Jake Owen’s Barefoot Blue Jean Night. The Eli Young Band’s Even if it Breaks Your Heart. Love & Theft’s Angel Eyes.
Above are just a few of the chart-topping songs Eric Paslay has written. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the hottest singer/songwriter out of Music City today. (And I thought that the minute he performed for us in the US 99.5 conference room in 2011. Any song sung with just one voice and one acoustic guitar that can bring me to tears in a plain room with a bunch of salespeople has “great artist” written all over it. That song, by the way, is called Deep as it is Wide, and has since been recorded by the one and only Amy Grant. I’ve never been able to get through it without the waterworks.)
And now, we get to hear his voice on the radio on his first huge hit single Friday Night.
“I love creating,” Eric says of songwriting. “You show up and there’s nothing there. And you walk out of the room with a song… Songs have a life of their own.”
And this song is no exception. “We were just writin’ one morning thinkin’ about all the things you hate during the week, and we were like, ‘how cool would it be to be someone’s Friday night on a Monday morning?’”
Eric explains that it doesn’t just have to be about the typical Friday night downtown. It can also be about “just sittin’ on a dock waiting for something to bite… It can be whatever you love.” (Back in 2011 in that conference room, Eric told us he loves to fish.)
When you listen to Friday Night, Eric wants you to feel that anticipatory feeling we get when “you’re off work, you got paid, and you’re pickin’ up your honey. Ain’t nothin’ better than that.”
Eric joins quite a grouping of people that were songwriters first, artists later. Take Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson for example. Making that transition is something he’s enjoyed. “People know me as a songwriter first, and that’s awesome.”
“People always say, ‘what’s your favorite song, your favorite artist, your favorite music?’ And I always just say, ‘if it’s great I turn it up.’”
Friday Night is one song you can definitely crank up. Check out the video below to get the story behind the hit.
- Laura Taylor, US 99.5 Chicago