Russell Dickerson Chronicles His ‘Long Journey’ To ‘Yours’
Russell Dickerson may be known throughout country music as somewhat of a newcomer, but his success didn’t come to him overnight.
Dedicating himself to his craft when he enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville, Dickerson always had dreams of making it big in the industry. The country singer followed the Music City trend of making a name for himself by writing his way into the scene. When Dickerson started to receive a bit of credibility from his peers for his clever lyrics, he thought he’d become a star in no time. But as he later discovered, it takes more than a line or two to finally solidify a spot among the top names in the format.
“At first, I felt like it was going to happen decently fast, within a few years of like, ‘I’ve got these awesome songs,’ back in 2011. It was just like, ‘No, just keep going.’ Then [Die to Live Again] came out and a couple of singles. Then, when ‘Yours’ came out is when that really started getting going at the end of 2015… I started writing songs in 2008/2009. It has been a long journey,” Dickerson admitted to Sounds Like Nashville.
Rewind back to when Dickerson developed what he thought was his distinctive country voice back in 2011. Following the bass tones of Josh Turner, the “Yours” singer mimicked what he heard from his favorites. The epiphany hit Dickerson hard, though, when he realized he needed to sound more like him and less like what he thought audiences wanted to hear on radio.
“I definitely started out a lot more traditional,” Dickerson explained. “Even being a Josh Turner fan, he’s super traditional in a lot of ways, I was kind of doing the low voice thing. It just didn’t feel like me. It’s not enough energy and excitement. On the Yours EP is when I feel like those songs really summed up my character, like ‘Every Little Thing’ and ‘MGNO’ is super upbeat energetic stuff, and now ‘Billions’… I’ve definitely progressed a lot.”
Through the trial and error of self-discovery, Dickerson settled into his true identity on his debut record by collecting influences from rock, pop and of course, country, to create a collection of tracks that chronicle his life throughout the past couple years. Gearing his focus toward tracks rather than the overall product, Dickerson found himself able to connect deeper to listeners due to the authentic search for meaning he finally caught on to.
“I learned that it’s all about the song. You’ll work so much more efficiently if you have good music. I’m glad that my first single is doing what it’s doing, just because of the song. It’s not like, ‘Hey, here’s this guitar-slingin’ whatever.’ I’m not. It’s the song. Period,” Dickerson said to SLN.
Dickerson’s first-ever full length album is available in stores and via digital download distributors now.