By Claire Anne Page
Williamson County’s Next Country Star: Conner Smith is no newbie to the music scene
Born and raised in Williamson County, Conner has been immersed in the music scene from a young age. He always knew he wanted to be a songwriter. Starting at age six, he wrote his own songs and even performed at the Ryman by age eleven.
This year Conner’s dream came to fruition when he released his first two singles. He also was a co-writer on Dustin Lynch’s new release. In August, he started his radio tour and will be the opening act for three of Thomas Rhett’s shows beginning in September.
Conner has big things coming up, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn more about the talented local.
Tell us how you got involved in music. When and how did your journey begin?
My journey is one of being a kid growing up in Nashville. Growing up, my mom worked as an entertainment reporter for WSMV Channel 4, and as part of her job, she interviewed many huge songwriters. There was something about it that I became obsessed with. I would sit there and listen to these interviews, hanging on to every word, as they told their stories of how they were writing these songs.
Did you always know you wanted to be in the music business and/or perform?
Ever since I was six years old you could have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I would have always said a songwriter. Growing up, songwriters were more prominent celebrities to me than singers. I would study songs, the way they were written, the stories they told. The coolest part now is that I get to live that dream, write songs and with the same people I looked up to as a kid.
What inspires you? Musically & personally.
There is an excellent quote on songwriting that says, "When I can't think of anything to write, I've got to go live a little and fill up the well again." For me, the easiest songs to write are the ones I'm living. Jesus, girls, and growing up are where most of my inspiration comes from.
Do you write your songs and/or collaborate with others? Who has been your favorite person to collaborate with so far?
So far, every song we have recorded, I've written. Either by myself or with co-writers. I have been blessed to find a close group of writers I work with constantly who understand what I'm doing. Writers like Jessi Jo Dillion, Daniel Ross, Ben Hayslip, Matt Jenkins, Zach Crowell have all been instrumental for me.
When you released your two new songs, "Tennessee" and "Learn From it," on streaming platforms, describe the feeling you had.
It was honestly a sigh of relief. One of the hardest parts of this industry is getting everybody on the same page to start your career. So much work and waiting had gone into finally getting to put out a couple of songs, so it was a really special moment for me to get to begin.
Describe the feeling you had when you first heard "Learn from it" on the radio for the first time.
Hearing "Learn From It" on the radio was so surreal. Having a song that started as an idea I had in my kitchen and getting played on the radio was pretty special. We have been on Radio Tour for the past month and a half, traveling to a new state every day, promoting "Learn From It," and to hear it get played for the first time reminds you why you put in the work you do.
Describe the feeling you had when Dustin Lynch's song "Not Every Cowboy" was released across streaming platforms? How was that writing process?
As I said, my dream was always to be a songwriter, so having my first cut was a special moment. That was honestly cooler to me than when my own songs came out. The song came about on a writer's retreat out at a lake house on Tims Ford Lake. I was writing with Parker Welling, Casey Brown, and Heather Morgan. Casey and I had come up with the idea that morning at breakfast, and when we started writing, it took maybe an hour from start to finish. Right when we finished, we all knew it was special.
What are your goals for now and for the future?
The goal right now is focusing on getting my song on the radio! But long term, I love Nashville so much and am so proud to have grown up in this area. I love the story that's being written about this town and hope to one day be a part of that story.
Any other information you would like for our readers to know?
I'm so proud to be from Williamson County, and I feel so blessed to have so much support behind me. From the beginning, this town has created so many opportunities for me. That is something I don't take for granted.