HomeEF CountryInterview: Teddy Robb talks "Whiskey Can't", his new music plans and his...

Interview: Teddy Robb talks “Whiskey Can’t”, his new music plans and his success so far

Teddy Robb is the definition of a Country star on the rise.

The Ohio native released his debut self-titled EP in 2020 along with the single ‘Heaven On Dirt‘ and he’s amassed more than 100 million streams, and that’s without pushing for success at radio yet. As he gears up for a new EP this year, Robb has released his catchy new single “Whiskey Can’t”.

I caught up with Teddy to talk about his success so far, find out the story behind “Whiskey Can’t” and to discuss his hopes to talk his music international…

Your songs have featured on so many of my playlists this past year so it’s fantastic to finally get to speak with you…

That’s so awesome. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to come over there and play any shows but man that’s on my bucket list for sure. That’ll be really exciting when the day comes where we’re hopping on a plane to come over to the UK and play some shows.

Fingers crossed you’ll be able to come over for C2C in March next year?

We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Who knows? I’m trying to be optimistic about it.

Your stats are seriously impressive. Across the songs you’ve put out so far and your EP you’ve had more than 100 million streams. That’s a huge number. How do you feel about it?

It’s really so unexpected. When we made that EP, it was the first EP I’ve ever made. I was looking at it as an introduction to the town and hopefully it’ll get some things rolling. I was nervous to even put the first song of the EP out. Now a couple years later to look and see what it’s done, it’s so unexpected. I’m so appreciative of it. I’ve grown so much because of that EP, and the music that I’m making now is a product of the growth that that allowed me to do. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to put that music out and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. I feel like the music lags behind where artists are actually at in their journey. I’m proud of it but I’m certainly looking forward now.

Songs stay around for so long, especially in this genre. You put ‘Heaven On Dirt’ out after the EP release last year and I feel like that song has further built on the momentum you have. How are you feeling about the way things are building?

I think there’s so many evolutions in an artist’s career and you start learning who you are. The first EP, I was writing stuff that was where I was at, at that time and I was, in a lot of ways, still learning how to be a professional songwriter in the town and learning what that looks like. After you start writing hundreds of songs, you realise which ones are speaking to you, and even other songs that you didn’t write, but you go, ‘wow, I didn’t write that but I wish I wrote that’. That’s a good sign that maybe you should record that because you feel whatever that lyric is. Writing you so many songs teaches you that. I hope I never go backwards. I’m sure that someday there will be a plateau. One of my favorite guys is John Mayer and he’s always evolved, but I do feel when he did ‘Where The Light Is’ in L.A. that was like a pinnacle moment for him. Not that everything after it hasn’t been awesome but that was just a moment where you’re like, ‘oh my gosh, he’s arrived’ or ‘he’s at the top’. I’m looking forward to the journey, whenever I get there, I’ll get there but hopefully keep evolving.

Your new single is “Whiskey Can’t”. What is the story behind that song?

This was last June, July, August (time) where it felt like we might never get out of the pandemic. I really felt for a moment, if I can be vulnerable for a minute, that I had the least amount of motivation I’d probably ever felt. I felt a little bit depressed about whether we were going to get out of this and if live music was ever going to come back. I was drinking some whiskey during that time and with everybody else, we were all staying locked down. I was learning how to make Manhattan’s and Old Fashioneds and I was just trying to learn as much as I could about whiskey because it was what I could do. I’m a bit of a whiskey drinker anyhow so that’s what I was getting into. The idea just popped into my head one day, I’m like, ‘whiskey can do this and it can do that, I wonder what whiskey can’t do?’

There is a time where you need to put the whiskey down. I wanted to get that feeling out so I took that idea into some buddies, we wrote that song, and it just fell out. It was such a fun day. The whole EP that I’m going to be releasing after that is with that same squad (of four writers) that I wrote “Whiskey Can’t” with. When you’re songwriting, everybody has different strengths, like maybe you’ll have a guy that’s great with lyric, (and one that’s great with) melody and (one that’s great with) voice, and we found out that was a really great combo. We started writing a bunch and almost every song on the next EP will be a combo of those four guys, and myself as well. “Whiskey Can’t”, I love that song. That was the start of a new chapter for me and now the music is starting to come out.

Teddy Robb - Whiskey Can't
Credit: Monument Records

You haven’t really been able to get out and play your music live yet so it must be really exciting that you can properly promote this single…

It was really strange. So many people have worked their entire lives for a moment. You never expect a pandemic to hit to where you can’t go out and do what you were put on this earth to do. It was really challenging. On the bright side, ‘Heaven on Dirt’ was getting promoted so I did exactly what that song was about. I went out and I did outdoorsy stuff because it was what we could do. Every weekend I was going ATVing or fishing or horseback riding or hunting, and I got to do a whole bunch of things that I would have considered ‘Heaven On Dirt’. That really, really helped me get through last year and I’ll always be thankful for the song ‘Heaven On Dirt’ and I’ll always be proud of that one.

Have you got a Christmas song up your sleeve as we’re getting towards the second half of the year?

Gosh, I haven’t never written a Christmas song.

Some people find it cheesy but others love it. I’m in the ‘love it’ camp…

I love some fresh Christmas songs. You might have just planted the seed and now I’ll have to write a Christmas song (laughs).

It makes a lot of sense. It’s been so tough the past 18 months, we all need some Christmas cheer…

Yeah, absolutely. I’m always excited for Christmas but I just always stick to the standards if I’m going to play one. Never written one. Maybe this year!

Is there anything else you’re hoping to achieve before Christmas rolls around?

Absolutely! I am on fire about putting more music out. I write so much and I’m so committed to recording. That’s what I feel like my gift is, is to record music. I’m doing everything that I possibly can to put more music out and it’s a strange world we live in right now as far as releasing music. I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m doing everything I can to put this EP that I just recorded out and more. I’m writing like crazy. I feel on fire for writing songs right now. I don’t know what clicked but I’m writing a bunch, I’m getting out on the road as much as I can and looking forward to being able to release more music.

Teddy Robb’s single “Whiskey Can’t” is available to stream and download now. Watch the video for the track below:

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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