Devin Dawson is a singer, but he is first and foremost a songwriter. So when he and HARDY got together to write, they knew the song they penned, "God's Country," would be a hit for someone, but they never imagined that someone would be Blake Shelton.
"We wrote it on a Thursday," Dawson recalled to PopCulture.com. "Blake heard it, and by Monday he had recorded it. I don't really how those work. I mean, sometimes songs last three years before they get cut. But this one, I just wrote a song that we loved, and it was the right timing, and the stars aligned. And, I got to sing harmony on it, when we were recording, so it's really special for me. I'm excited about it."
Dawson released his own debut Dark Horse album last year, but he insists he is, and will always be, a songwriter before he is an artist.
"If you look at my Instagram, it says, "Songwriter/Singer," not "Singer/Songwriter," Dawson explained. "I love singing, but I just feel like I was put here to try to tell my story, and help other people tell theirs, and singing is a vessel for that. I was the guy that started singing because nobody else wanted to. I wasn't the guy that grew up singing in church or whatever. I feel like there's people that are born to sing, and then there's people that work really because they want to have a figurative voice like that, and that's me.
"I love it, and I want to get better every single day," he continued. "I keep pushing myself, and I'm always conscious of that. The songwriting is really where I feel the most."
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Shelton performed "God's Country" during the live broadcast of the recent ACM Awards, which marked his first time to sing the song on TV. Shelton's performance of "God's Country" earned him a standing ovation, as well as praise from his longtime girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, who boasted about his performance on social media.
Shelton didn't waste any time in deciding to record "God's Country," especially since it resonated so strongly with him.
“‘God’s Country’ is a song that has a strong and deep meaningful lyric, but at the same time it leaves it up to the listeners’ interpretation,” Shelton said of the song.
“But no matter where you are from or where you’re standing it is my belief that you’re standing in God’s Country. It’s really about a state of mind. Wherever you’re from and how you feel about that place. For me, it’s about being from Oklahoma – where I was born, raised and still live today.”
Download "God's Country" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison