HomeC2CInterview: Dalton Dover on playing at C2C, 'Giving Up On That' and...

Interview: Dalton Dover on playing at C2C, ‘Giving Up On That’ and Grand Ole Opry debut

Dalton Dover may not be a name on everyone’s lips just yet, but he’s certainly on the verge of becoming a major country star.

The Georgia-born singer-songwriter first learned to play guitar aged 17, before coming to many people’s attention through his appearance on ‘The Voice’ back in 2019. After the show, he made his way to Nashville as a songwriter, then broke through on TikTok where he won over fans with his smooth, rich yet powerful vocals. He’s since been named as a new artist to watch by the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora and CMT and has opened for Luke Combs in Atlanta.

I caught up with Dalton before he made his UK debut at the C2C CMA Songwriters event to talk about his trip across the pond, latest single ‘Giving Up On That’, playing the Grand Ole Opry and more.

Hi Dalton! How are you?

What’s up? I’m doing fine. It’s my first time here in London and I’m just glad to be here for C2C.

How have you found it so far?

Oh man, it’s been really cool. I’m not gonna lie, the roads kind of threw me off ’cause I’ve never been here. So it would definitely take me some time to get used to if I had to drive on the opposite side of the car, ’cause I’m used to driving on one side. So it’s weird.

Is there anything you’re hoping to do whilst you’re here – maybe some sightseeing or trying some British food?

This time I really feel like I’m really gonna be in and out. I’m not gonna get to see as much as I want to. But hopefully it’s not gonna be the last time I’m here, and when I come back I’ll be here for more than three days, y’know? So yeah, I love it here though.

Well we hope so too! You’re here to play at the CMA Songwriters show – are there any songs you’re particularly enjoying playing live at the moment?

Yes, I cannot wait to play my new radio single ‘Giving Up On That’. I can’t wait to play all this new music that I’m so passionate about. Y’know, I say often I feel like this is a new era of Dalton Dover, where people are gonna see a different side of my music and a different side of things that I’ve been doing. So I’m just excited to play it all.

I wanted to ask you about ‘Giving Up On That’ which you’ve just mentioned. Can you tell us a bit more about that song and how it came about?

Yeah, so ‘Giving Up On That’ – it was inspired in my first writing session when I got into town [Nashville]. My buddy Adam Craig and John Pierce, it was my first writer’s retreat and I walked into the room and they went, “Man, we got it” and started singing me the chorus of ‘Giving Up On That’. And at that moment I was like, “Oh, that’s the one”. And man, I just knew. We kind of shut down the retreat that day, so that song was really special. For sure.

I also wanted to ask about how you approach your songwriting. Is there a typical way that you write, or does it vary?

It’s just kind of wherever the song takes me. Songs, I feel, have a heartbeat of their own, I say. And you know, you really never know what direction a song is gonna take you until it just takes you there.

You recently made your Grand Ole Opry debut – how was that?

Yeah, so I made my Opry debut December 3rd. It was honestly one of the most craziest things I ever did, because I grew up listening to all these old legendary country artists, like Conway [Twitty] and Merle Haggard. And for me to stand in the same spot that them guys looked at and stood in, it was really special.

I also know you appeared on The Voice a little while ago. What was that experience like?

Yeah, I was on The Voice back in 2019. I tell people often, whenever I was on the show, it kind of shaped me as the artist I am today. It made the singer, the singer-songwriter I am. I love that as a part of my journey, for sure.

You’ve been doing quite a bit of touring recently. Who’s been the artist you’ve learned the most from that you’ve been on the road with?

It’s definitely been Priscilla Block. Priscilla Block has been like a sister to me through this whole thing so far, and I love her so much. She took me out on the road with her in October, and her and her whole camp, they’ve just become family to me. So definitely Priscilla. I love her so much. She’s amazing.

One of the other ways you came to a lot of people’s attention was through the cover versions you did on TikTok. How has that impacted you as an artist?

Yeah, so TikTok changed the game for me. I started posting… I can’t remember the exact day I started posting, but right at that moment I was like “holy crap, I just reached 50,000 people with one post”. So it changed the game for me in a sense, to where I feel like I’m reaching fans now that I wouldn’t normally reach. I’m reaching fans in London before I even get here, you know? So it’s really cool.

Have you got a particular favourite or stand-out of the cover songs that you’ve done?

For sure. I do a cover of a David Allen Coe song, ‘The Ride’. I kind of do it in my own way, and everybody seemed to love it when I posted it, so I might have to do it again eventually.

I also wanted to ask what advice you’d give yourself if you were starting out now?

I would tell 10-year-old Dalton Dover to keep his nose on the ground, never look back, learn to say no and just always be yourself.

What’s the song you wish you could have written?

[whistles] A song I wish I could have written… It would definitely have to be ‘Anything Goes’ by Randy Houser. A lot of people don’t know that song, but the people that do know it know what I’m talking about. It’s just one of those songs that even when I listen to it, every time I’m just like, “Damn I wish I wrote that song”. So yeah, that one, ‘Anything Goes’.

What does the rest of 2023 look like for you? I know you’ve got a couple of tours coming up and you’ve mentioned the new music – will that be the main focus?

Yeah, I’m out on tour with Chase Rice coming up soon, I’m really excited about that. We’re working on the Chase Rice tour, we’re working on new music, shows… Oh man, we just got so much stuff happening. I can’t wait for the fans to see what’s going on.

Is the new music going to be similar to what you’ve been putting out recently?

Yeah, as I said earlier I feel like this is a whole new era of Dalton Dover where the music that’s coming is so genuine and real and it’s so me. I just can’t wait to watch it resonate with my fans and even with new fans that don’t know me yet. So I’m really excited about it.

Can you tell us if it’s going to be an EP, or maybe an album?

I can’t say yet. But I just know we got a lot of amazing songs in the pipeline, so I’m really pumped about it.

Have you got plans to come back to the UK after this trip?

I really hope so. That’s definitely in my plan, but I just have to get with my team and hopefully we can make that happen. I would love to come back – and stay longer than three days! Gosh!

Well we will happily have you back any time!

Dalton Dover’s latest single, ‘Giving Up On That’, is out now on Mercury Nashville/UMG Recordings.

Laura Cooney
Laura Cooney
Laura has been writing for Entertainment Focus since 2016, mainly covering music (particularly country and pop) and television, and is based in South West London.

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