It wasn't long ago that Dustin Lynch was known for keeping his private life private, away from both his music and the concert stage. But that all changed when he met his current girlfriend, Kelli Seymour, who he admits inspired not only some of the songs on his latest Tullahoma album, but also inspires his live performances as well.
"It just seems natural," Lynch told PEOPLE. "There's something comfortable about us, and honestly, getting the thumbs up from my family is a big deal. And her family, too."
One song on Tullahoma, "Country Star," was inspired by dreaming of taking Seymour out to his farm located outside of Nashville.
"[I thought of] taking her out there for the first time and what we would do," Lynch said of what made him write the song. "It's kind of this fantasy night. We still haven't gotten a chance to do that in real life — dammit."
"It's too cold now, but when it warms back up, we'll get to go out and enjoy it," he remarked, adding that "Country Star" is one of Seymour's favorites. "Actually, before she even knew it, she gravitated toward that song."
"Country Star" is just one of the honest tracks on Tullahoma, which marks the first record that Lynch was willing to get super personal with his music.
"Finding confidence is what I've done in the past year," Lynch admitted. "And this album is my first step in that direction — of going, man, this is who I am. This is who I want to be. This next year is just going to be a fun ride because I'm confident with what we've made."
"I was touring really heavily at the time, and we were texting back and forth," Lynch recalled on The Sam Alex Show, discussing how he got to know Seymour. "It seemed like there was some chemistry there, so I was trying to figure out when I could go out and meet her for the first time in person. My schedule just wasn't allowing me that time to go do that, and so I invited her out to a show in California, and she came out with a friend, which is a nice neutral playing field.
"If she would've ended up being a wack job or a weirdo I could've been like: 'Have a nice night. Enjoy the show. Bye,'" he added with a laugh. "But we ended up hitting it off and keeping in touch and seeing each other not long after, and still are. It's been great.'"
Purchase Tullahoma on Lynch's website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Leah Puttkammer