We are less than two weeks away from the April 3 release of Sam Hunt's long-awaited sophomore album, Southside. The record's title, perhaps surprisingly, isn't from a song on the record, but rather from Hunt's own eclectic childhood.
"The album title came well after all the songs were finished," the Georgia native shared with his record label. "I essentially sat down and made a list of potential titles and just off the top of my head, I just sort of started writing down words or phrases that felt like the songs or felt like the record. Southside was the one that just kept standing out. I didn't put a whole lot of thought into why that was the case. Southside just for me is a phrase that just feels like my rural and urban roots, where I'm from.
"I kind of feel like I'm from the Southside of that place, and obviously, the word south is in the title so there's association with being from the South," he continued. "More than having a really good back story for the title, it just felt – when I looked at it on the page – it felt like the record."
Of course, one of the songs on Southside is "Body Like a Back Road," which broke records by becoming the longest No. 1 song at country radio, and began with "Got a girl from the southside." Hunt's current single, "Hard to Forget" is also making a quick climb up the charts as well. The song was inspired by a Webb Pierce country classic.
"I've wanted to sample an older country song from an older era for a while, and I've tried a few times to make it work, and the songs just haven't panned out or I haven't had an idea to write with the samples that we've used," Hunt recounted. "I tried some samples from the '90s 'cause that's kind of the era of country music that I grew up on, but it never seemed to quite work. For some reason when I heard this Webb Pierce sample for the first time, it clicked, and I knew that was gonna be the song that was gonna be the one we sampled.
"I was in a writing session with a buddy of mine, Luke Laird, and we were in the middle of writing a song," he continued. "He played this sample for me, and within a minute of hearing it, I knew, it had to be. I didn't even have an idea for the song. It was just Webb Pierce singing and then some drums came in, and I was like, 'I don't know. Just give me some time to come up with an idea for this, and when we do, we've got to write this. It's gotta be a single and we have to put it out next summer.' I want to be ale to tour around this song, and all I had was this Webb Pierce sample. So, that's how it impacted me that day."
Order Southside at Hunt's website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe