Brandon Lay Explains How His Music Reflects Upon His Upbringing

"Life pretty much revolved around school, sports, and church," Lay told SLN about the song.

Written by Kelly Brickey
Brandon Lay Explains How His Music Reflects Upon His Upbringing
Brandon Lay; Photo by Dove Shore

If there are three things Brandon Lay knows better than anything, it’s “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers.”

The Jackson, Tennessee native lived the small-town dream growing up with a balance of extracurriculars to round out his day-to-day life. High school revolved around spending time playing sports after school, sitting in the front row on Sundays and listening to his favorite songs as much as possible. It created the perfect backdrop for the lyric in his single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers,” and he couldn’t have put his experiences in any other realistic form.

“It very much was [autobiographical]. I grew up a preacher’s kid in Jackson, Tennessee. Life pretty much revolved around school, sports, and church. When it came time to write for a first single, out of the gate as a new artist, the label and I felt like it needed to be something that told people where I come from, what I’m all about. One day it just occurred to me that everything I ever learned had come from a speaker, bleacher, or preacher,” Lay explained to Sounds Like Nashville during a recent interview.

Not only did his activities play a role in determining his first drop into country music, but Lay allowed his Tennessee upbringing influence the sound of the track as well. He wanted “Speakers” to embody exactly where he was raised, and lets those genres run rampant throughout the verses.

“I feel like growing up somewhere between Memphis and Nashville—they’re both pretty historic music towns—I feel like they both found their way into this song,” he said. “Thematically, I tried to paint a picture of me and the co-writers, Shane McAnally and Luke Laird. We really just wanted to have literal lines. Sometimes when you write, you write because it sounds good or because it fits or whatever. Sometimes you write because it’s exactly the truth. I feel like that’s where the song came from.”

Lay’s current single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers,” is available for purchase and streaming now.