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Troy Verges Tells Stories Behind Hits

Troy Verges Hunter Hayes
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Troy Verges has seen huge success as a songwriter for some of Nashville’s biggest stars, a job he says is the best in the music industry.

“I always just thought if you’re a musician, that means you’re touring and making records, or you find another job,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “But then I watched these people who were writing songs every day, getting to play and record but able to live normal lives because they’re not on the road. I was like, ‘This is the best gig in music!’”

Some of his songs have great stories behind them, including the Louisiana native’s most recent hit, Little Big Town‘s ‘Day Drinking.’

“One of the interesting things about that day was that Karen’s voice was really worn out,” he says. “We were working with that melody that ended up being the chorus, but she was like, ‘Just for now we need to whistle it because I want to try to save my voice.’ That whistling ended up being the hookiest part of the song, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened if Karen’s voice had been 100 percent. It was a fun write, and we decided that while writing a song called ‘Day Drinking,’ we had to do some day drinking. A few cocktails helped!”

Another recent hit is Hunter Hayes‘ ‘Wanted,’ which was written with Hayes. Verges says the tune has turned out to be the biggest hit of his career.

“Hunter and I started writing together right when Universal Music publishing first signed him; he was probably 19 [years old] and so excited to be in Nashville. We immediately hit it off; he’s such a talented guy,” he says. “There is a line in ‘Wanted’ that says, ‘Like everything that’s green, girl, I need you.’ Hunter came up with that, and I said I didn’t get it. We had a little debate over it. But he convinced me to keep it, and I’m glad he did. People will tell me they love that particular line in the song.”

2005′s ‘Paris’ by Faith Hill may not be a new song, but Verges remembers writing the song with Blair Daly and Gordie Sampson very clearly. The inspiration behind the love song is unexpected and definitely hard to forget.

“‘Paris’ was written in London while we were writing songs for Gordie’s record. We had just finished writing the last song, and it was Bastille Day, so we decided we should go to Paris for just one day,” he says. “We partied until late in the night, and around three in the morning, we went to get in a cab to go home, and a fight broke out in the cab line. And for the only time in my life, I ended up getting in this fight and got knocked out cold. My nose was broken, my face a bloody mess. I woke up in an ambulance on the way to the public hospital in Paris, and my friends lost me because they didn’t have the address … The next morning, I walked around Paris trying to find my friends, and we finally get on the train back to London, and I’m covered in bandages, my nose is broken, and I look like I had just killed someone.

“We got back to London and started writing ‘Paris.’ It sounds like a love song, because that’s just the way the lyrics came out, but it was about that night,” Verges adds. “Faith heard it and thought it was a love song, so we were kind of scared to tell her the real story behind that song.”

NEXT: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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