During her recent self-titled tour, Jessie James Decker began covering Lil Nas X's massive hit "Old Town Road," and the reception from her fans was so positive that she decided to release her very own cover version of the hot summer single.
Branding herself on the cover art as a pink horse, Decker put a feminine twist on the song, writing her own lyrics that reference daisy dukes, her time living in Georgia and the outlaw Jesse James.
"It just came to me that I wanted to put my own original lyrics because [Lil Nas X's] were very much from a male point of view, and so I wanted to write the first female point of view of 'Old Town Road' for the girls that wanted to sing it loud and proud," she told PopCulture.com exclusively. "It was really great that I got approval and permission to do that, and I was super grateful from their team for allowing me to make the first female version of it."
Lil Nas X's original song sparked controversy after its release when it was pulled from the country charts, and while Decker's version was billed as country, she doesn't really consider genres in today's musical landscape.
"I just think music is music. Great music is great music," she said. "I don't know if I think too much about labels and how things should be categorized. I just think good music is good music."
"I've always been country, and my music always goes to the country genre, so I think it just probably automatically went that direction because I'm a country artist and my music has always charted in the country charts and country aspect of that sort of area."
The mom of three added that no matter what genre Lil Nas X's song is classified as, she's happy to see fans of the rapper consider the idea of listening to country music after finding themselves singing along to "Old Town Road."
"If he is creating music that gets more fans to love country music, then I'm all about it," she explained. "My main goal is to get as many fans as possible just to love music. I thought what he did was cool, and I supported it, which is why I covered it."
Decker knows all about not fitting in in country music, experiencing a less-than-warm welcome from the industry when she released her debut album, Jessie James, in 2009. The project found Decker singing all about requisite country topics — cowboys, blue jeans and burning your ex's belongings after they cheated on you — but the production was decidedly forward thinking, incorporating banjos and bass to develop Decker's own hybrid of country, pop and hip-hop.
"My first album that I put out, I was definitely ahead of my time, but they didn't want to classify my music as country music whatsoever," Decker recalled. "I had banjos and steel and slide guitar and fiddle and was singing about various Southern things. That was 10 years ago. If I were to put that music out today, it would be considered country music. Ten years ago, it was not. They refused to call it country, and I remember being so confused."0comments
"I just think music is evolving and we're in a transitional area of music and genres," she continued. "Every 10 years, music shifts. What was pop back in the day was listening to Sheryl Crow's records. What was considered pop then would probably be a country record today. I think we all just roll with the punches. For me, I just want to listen to good music."
Photo Credit: Getty / Theo Wargo
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