Dillon Carmichael is making a name for himself in country music with his debut album, 2018's Hell on an Angel, but fans might not know that his family has been involved in the Nashville community for years. Carmichael's uncles are Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry and John Michael Montgomery, and with that kind of lineage, it's no surprise that Carmichael was drawn to music.
"I got into music the same way they got into music, just being born with the love of music," Carmichael told PopCulture.com "Once you get going you kind of get the bug. We all joke, we can't do nothin' else, we ain't good at nothin' else."
The Kentucky native began performing early, playing at bars in his home state and attracting the attention of someone in the industry who offered him a publishing deal and suggested a move to Nashville. Carmichael ultimately accepted the offer and headed to Music City when he was 17.
Since then, he's begun releasing his own music and earned his own set of fans, though he shared that he never hesitates to call up his relatives when searching for advice on navigating certain aspects of the music business.
"I've called them a few times and said, 'What would you do in this situation?' More of the business side, less the creative side," Carmichael explained of his uncles. "I was influenced by them, growing up with them and their music as well, but definitely the business side. Call and say, 'Hey, I'm in a really interesting situation, maybe even a bad situation. What would you do?' And they've been very helpful in a lot of ways."
To Carmichael, Eddie and John Michael are just part of the family, but the singer admitted that he did attract a bit of attention for his famous relatives growing up in a small town in Kentucky.
"I think I realized when I was in elementary school, or maybe in middle school, that when people found that out that they treated me me a little different. It's like, 'Oh, you weren't my friend then, but now you are,'" he recalled. "But really even then, that circumstance, that didn't happen very often, everybody where I come from, they don't really care. As far as John Michael and Eddie are concerned, in my hometown people see them out, they're just hometown folks to them. After awhile it kind of just it evens out."
Since making his own name in music, Carmichael's brand of Southern country-rock has been earning him rave reviews, with the singer naming artists like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eric Church as influences.
"My ultimate goal as a songwriter is to relate to the people out there and maybe make their life better in some way, kind of like music did for me originally," he explained, adding that he wouldn't rule out a collaboration with his uncles in the future.
"Just trying to find ways to collaborate, whether it be songwriting or a show or telling a story in some way," he said. "I think that would be really cool."
Photo Credit: Getty / Leah Puttkammer