Jon Pardi Knows ‘Boot Songs’ Equal Big Hits
Jon Pardi earned his first chart-topping single with "Head Over Boots," the debut single from his sophomore album, California Sunrise. But when his record label, Capitol Nashville, suggested that he release "Dirt on My Boots" -- the only other boots-related song on the project -- as his follow-up single, Pardi admits that he was initially skeptical.
"[Universal Music Group CEO Mike Dungan] said, ‘I don’t care about boot songs; I care about back-to-back hits, and that’s what this is,'" Pardi recently recalled to The Boot and other reporters. "I’m on one of the biggest labels, that has some of the biggest artists, so I’m not going to go tell them what to do, but they’re going to let me do my thing and kind of guide me. So if they really wanted another boot song, I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s get a boot sponsorship! I like "Head Over Boots," I like "Dirt on Boots," and I wear boots every day.'"
Although he's a fan of the song himself, Pardi admits that he was a big surprised by how quickly his fans latched on to "Head Over Boots."
"There were weddings built around "Head Over Boots,'" the 31-year-old shares. "I think one thing is, there’s not a song like it, where it’s in the really traditional world, but it also very much could be a wedding kind of thing ... I think it really connected with young couples getting married. I’ve signed a lot of stuff, or congratulated a lot of people who are getting married."
Both "Head Over Boots" and "Dirt on My Boots" -- really, much of California Sunrise as a whole -- sound like the "traditional" country music of a previous generation. Pardi insists that he's just putting together his own take on country music, based purely on his preferences, not trying to make a statement about the genre's modern, more pop-influenced sound.
"I think it’s just my perception on the way I want my country music to sound. It’s not me trying to figure it out or fit in with the crowd; it’s just me being me," Pardi notes. "When you’re a songwriter, you really try to work at getting that, and to see it live, after everything is all said and done, it’s really fun to know there’s a connection when people are dancing and laughing and singing, and that definitely happens a lot."