Lathan Warlick officially released his debut EP, My Way, on April 23, and the title says it all — he's doing things his way. A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Warlick gained attention after posting TikTok videos of himself adding rap verses to songs by Justin Bieber, Adele and more. He found his way into the country music community after appearing on a remix of Granger Smith's "That's Why I Love Dirt Roads," followed by the patriotic "Over Yonder" with Matt Stell.
After RaeLynn heard "Over Yonder," she recruited Warlick for their collaboration, "Roots," which led Warlick to Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, an executive producer on My Way. The project features eight songs, only one of which doesn't have a guest feature. Hubbard appears on the title track, while other guest spots are filled by Lauren Alaina, Russell Dickerson, Dustin Lynch and High Valley. "It was a snowball effect," Warlick told PopCulture.com of meeting his collaborators, crediting Hubbard for helping him "connect the dots."
"He didn't have to do a lot of the stuff that he's doing, but he is a genuine, amazing person," he added of Hubbard, adding that the two artists "connect so well" because they are "so much alike." Warlick's unique style of music blends hip-hop with gospel, and he described his vision as "God, love and unity."
"I feel like I'm doing this for this purpose only," he shared. "To encourage people and definitely for people to reach Jesus. It starts with love first." So if I can show somebody that love through my music, that will connect them to a spiritual being... I have the heart for that. And it's just because I'm connected with Jesus."
Warlick identifies himself as a "positive artist," and for him, that means spreading unity however he can. "I'm all about bringing unity to what's going on," he explained. "With everything that's going on, I want a lot of people to learn that, 'Hey, after listening to this. Man, we go through enough negative stuff in life for us to just sit there and just keep, let negative stuff pile up on our plate.' I want them to listen to this and just be... Feel free. And just be open, and just be straight positive vibe, just a good time and just a good listen."
Since surviving a near-death encounter in 2011 that found him staring down the barrel of a .45 caliber pistol, Warlick decided to turn his life around, giving himself to God and following a new path he felt called to take. "I'm all about good vibes and positive things," he said. "If it's storming somewhere, I'm going to find the sun. If it's going crazy, or if it's going chaotic in one spot, I'm going to still find some type of joy out of that chaotic-ness. That's what I want to push. That's what I want to do for my music."