Scott is gearing up to accompany Luke Bryan on his Proud To Be Right Here tour this summer, along with Caylee Hammack, Runaway June and DJ Rock. Below, Scott tells Billboard the origin story behind “Nobody,” what he is most excited for upon his return to live shows and more.
How did “Nobody” come together and what was your headspace when making the song?
We were on the road playing shows and I had a couple of writers, Matt Alderman and Dallas Wilson. My wife and I, we’ve been together a long time — since we were 15 years old — so the love songs are kind of easy to write. I just remember us being on the back of the bus late one night like, “Let’s just write a simple love song.” So my buddy Matt started playing the piano, just playing that riff and it came out super easy, which is exactly what I wanted. A simple love song about my wife and we nailed it.
Was it a quick recording process or did it take some time?
No, it was quick. With technology these days, you can do a lot in the back lounge of a bus with a keyboard and computer. We made a demo and we knew we had something special. It was that next week we went in the studio, started adding a couple more parts, and within a couple of weeks, we had the record done. So we’ve had this song recorded for quite awhile now.
Did you think this was going to be a hit right away?
I did, and I don’t always think that. I’m not the type of writer where every song I write is like, “Oh, I love it. It’s gonna be a big hit,” you know? I’m usually pretty tough on my own work, and so with this song, it immediately sounded like something that I would put out to country radio.
You released “Nobody” in 2019. When did you notice the song becoming more popular?
I noticed it becoming more popular before it was ever a radio single. In 2019, we put out Nothing To Do Town — we were still on the road touring, and I started playing it at my live shows, just to see what the crowd was listening to on the EP. I remember playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, [at a] place called The Bluestone, and it was an electric night. The crowd was amazing. I sat down at the piano and I started playing “Nobody” and the place erupted. They knew all the words. I was like “We’ve definitely got something.” If they can sing a song like that off an EP, there’s no doubt in my mind it can be a single.
Why did you decide to put R3hab on the remix?
I wish I had a great story for you to write about. [Scott’s record label] Curb Records hit me up saying “Hey, we want to send this over to R3hab [and] do a remix. Are you fine with that?” He took it and he did his thing — he did a great job. I’ve never had a song remixed before. “Nobody” is kind of a slower, piano-driven love song, so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s definitely something where you can walk in a club and you can hear it going.
Do you think you’ll want to get other remixes?
I think so! It’s a cool thing to do [to] venture out and see what another artist can do with a song of yours, especially in the country world.
Do you have any planned collaborations with your labelmates?
I’m actually working on trying to get a collab for this new project we have coming out later this year. I don’t have anything currently nailed down, but it’d be cool. I’m always down to collab with anybody, but I just let it happen naturally.
How do you balance promoting a song from 2019 with the new music you have planned?
I haven’t released new music in over a year now. We’ve been in the studio recording and writing new music; we just finished it up and we’re waiting for “Nobody” to peak. As soon as it peaks at whatever it’s going to be, we’ll start releasing new music and going from there.
Can you tell me why it’s important for you to incorporate your faith in your music?
I try to stay real to who I am with my music — not just faith but anything else. Because if I am on stage singing about something that is not true to me, then it doesn’t feel real to try to act like I’m somebody else. I am who I am and that’s what is working for me. I think a lot of people relate to that.
I know you’re touring with Luke Bryan this summer. What are you most excited for?
Honestly, I’m most excited about just being back on the road playing music. Going from our worst year ever as far as touring goes to literally coming back to the biggest tour of my life. I’ll be honest, I’ve been a Luke Bryan fan for a really long time. You always dream of being on tour with somebody of that caliber, but you never really think it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be a fun summer.
Does your family go on tour with you?
In summer 2019, I took two buses out — one for band and crew, and then the other for me, my wife and my kids. That was a cool summer, but I’ll be honest with you, it’s a lot of work bringing your family to work. I enjoy my family being out there and experiencing what I get to experience, but at the same time there’s a lot of work.
A version of this story originally appeared in the May 15, 2021, issue of Billboard.