How Justin Moore and a Newborn Baby Gave Adam Hambrick His Big Break
You might not know Adam Hambrick's name just yet, though if you're a country music fan, you've definitely heard some of the songs he's co-written. The up-and-coming artist penned hits including "How Not To" for Dan + Shay and "Somebody Else Will" for Justin Moore, both No. 1 singles. And thanks to Moore and a newborn baby, you might be hearing Hambrick on your radio very soon.
"I just finished up a 12-week radio tour," Hambrick tells Taste of Country. "And I was determined to have a good attitude about it because this is what I've wanted since I was a kid."
Hambrick is promoting his new song "Rockin' All Night Long," an ode to how the meaning of late nights changes when you go from your teenage years to young fatherhood. The intensive radio tour found Hambrick traveling across the country talking to radio stations to woo them to play the song.
"Most people come off it like, 'It sucked,' but I thought it was awesome," he says. "Well, there are parts that sucked. You get so worn down. I got shingles."
The radio tour usually consists of early mornings playing in the radio stations and late nights wining and dining program directors — with a ton of travel in between. It's expensive, and the success can be a bit of a crapshoot. But then again, Hambrick already found himself on the lucky end of a dice roll to even get to this point.
"Years ago, Justin Moore just happened to see me playing on Good Morning Arkansas because I was promoting an independent record I made," Hambrick says. Moore called his producer Jeremy Stover, who checked out Hambrick's music and reached out.
"He sent me an email I thought was junk mail," Hambrick says with a laugh. "But then I saw the email was actually tailored towards me, so I called him and was like, 'Is this really a thing?' I drove up to Nashville the next day."
He spent almost the next two years driving back and forth to write in Nashville before he and his wife eventually moved up. There were some bumps along the way, including an EP that didn't get picked up by a label and losing a publishing deal.
But there were some big wins along the way, too, including his first ever cut, Moore's "Old Habits," a 2013 duet with Miranda Lambert. After losing his first deal, though, Hambrick took it personally, writing 150 songs a year and churning out titles that ultimately led to his first two No. 1 hits ("Somebody Else Will" is still Moore's most-streamed song on Spotify).
Of course, none of that even comes close to measuring up to the birth of his daughter — a joyous occasion that eventually inspired "Rockin' All Night Long," thanks to staying up and rocking a newborn to sleep.
"She was about a month old and I was half delirious," Hambrick says. "You sing a lot of songs but eventually you run out of real songs and just start singing gibberish." That's when "Rockin' All Night Long" first came to him.
When he came up with the idea, Hambrick kept it close to the chest. In fact, he asked his co-writers for permission to take the idea back if they didn't completely nail the concept. "Which isn't really something you do unless you're really comfortable with your co-writers," he shares. "I think they kind of took it as a challenge. And we totally nailed it."
While being away from his family for five days a week was hands-down the hardest part of the radio tour, Hambrick says singing a song that's so closely tied to them helps. "It makes it feel like they're part of the process," he says.
Now just over three years old, Hambrick's daughter still constantly inspires him. "I love being around the energy of a three-year-old," he says. "It's like a fire that warms you because everything is hitting them and sticking. They just want to know so much, and their curiosity inspires creativity within me."
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