Story Behind the Song: Cole Swindell (Feat. Dierks Bentley), ‘Flatliner’
Cole Swindell's sophomore album, You Should Be Here, kicks off with a bang: The record's very first track is "Flatliner," a tune that includes guest vocals by fellow country star Dierks Bentley. The song was written by Swindell, Jaron Boyer and Matt Bronleewe, and below, Swindell tells The Boot about "Flatliner" and its long journey to the opening spot on his second project.
This is a pretty cool story. Before I ever had my record deal, I just had a publishing deal over at Sony ATV. I had that title, "Flatliner," and just the idea of a girl stopping everybody’s heart -- just kind of a fun idea.
When we started writing it, I had Dierks in mind, kind of like, "This would be a cool Dierks Bentley song." We wrote it [and said], "Let’s send this one to Dierks." I didn’t even have a good contact for Dierks at the time, so I don’t think he ever even actually heard it, but we had him in mind writing it.
A couple years later, after I did get my record deal, I sent him a copy of the song … He’s like, "Dude, this is a smash." So I told him, "Maybe we can sing it together one day," kidding. We kind of joked around about that when we’d see each other, for a year. Sure enough, when it came around, we contacted his people, and he was willing to do it.
It’s pretty crazy that, at the time, all I was trying to do was get people to record songs I was writing. I wrote it for Dierks, and then, years down the road, he’s singing it with me on my second album.
I’ve stopped questioning things and how things work. You work hard and let your team take care of the rest, because it ended up right where it was supposed to ... We’ll hopefully get to perform it one day together. We’ll see. Hopefully that gets to be a single one day.
Having that kind of song, for the live aspect, just for that -- it’s got to be the most uptempo song I’ve ever recorded or ever written. It’s insane how fast it is, but how awesome ...
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