For Devin Dawson, songwriting is more than a creative outlet; it serves as an effective method of conveying his emotions. This is reflected in his latest single “Asking For a Friend.” At first glance the track may appear to be a classic pick up line song, but the message underneath it dives deeper, as the singer examines a toxic past relationship.
“I was dating a girl at the time that was not a good relationship, and I think sometimes we have the tendency to bring out the worst in each other. But think I needed to realize that I needed to apologize for something,” he reflects. “It started from truth and we just told a story, and did it in the way of how I learned how to write growing up, listening to the classics and emulating that.”
Dawson had the common catchphrase “asking for a friend” written down in his phone when he went into the writing room with Connie Harrington and Brett Beavers. Together, the three penned an honest look at the confusing dynamics of a relationship.
“You realize that they have history, and that he’s trying to get her back. ‘I need someone right now. I’m asking for someone. I’m asking for a friend.’ It had both of those sentiments in there without really trying too hard,” Dawson analyzes. “He’s not good at saying sorry. He’s not good at telling people, or her, sorry, or laying his pride down. That’s how I am in relationships with conversations sometimes, I just shut down. But I can hide behind a song and say whatever I want, which is interesting.”
The way he communicates in relationships is a topic the up-and-coming star speaks candidly about, honest in how he lets his guard down more naturally through song. He opens up a dialogue on tracks like “All On Me,” where he invites his partner to lay her troubles on him, and bares his soul on the raw “Dark Horse,” where he offers an unfiltered perception of how he sees himself in the world, particularly in the context of relationships, singing, “Girls say I push them off, that I can’t open up, but I ain’t afraid of love, when I say it I just want to mean it.”
Dawson does believe the vulnerable art of songwriting impacts the way he converses in a relationship. “I think it allows me to at least take that first step towards wanting to better yourself as a communicator,” he explains, a notion that relates to other people’s stories. “I’ve had guys come up and say, ‘I didn’t know how to tell my wife sorry’ or ‘I was being too much of a man about it, so I sent her ‘Asking For A Friend.’”
“I love writing relationship songs,” he continues. “I feel like they’ll never go out of style and everyone can relate to them because we all have been there or want to be there, or will be.”
“Asking For a Friend” is the second release off Dawson’s captivating debut album, Dark Horse. Between balancing several solo tour dates, he is slated to hit the road with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the summer portion of their “2018 Soul2Soul Tour.” He’ll also take the stage as an opening act on Brett Eldredge’s “The Long Way Tour” this fall.