the movie Airplane last night. You know that whole Saturday Night Live Fever thing?” I go, “Yeah.” He said, “I like that feel, the disco feel. I’ve got this little riff.”

Of course, Larry’s sitting there, and [Rhett] started playing a chord. He goes, “Man, I can’t figure out exactly how to finish this chord, but I hear [hums chorus melody].” Larry finished the chord with him, and they started working on that melody.

All of a sudden, I said, “What about “Make Me Wanna”?” I’ve got this title laying around, and we went from there. I think that whole energy that day was amazing because Thomas — he said the movie made him feel good, and he came in with a good idea, and boom.

I think we knew we had something. But I think when I heard the official demo that they did, I knew we had a hit.

See Childhood Photos of Thomas Rhett + Other Country Stars!

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