When Russell Dickerson first wrote his current single, "Love You Like I Used To," with frequent co-writers Parker Welling and Casey Brown, he played it for his wife, Kailey, who inspired the song. Unfortunately for Dickerson, Kailey, whom he wed in 2013, wasn't as big of a fan of the romantic tune as Dickerson hoped she might be.
"After I played it she was like, 'Oh, I don't think you nailed it on this one,'" Dickerson recalled to Billboard. "I was like, 'Wow. OK.' And that's why I love her. She's brutally honest no matter what. Then we [Dickerson and his co-writers] got back together I think about six months later and we were like, 'All right, let's see if we can fix this song.' We completely rewrote the entire song, but kept the chorus. We restructured the song and then after we finished, we had a couple of people from our team and my wife and we played it for them. They were like 'Holy crap! There we go!'"
In hindsight, Dickerson knows Kailey was right, even though her honesty might have initially stung.
"We didn't have that attention-grabbing twist in the first write," admitted Dickerson. "So when we came back with the song sounding like a break-up song in the first verse and then it hit that twist in the first chorus, it was like boom!"
"Love You Like I Used To" is on Dickerson's sophomore album, which is nearing completion.
"We've recorded six songs so far, so we have at least four more to go," Dickerson said. "I feel like the first album was a little young and little poppy in some elements. This one I feel is bigger. The sound is bigger. It's more boisterous and has more of a mature sound and even more mature content like 'Love You Like I Used To.'
"I feel like on the first album there were some things I may have been chasing that weren't 100 percent me, but on this album I'm just writing the best songs I can and being as honest and open as I can," he added. "I just want to express my growth in my life and what I've learned."
Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz