Jordan Rager initially made waves in 2016 with the release of his anthemic collaboration with Jason Aldean, “Southern Boy,” which climbed to the Top 40 of the Country Airplay chart. He quickly released a follow-up, “Now That I Know Your Name,” but has been absent from the airwaves since. However, that will soon change – as the performer is set to release a new single, “One Of The Good Ones.” The native of Logansville, Georgia, tells Sounds Like Nashville that the past couple of years have been ones of creative growth.
“I’ve really been trying to focus on what sound I want to portray with this new project–what will sound like me the most. I feel like I did that,” he says of the song, written by Chris Stevens, Ross Lipsey, and James McNair, admitting that it was love at first listen.
“When I first heard it, I knew it had to be mine. I called Ross and asked him what they were doing with the song, and that I might be interested in doing something with it. He said ‘Sure, you can have it. If you want it, it’s all yours.’ So, we went in and cut it, and ever since the first day I’ve heard it, I’ve fallen in love with it more and more. I’m so excited for people to hear it. I’m really proud of the song.”
Ironically, the song is a rarity, in that it’s the only one from his forthcoming EP that Rager didn’t write. He says that being the composer behind his music is important – but it’s not the most crucial ingredient in whether he likes a song or not.
“I love writing songs, and I put a lot of heart into writing songs,” he says. “My songs tell my story, so my story comes out in my writing. It’s cool when I play a song for my label, and they say that song has to be on there, and it’s one that I’ve written. But for me, it’s never been a case of having to write everything. I’ve always respected guys who didn’t write everything they recorded – or anything. Jason Aldean. George Strait. Tim McGraw. Those guys know a great song when they hear it. That’s how I want to be. I’m incredibly picky about that. If I’m going to cut a song that I didn’t write, I want it to be something that sounds like I would have – something that I personally connect with.”
Rager also loves connecting with a live audience, and the singer says he has learned from some of the best.
“My first tour was with Justin Moore, Randy Houser and Josh Thompson. I was 19 and had no idea what I was doing. I had only played in front of about a couple hundred people. Justin brings me on this tour – and we’re playing for at least three to five thousand people a night. I was losing my mind. In watching him, his crew and his band, everybody on that tour, I learned how to treat people on and off the stage. On stage, I watched every second of Justin’s show that I could, and observed how he interacted with the crowd, what did he do when something went wrong, or something happened that was unexpected. Then, backstage, I got to watch him be the greatest guy in the world to everyone who works for him – from the band to the crew to catering and merch, he was always so gracious and awesome to everybody. That’s the way that I’ve always wanted to be. It was the perfect first tour for me to be a part of. It really taught me how to act and how to treat folks.”
Rager is in the studio putting the final touches on his upcoming EP, which will be his debut project for Riser House Entertainment. Look for “One Of The Good Ones” to hit radio in March!