As the songwriter behind some of the most popular country music tunes from Dustin Lynch's "Hell of a Night" to Cole Swindell's "Ain't Worth the Whiskey," Adam Sanders may have made a name for himself within that realm of the industry, but he's taking things to a new level as an artist. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Sanders discussed the meaning behind his new single "Make Em Wanna Change" and what separates him from other big names in the country music industry.
"I've had the title 'Make Em Wanna Change' for a while in my phone — I'm always looking for titles or sayings — I'm always jotting stuff down," Sander explained to PopCulture. "I think for me, the idea was sort of sparked from a past relationship that I had, even though the relationship didn't work out, she was someone that I think challenged me for the first time in life to be the best version of myself. So it was basically, just kind of the guy's perspective of this guy knowing right from wrong, and [that] he's not a terrible person. But when you find someone that challenges you and drives you to be the best person that you can be, that's when a relationship, I think, is special."
Sanders partnered on the single with Adam Craig and Dallas Wilson — both well-known songwriters who have also made a name for themselves in the music business. Sanders said the three of them were "school-girling out" over the '90s country they grew up with when music producer, Wilson put a little something together. Before they knew it, Sanders added in the title and the trio had a new song on their hands.
"I asked the guys if I could get my producer to take a stab at it, and as soon as we recorded it and I heard it, I was like, 'Okay, this is something really cool here,'" Sanders said. "Then I kind of teased it on my socials, and people went nuts. So, here we are! We released it." Sanders went on to explain that he grew up in a small town in Florida [Lake City] and simply wasn't exposed to a whole lot as a kid, so when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and started exploring the music industry more, along with other relationships, his views started to change.
While he jokes as an example of how he used to not drink wine three years ago but does now, that among many other things has changed for him. Nevertheless, he expresses how it's his roots that separate him from so many other artists. "The funny thing is, for whatever reason, you always hear when you come to Nashville, 'Just be yourself, just be yourself,' and for whatever reason, that was such a hard line for me to grasp and understand," Sanders said, adding how he "ran" from the "twangy-ness" in his voice for years while trying to find another way to be as a country music artist. After a few years in, he then realized just being himself would pay off in the end. "Then I realized, 'Wait a second, I should be focusing on my strengths instead of pulling back and trying to make something better that I'm not good at.'"
Although the coronavirus pandemic has slowed his schedule down — among many others — Sanders himself doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. In fact, he fully intends to give his fans something they've been wanting on for years now. "I've learned to trust my fans a lot more, so we're going to release another song later this summer," he revealed before explaining there's something even bigger in store. "I have never done a full album project yet since I started releasing music, and everyone asks me, 'When are you going to put out an album?'"
Sanders said while he's not yet at a point of selling "double-platinum records" he's gained enough "clout and a big enough fan base" to where he can do this now. "It's time to give them that!" Fans can potentially expect that at either the end of this year or spring of 2021. For more on Sanders, visit his website here.