Country music star Thomas Rhett has proved he is a family man at heart. The father of four recently sat down with People to discuss the inspiration behind his forthcoming record, “Where We Started” and to explain how his children played a vital role in the song selection process.
When live music was brought to a sudden halt due to the global health crisis, Rhett found himself with more free time on his hands. Similar to other musicians, he utilized the downtime to create his sixth studio album, “Where We Started.”
“I was alone with my thoughts in 2020 and wrote a lot of songs, just me and the guitar, and I wanted to write some more things that made my kids smile and made my kids want to dance,” the hitmaker exclusively told the publication.
The Grammy Awards nominee explained that he would test new material out on his children – Willa Gray (6), Ada James (4), Lennon Love (2), Lillie Carolina (4 months), and of course, wife Lauren Akins.
After weeding through more than 40 songs, he brought his top picks to his loving family for constructive feedback.
“I started playing the record, and I kept taking notes of the ones they wanted to listen to over and over again,” said Rhett before explaining that certain songs resonated with his young girls. “There were five or six on there that now when we get in the car, my 2-year-old will be like, ’Play daddy song, daddy song.’ And if it’s not one of those six, even if it’s an older song of mine or a newer one, those are the only six that she cares about. So those made it on the record for sure,” he confirmed.
He continued to share that musicians should not overlook the power of a child’s ear, as they have the capability to make a track a smash hit.
“You can look at a kid and be like, ’You’re too young to understand.’ But I feel like kids understand feel-good,” Rhett uttered while pointing out that his girls play the tracklist from Disney’s ’Encanto’ on repeat. “That’s the reason Encanto is the biggest movie on the planet. I mean, ’We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ [is played] in my house 48 million times a day, because it feels good.”
Rhett said that he had his children on top of mind when writing and recording the collection, but he also recalled special moments throughout his career from which to pull inspiration.
“Looking back and being like, ’Golly,’ I can’t believe where we have come in this business compared to playing clubs for 12 people,” he told the outlet. “Not only that but even in my marriage and looking back, getting married at the age of 22 and now having four daughters under the age of 6 — it’s kind of a pinch-me moment in a way.”
The vocalist did not fail to mention that he is excited to move forward and create new memories. Come June 17, Rhett will be embarking on his nationwide Bring The Bar To You Tour and is eager to bring his oldest daughters out on the road with him.
“The older two, I think, are going to come with me quite a bit this year, Ada James and Willa Gray, especially in the summer. You know, they’re old enough that they’ll do me the justice of sleeping until 9:00 in the morning and stay up with me at night and go watch the show,” he uttered full of excitement.
While performing releases off of his 15-song project, he is looking forward to having his girls’ side stage and planning daddy-daughter dates after each concert.
“[It’s] the first time that I’ll be like, ’Hey, y’all don’t have to go to bed before my show starts. You know, let’s just treat this like a weekend, and y’all can hang out with Dad till 11:30 and then we’ll all go to bed, we’ll wake up, we’ll go to the zoo. We’ll go do whatever y’all want to do,’” he concluded.
To learn more about the highly anticipated project, fans can tune into the hitmaker’s new show, “Where We Started Radio with Thomas Rhett,” on Apple Music Country.