Travis Denning is a singer songwriter based in Nashville. His ability to capture everyday life in fun, accessible songs has gained him a large fan base on both sides of the pond. We caught up with him at his recent show in London.
Welcome, it’s great to chat to you, thanks for taking time out to speak with us today
You are here for Country Music week and have been touring as part of ‘Introducing Nashville’ What have you enjoyed?
As far as shows go, Glasgow. Rowdy, as you’d expect. I think the overall highlight has been to kick around the different cities and experience things I just wouldn’t get to do in any other walk of life. I’m lucky that my job takes me to beautiful places like the UK and Europe, to all these places to experience new life and then have a couple of drinks and sing some songs.
What’s stuck you about the UK?
The first time I came here, what struck me was just how different cultures are, specifically here in London. The earth is big, anywhere can be a hub, but London really is a central point. If you want to get anywhere, you come through here. Also, some of the best food I’ve ever had, Indian, Japanese and of course, English pub fayre. I’ve met so many different people from so many places, that’s awesome.
Tell us about the first time you ever went into a studio to record a song.
It was awesome. The first time I recorded six songs for my record that I’m still working on. Three of those songs I recorded were my first single, ‘David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs’, ‘After a few’, my current single and ‘Heartbeat in a small town.’
It’s incredible, it’s so much fun. The hard part is done if you’ve written the song, you’ve picked the songs, now you just get to be creative. It’s so easy because I was in there with a trusted group of musicians and producer, who I’ve worked with ever since I got to Nashville. It was absolutely fun, there was no pressure. That’s what I think recording music should be.
We recorded at the Starstruck Studios in Nashville. It’s a cool old building that Reba McEintre was involved in. The studio is fantastic, they got great equipment, but it just old enough that I don’t feel bad if I spill a coffee or something. Which I was looking for. I didn’t want to be in a super posh chic studio. I wanted to be able to kick my feet up and kick back.
What’s story behind your new single ‘After a Few’
‘After a few’ is really a story about a guy and a girl who, for whatever reason, cannot stay away from each other. They might have a good time when they’re sober. They haven’t seen each other in a while, but then it’s a few drinks, texts or just a romantic conversation to get right back in there. I know I’ve been there and so many other people have.
You began your time in Nashville writing for other artists. Tell us what you recall about your songs for people such as Jason Aldean and Chase Rice.
The first time I heard one of them was going to record one of my songs was over Thanksgiving, I was home. I got a call from my publisher. He said Jason Aldean really likes your song, and wants to put it on hold. That means, I don’t know if I’m going to record it yet, but let me think about it. About a year and a half later he recorded it. It was so validating and made a lot of things worth it. It made me feel ok, I can hang with my heroes, hang with the best of them. I can be a part of this industry, part of Country music. It was such a great stepping stone.
Five things you adore about country music might include
I love the songs
The talent of the musicians
I love that it’s stories told by people who could almost easily be in the crowd. Country artists are country music fans.
I love the community. I’ve never felt like its dog eat dog. It’s always felt like clean competition. I am blessed to have the friends I have.
They let me be a part of it.
Quick fire Questions. If you had to choose, would you pick?
Grace or gumption – Grace
Gloves or hat – Hat
Thanksgiving or Halloween – Thanksgiving
Corndog or cornbread – Cornbread
Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling – Ryan Reynolds, he’s funny.