Four-time CMA Awards-winning duo Florida Georgia Line welcomes three additional songwriters to the CMA Songwriters Series Presented by U.S. Bank performance Wednesday, Oct. 10 at The Novo in Los Angeles. Ernest K. and Tree Vibez Music songwriters RaeLynn and Canaan Smith have just been added to tomorrow’s lineup, which features previously announced songwriters Corey Crowder and HARDY. The series hosts intimate performances with some of Country Music’s most exciting songwriting talent taking turns telling the stories behind their hit songs and performing them as originally written.
Prior to the performance, the songwriters will partner with the CMA Foundation and CMA Songwriters Series presenting sponsor U.S. Bank to visit with students from Harmony Project, an organization that provides comprehensive, tuition-free music education and social support, serving 3,500 youth across Los Angeles, Southern California and beyond. More than 90% of students in the program, which begins in elementary school, go on to graduate high school and enter college. The CMA Foundation has committed to providing a $50,000 grant to Harmony Project through a five-year partnership. Additionally, U.S. Bank will provide a grant of $25,000 to Harmony Project as part of its Community Possible giving platform and its Places to Play partnership with the CMA Foundation.
Nothing about Nashville’s Ernest K. is easy to classify, and that’s the point. Growing up making beats while most kids made paper airplanes and learning banjo while listening to rap, he’s always bent the rules and eschewed the predictable. Ernest K. was only 19 when he suffered a viral infection that caused a heart attack, and, when at college, he also overcame a battle with addiction. It was a chance encounter, back home in Nashville while trying to get his life back on track, when he met his future wife shortly after meeting her little brother, Matt Royer, who became a collaborator, spending countless hours in his basement studio making whatever music they felt like making on a given day. It’s a chain that led to a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, based in part on the strength of just one song, “Blacked Out,” which documented his struggles. Soon, he was getting cuts from the likes of Florida Georgia Line (“Dig Your Roots”), under the tutelage of Nashville songwriting royalty like the Warren Brothers. Now working on his first releases, Ernest K.’s creative journey will be a complete one – from the aesthetic look of his album artwork, to his collaborators and inspirations, it will be unlike anything currently afloat in Nashville. And for Ernest K., that’s what makes it worthwhile: to belong everywhere and nowhere at once.
It’s “Tailgate” season, and no one knows that better than RaeLynn. The breakout Country star penned the “instantly-singable track” (Taste of Country) alongside Canaan Smith, Corey Crowder and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard. With “Tailgate” and the empowering “Queens Don’t,” RaeLynn offers the first glimpses of new music since her debut album WildHorse arrived at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and Top 10 on Billboard’s all-genre Top Albums Sales chart upon release. The 2018 ACM Awards New Female Vocalist nominee co-wrote 11 of the 12 tracks on the record, which was recognized as one of the 40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017 by Rolling Stone and a Best Country Album by UPROXX and Stereogum in addition to being named a “People’s Picks” by People. The first Country artist to be the face of a Too Faced line, which is available in stores worldwide, she has earned numerous award nominations from the Academy of Country Music, Radio Disney Music Awards and CMT Music Awards. She has performed on several national TV shows including TODAY, Late Night with Seth Meyers and ELLEN. Fans can catch her on select headline dates of the “SiriusXM The Highway Presents: RaeLynn” tour this fall.
Rolling Stone raves, “If you haven’t heard of Canaan Smith yet, chances are you will be hearing quite a bit of him…overall, we feel the singer-songwriter is one of the sharper artists to keep an eye on.” Possessing a smooth, evocative voice, Smith could have pursued success in any genre of music but was always drawn to Country. “It’s all about the stories,” Smith says. “You can listen to a Country song and it will raise the hair on your arms. I’m a people person and I love being able to connect with people, so it makes the most sense for me to be able to tell my stories and connect with people via Country music. I want them to find a piece of themselves in the music. I want them to be moved by it. I want it to hurt. I want it to celebrate. I want them to feel like they can take on the world.” Smith’s debut album, Bronco, which includes the RIAA Platinum-certified No. 1 Hit, “Love You Like That” debuted in the Top 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. “Love You Like That” is also one of the top streaming tracks from all new artists in Country Music. Smith is hard at work on new music and has given fans a taste of what’s to come; his digital smash “This Night Back” has already racked up 25 million streams. Smith’s reputation as a road warrior and one of the top live performers in Country Music has not happened by accident. Along with his headlining dates, he has been burning up the highways in recent years with the likes of Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert and Kip Moore, playing well over 550 shows for more than two million fans.