Thomas Rhett on Dad’s Advice, Criticism
Thomas Rhett's musical ambitions run in his blood, literally. His dad, singer-songwriter Rhett Akins, had several Top 20 hits in the '90s, including his No. 1 single, 'Don't Get Me Started.' But while the 24-year-old is determined to forge his own path, he's very willing to heed advice from his famous father.
"In the beginning, when we were going and playing clubs, we were lucky to sell 50 tickets, going and playing a club with one song on the radio," Akins recalls to The Boot. "Before I’d walk out on stage in front of 50 people in an 800-capacity club, [he’d tell me], ‘Man, this is the beginning, and you know, you’ve got to realize, whether this works or it doesn’t, that, you know, you’re one of the few people that actually gets to go out and play shows for a living.’ It really put it into perspective for me that, you know, no matter if you have good shows or bad shows, you’re doing what you love."
The 'Make Me Wanna' singer says his dad reminds him of the value of each show, regardless of the size of the crowd.
"He’s always encouraged me to go out there and rock with this guitar whether there’s 50 people or 50,000," he adds. "I’ve taken that to heart, because there’s a lot of shows where you go out there, and you’re like, ‘Oh, God, what is this show going to be like? There’s a lot of people here, but I can’t tell if they’re into it or not.’ You’ve really just got to get up there and give it your all, and you can’t expect for the fans to have fun if you’re not having fun, so me and my band have really just adapted to going out there and entertaining ourselves just as much as we’re entertaining the crowd. So, those words of advice have really stuck with me since day one.”
“Every time Dad comes to the show, you can guarantee that he’ll be at front of house at the beginning, and then backstage when we get off stage,” Rhett tells Country Music is Love. “And the first thing I’ll be is, like, ‘What’d you think?’ And he’ll either say it was awesome, or [he's] got a list of things that I should have done better, or [that the] set list should’ve been different.”
Rhett is currently performing several of his own shows, as well as serving as the opening act on Lambert's Platinum Tour. See all of his upcoming shows here.