Billy Currington is no stranger to the top of the charts, having amassed seven No. 1 singles since his debut album was released ten years ago. And he’s not slowing down: His latest single “Hey Girl” is currently in the Top 5 of the singles charts and steadily climbing.
On We Are Tonight, Currington continues the feel good vibe he’s known for. What Currington describes as “an entire happy album,” tracks like “Hard to Be a Hippie” and “Wingman” show his funny side while “23 Degrees and South” and “Closer Tonight” exhibit his romantic nature–a side of his personality that helped previous hits ofhis like “Don’t” and “Must Be Doin’ Something Right” make it all the way to No. 1.
“Hey Girl” has a little of both. As Currington told Radio.com in an interview this week, the reason he first decided to cut “Hey Girl” is that it’s a simple and great pickup line he used as a kid.
“My buddy and I, he reminded me of this the other day. He’s like, ‘Man I can’t believe you recorded a song saying the same thing we did when we were kids on the beach.’ When we’d see a girl and be too shy to say something, we would go, ‘Hey girl,’ and it always brought a smile and started a conversation.”
While Currington’s songwriting credit appears on his previous albums, he put down the pen for We Are Tonight and instead called up his songwriter friends.
“I don’t feel like I have to write all my songs. For this project I was actually writing, but all the songs I was writing were coming out hip-hop or R&B,” he said. “It just didn’t fit for this album. There were a lot of songs sent to me that instantly you just don’t connect with. The one’s that are on the album were all instants for me. I would hear them and I’d be like, ‘I have to hear that again and again.’ Eventually you hear it enough [and] I just become a part of that song.”
He added: “I feel like I connected to all the songs even though I had no hand in writing any.”
“Hard to Be a Hippie,” which features Willie Nelson, was written by Deanna Bryant, John Scott Sherrill and Scotty Emerick. Friends with Emerick, Currington pulled up a video of him performing the song on YouTube and called him up to ask about recording it. It turned out Nelson was already interested in cutting the song.
“Four months later I ended up on Willie’s bus. We played a show together so Scotty already knew him,” Currington recalled. “During that time Scotty was like, ‘Billy wants to record that song ‘Hard to Be a Hippie,’ too. Are you still interested?’”
Nelson was, and when Emerick suggested the two record it together, Nelson agreed, much to Currington’s shock.
“I’ve been dreaming of recording with Willie for so many years, told a hundred million people that I wanted to. I guess it came to me. Dream come true,” Currington said.
We Are Tonight Track Listing
1. “Hey Girl”
3. “One Way Ticket”
4. “23 Degrees and South”
5. “We Are Tonight”
6. “Hard To Be a Hippie” (feat. Willie Nelson)
7. “Closer Tonight”
8. “Another Day Without You”
9. “Banana Pancakes”
Billy Currington’s We Are Tonight is available now on iTunes.