It was never music that country newcomer Adam Doleac saw in his future. The Mississippi native grew up playing sports, everything from golf to baseball to basketball, and thought he’d be an athlete for the rest of his life.
“I played everything until I was about 12 or 13, and I decided I wanted to play golf in college. I was playing golf and basketball in high school. That was it. And [I] got what I wanted. I signed a full ride to Delta State University in North Mississippi,” explained Doleac during an afternoon chat in the Sounds Like Nashville studio.
“My junior year of high school… I vividly remember, I had walked off the basketball court my senior year, the day of the first baseball game,” he continued. “There was a guy named Jeff Ferris who was the coach of the baseball team, and he knew I used to play, and he knew I was a good athlete and he goes, ‘Hey, like, we’ve got a good team this year.’ He’d been working on me for a few weeks. ‘We need one more guy.’ And so, I walked in my basketball uniform into the batting cage, hit a bucket of balls, went out to the field, fielded a bucket of balls, and started in the baseball game that night.”
Doleac played baseball for the rest of his high school career, landing a full scholarship to Southern Mississippi and regretfully turned down his previous golf scholarship. He continued to play baseball throughout his college career, but it was during this time that he picked up one of his roommate’s guitars and began to play.
“I’m such a music lover. Even if I stopped singing and writing, I’m still a music lover. I tell people, you know, ‘Go watch a movie, go watch happy movie, a sad movie, and a scary movie with no music and they’re all the same,” he explained. “You know, music tells us what to feel. It’s the emotion of everything for me, so I’ve always been such a music lover and then I just kind of weaseled my way into play guitar, you know, and the more I did it the more people would say, ‘Hey, you should probably keep doing that.’ I just kind of rolled with it.”
It was after college (and a battle with shin splints) that Doleac decided to hang up his cleats and make the move to Nashville to pursue music full time. Since arriving in Music City, he’s gone from having written a few songs to a few hundred songs, co-writing each of the songs on his debut EP and landing songwriting credits on Darius Rucker’s new When Was The Last Time album, and Kane Brown’s self-titled deluxe album.
“When I moved here I think I had 15 songs to my name and now I’ve probably got two to three hundred. It’s been quite the whirlwind, you know. I tell people that about baseball. I went from not playing baseball to probably throwing 500 baseballs a day in college. So it’s just like, such a drastic change.”
“You have to have someone that champions you, that hears it and goes, ‘This is good. I’m gonna stand up for it,’” he said. “And that’s what Sirius has done for me and gave me such nice little start, and to the career, you know?”
While many things in his life and career are lining up, the Mississippi native admits that he’ll never feel like he’s made it and will constantly work to grow and improve.
“I’ve gotten accused of being the guy who’s good at everything throughout my life, which is fine, but it’s not… I don’t ever take that to my head. I’m never good enough at it in my own head, so I like to keep chasing it,” he admitted. “I tell people my biggest fear is being good at everything and never landing on one thing or being great at one thing. The feeling of chasing after something that’s kind of bigger than myself is what kinda keeps me going.”