Singer-songwriter Seth Ennis enjoyed a breakthrough with his single ‘Woke Up In Nashville’ in 2016.
That was followed by his debut EP ‘Maybelle’, which saw him touring around the US and internationally, including a spot at C2C and a support slot with Little Big Town on their European tour. In the years since that release, Ennis has parted ways with his record label and is now releasing his music independently.
I caught up with Seth to talk about the transition period in his career, discuss his road back to new music, and to find out if he plans to get back to the UK soon…
You’ve been on quite a journey since I last saw you in 2017 and from what I’ve been reading, it’s been a difficult time for you. What has this transition period in your career been like?
People say this industry is like a roller coaster and I think that life just feels like a roller coaster. I moved to Nashville when I was 20 years old. Got my record deal when I was 21 years old and then everything went super, super fast, man. I didn’t really have time, I don’t think, to figure out who I was, what I wanted to be, what I wanted to say and what I wanted to sound like. Then I was playing C2C and coming over there again with Little Big Town. I was on tours over here with Luke, Bryan and FGL, big tours. It was just a big change when all that happened and then when the pandemic hit, everything just stopped man. It was crazy. It was just a roller coaster of like; everything was going up and then it just fell out of nowhere. Trying to navigate through that was weird for a little bit but man, I feel like I’m in a great spot right now. I love what I’m making, I love what I’m releasing and I love what I’m writing for other artists too. Everything’s going great man.
I was so sad to read that you’d considered giving up releasing your own music, especially given just how talented you are as a vocalist and a songwriter. I’m so glad you’re back with new and music, and ‘U-Turn’ is such a catchy summer groove. What’s the story behind that one?
I’ve always loved that song. I wrote it a long time ago. I started playing it when I was on tour with Dylan Scott. I played that song and by the end every time the fans were singing it back to me. I was like, ‘dang’, this is the sign that people talk about. When this happens at a live show with a song, that means you should record it. I recorded it and I knew it was a song I wanted to put out. It was when I was still on my record label when all that was changing for me and transitioning. It got lost in the mix a little bit. Then the pandemic hit, and like you said it’s a fun summer song, so I didn’t really want to release it, when nobody could go out and have a good time and listen to it. I’ve waited and I’m glad I did because I feel like it’s the perfect time. I’m excited about that one for sure and the response has been great so far.
It’s so infectious and I’ve struggled to get it out of my head since I heard it. It’s so different to your last release ‘I Still Do’. Are you working up to a longer body of work at the moment?
I’ve tried to take the expectation off of my music because it’s really difficult to create when you have some kind of expectation in mind, or at least for me, it is. Now I’m doing things that I think are cool and now that I have complete creative control over everything, I’m just gonna keep releasing songs as I do them. I have a couple more in the pipeline. I just want to consistently put music out because I felt like that was the issue before, it was difficult to get the music out because there always had to be some big plan for it. My plan is just to put out music that I think is cool and that I think my fans would like. I think it’s going really well so far and I’m really excited about what’s to come.
Being able to have full creative control must be a gift for you as an artists, especially when you’ve been through the label system where there are lots of people involved in every decision…
Absolutely and I’m don’t want to be the artist that’s bad mouthing my former record label. I signed when I was 21 years old and I think that I was figuring things out, and that’s on me to figure that stuff out. It was a weird time to have everything happen so I’m not the artist that’s blaming things on my old record label. I just think now that I am a little bit older and I’ve been doing it a little bit longer, and also like I said, I took the expectation off the music, I think it just gave me a chance to sit back and breathe for a second. I’ve been able to figure out what I want to sound like and what I want to say. Another big thing for me is, as you know, is I write for a lot of other artists and that’s a big part of what I do. I write in a lot of different genres too. I think having all of that music everywhere else really made it difficult for me to figure out what I want to sound like and what I want to say. The pandemic was good for me in a way because I got to sit back and really figure some stuff out.
Since we last spoke, the music industry has changed so much. The expectation on artists to release new music quicker is evident and you can get instant feedback through social media platforms, and release songs when you want…
Absolutely and I think that was the biggest thing for me. The people that are probably listening to my music is the younger crowd and most people like that are probably streaming music. I think the old guard was that we had to have this one song that we work at radio for a year and nowadays people just want music. They want it over and over and over again. Honestly, my favourite thing about playing in the UK when I’ve come over there is… over in the States the crowds can be a little bit more dull I think sometimes because they get the Country music all the time. When I come to the UK, it’s because it’s not over there all the time. It’s crazy man. My deep cuts, I feel like people know every word to every song and it makes you feel so good that your music is connecting somewhere. I’m loving being able to just like put out music whenever I want. Music is crazy right now, dude. You can do it so many different ways. I’m trying to figure it out as I go.
Imagine how rabid the audiences are going to be when you next get over here. We’re desperate to go to a show right now…
Absolutely. I’m stoked to get back man. I want to come to a Manchester City game this year (laughs).
Now that touring is starting up again and the world is recovering from the pandemic, might we see you back in the UK?
I hope so. I would love that more than anything. I feel like I talk about it every single meeting with my management like, ‘when can we get over there as soon as possible?’ because I just love it over there and I love the people. It’s actually kind of funny, I was coming over to Scotland, I was writing with a band over there, and it was as everything hitting. Our flight was (booked) and there’s was these rumors that Trump was going to put on this travel ban. We decided not to go and then the next day the travel ban was put on. If I would had gone, I would have been probably still over there (laughs).
I do worry that I’ll look back on this time and wish I’d done more with it. We’re hopefully never going to go through anything else like this in our lifetime but equally we’ll never get as much time as we’ve had this past year…
Over the pandemic the good thing was that all of the other artists were in town obviously because they weren’t on the road. It was good for me from a writing standpoint because I got to write for a bunch of people’s projects. I have some really cool stuff I’m excited about coming out from them. That was a cool part of it. The hard part for me is getting my mind back in gear for touring because we’ve been here so long. This is the longest I’ve ever been in one spot without being on the road.
Seth Ennis’ new single ‘U-Turn’ is available to stream and download now. Take a listen to the song below: