On episode #229 of his podcast, the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones brought singer/songwriter Jon Langston on as a guest. After growing his fan base organically by playing shows in his home state of Georgia and releasing viral songs, Jon was signed to Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Entertainment record label, which is an imprint of UMG Nashville. Bobby talked with Jon about how he got into music and the quick rise of his career.
While the 28-year-old artist is now making a living writing and performing music, it wasn’t always his goal to be a musician. His first love was football, and he played in college at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. However, after sustaining six concussions over the course of ten years, he decided to quit the game.
“My last concussion was the scariest day of my life,” Jon tells Bobby. “I literally went blind for like twenty minutes… I was just screaming and crying because I thought I just hit myself blind forever.”
After a career in football was no longer an option for him, Jon immediately took to music. He told Bobby he had taken guitar lessons in middle school and knew a few songs, but he hadn’t really thought of it as a career path. That all changed, however, when he started posting his music online, starting with his song “Forever Girl,” which started getting shared on Facebook. From there, Jon started playing shows, and his first full band gig was opening for Chase Rice in Kennesaw, Georgia.
“The last song, we played ‘Forever Girl,’” Jon says of the show. “This was my moment where I just knew this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. There’s 800 college kids there, just partying, having a good time, but when I started playing ‘Forever Girl,’ they knew every single word, and they were screaming as loud as they can.”
Jon then moved to Nashville, TN without finishing college to continue pursuing music. Two months after he moved, he got a direct message from Thomas Rhett, which simply said, “Holler at me.” The two got in contact, and Thomas offered to help him with his career. Jon had also met Cole Swindell, who showed support for him, and obviously, Luke Bryan, who took him under his wing and gave him a record deal. Bobby told Jon that he recently talked with Luke about him, and Luke had some great things to say about the emerging artist.
“I asked Luke, ‘What do you like about Jon?’” says Bobby. “He was like, ‘You know, there’s a lot of people in Nashville that are good, but there are only a few that work really hard, that just grind it out. And Luke was a grinder back in the day, so when he said that, he was like, ‘I just haven’t seem many people hustle like Jon hustles.’” To hear more from Jon Langston, including how he’s related to Johnny Cash and his plans for new music, listen to episode #229 of the BobbyCast.