Russell Dickerson Remembers His Early Days in Nashville With Florida Georgia Line
Russell Dickerson and Florida Georgia Line go way back. The "Yours" singer counts Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard among his closest friends, ever since the three were students at Nashville's Belmont University.
"They came to one of my very first shows, ever, in Nashville. And, afterwards, they were like, 'Man, it’s so good, we should write songs together,'" Dickerson recalls to The Boot. "They didn’t have a band name yet. And so we were writing songs just because we love writing songs. At the time, they were super cool for us, the best songs we’d ever written, all of us."
Although Florida Georgia Line have sold more albums -- at least so far -- it was Dickerson who first started making waves in the music community.
"I remember, I had my first meeting with [songwriter] Craig Wiseman," recalls Dickerson. "Literally I went to the meeting, and I had a write with Florida Georgia Line, and I was like, 'Guys, I just met with Craig Wiseman,' and they were like, 'What?!' And now they’re signed to [Wiseman's publishing company, Big Loud Shirt]."
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FGL, of course, are now three albums into their career and have sold millions of albums and become superstars, while Dickerson only recently released an EP, Yours. However, he's not jealous -- he's just happy to have found his own path.
"I think there’s a higher power that is making that happen," Dickerson admits. "I’m grateful that it is turning out that way, honestly, because I don’t know if I would have gotten married -- I’m getting real, seriously -- I don’t know what it would look like.
"When I signed my first publishing deal, they were like, 'Record deal in six months. You’re good. We’ll have you on the radio in no time.' I signed that deal, and it didn’t happen in six months, a year. Two years went by, and nothing happening; it just wasn’t happening," he continues. "So if I would have went from that, six months, radio blowing up, I don’t know what life would look like. But I’m super grateful that I’m here now, right where I’m at ... to have been married four years and taking the time to perfect my sound and my craft and have this giant foundation, an overly large foundation, as opposed to this little, six-month thing that was promised to me."
Still, Hubbard and Kelley serve as a major inspiration for Dickerson, as does his current tour boss, Thomas Rhett.
"It’s just so cool to see how they’ve succeeded," says Dickerson. "I’ve definitely learned from them: How they run their crew, their live show, is so awesome, and I’m just definitely majorly inspired by those guys.
"I want to sing at that level of Florida Georgia Line. I want to headline my own arena tour. I want to bring up other artists under me and be a part of their career and help them write songs and take their live show from terrible to awesome, and just develop people," he adds. "I want to believe in young guns just like Thomas is believing in me, and just like FGL believes in me."
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