Interview: Jameson Rodgers Translates A Strong Work Ethic Into Success in Music City

Singer-songwriter Jameson Rodgers was born and raised in the small southern town of Batesville, Mississippi. His country-rock edge and gritty vocals combined with his dedicated focus on honest songwriting make him one to watch.

Rodgers, a former college baseball player, says, “In college, I started playing guitar and singing with my roommates. I got to a point where baseball had run its course for me and when it was over I decided to hang up the cleats and pick up the guitar full time. When I was at Southern Miss I started to get serious about music and writing songs. People would be requesting songs at bars we were playing or around a campfire. I was just absolutely hooked.”

He explains that his experience playing sports, particularly baseball, have helped him get to where he is today. “I learned about work ethic and discipline, which carry over into anything in life,” he says. “Especially with music. As a songwriter, you have so much freedom as to when you want to work and write. It’s typically not an 8-5 job. You have to be dedicated to putting in the time, effort and focus to make sure you give it your all.”

Rodgers and a college roommate moved to Nashville in 2010 not knowing a soul. Since then, he’s focused on honing his writing skills working with scores of songwriters and playing as many rounds as he possibly could. As many young aspiring artists do, he found Music City a difficult scene to break into. “I went to every open mic night I could and played the three songs that I came to town with,” he shares. “I met a ton of writers that I still write with today. In the beginning, you just write with whoever will write with you and I wrote a bunch of bad songs and eventually a few good ones.” When writing he finds inspiration from personal experiences, people he’s met or meets as well as through the music of other artists who inspire him. “Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, I’m always drawing on my experiences as well as those of friends and family. Not every song I write is necessarily a personal story of mine but I try to always make a connection.”

In 2014, Rodgers received The ASCAP Foundation Leon Brettler Award and landed his first publishing deal with Combustion Music. The relentless time and effort he’d been putting in was beginning to pay off. He earned his first cut when Florida Georgia Line recorded “Wish You Were on It” (Dig Your Roots). In 2016 he released his first EP which he followed with a self-titled EP in January of 2018. The EP’s lead single “Some Girls” has quickly become a fan favorite. It’s been featured on SiriusXM’s The Highway and has over 2.5 million streams on Spotify. The song is a breakup story but told from the male point of view and addresses the drama that can add to the complexity of a breakup when social media is involved.

Rodgers recently played at the very popular Faster Horses Festival in Michigan, which he says is one of his favorites to perform at. He’s opened shows for Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, Eli Young Band and more and tells us that he’s learned a lot from watching them. “It’s fun to go out and play to a bigger audience and crowd, and fun to watch them do their thing and interact with the fans as well. You take a little bit from each experience and take notes and figure out how to incorporate that into what you’re doing. Playing my own shows and have people come out singing my songs, that’s what I’m living for right now, those moments are priceless for me.”

As his career takes off, he stresses that it’s important to him that he stays grounded. “I’m just a simple guy from Batesville, Mississippi. I have to ask myself why me, why am I getting to do this? I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be honest with you. I get to wake up and play music every day, I’m living the dream and I’ll never lose sight of that.” Offstage he loves to play golf with friends, visit home when possible and enjoys spending time on the farm. “I’m pretty simple,” he laughs. “Looking back to when I first got to town, it’s crazy how far away I was from where I am now. I just didn’t realize how hard it was to get to this point. I mean it’s years of building relationships, writing songs, performing. Just constantly trying to improve.”

Rolling Stone Country named Rodgers as one of their “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: May 2018” and he was nominated for the 2018 Rising Artist/Songwriter of the Year by the Association of Independent Music Publishers. In addition, Florida Georgia Line recently cut another of Rodgers’ songs titled “Talk You Out of It“.

Stay tuned because there’s a lot more on the horizon for this rising star.

Follow Jameson Rodgers on his socials: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and his website.