Dallas Davidson Playing His Hits at The Rutledge
This week hit songwriter Dallas Davidson gave a master class on songwriting at the Nashville Berklee Jam. And I just wasn’t gonna miss the chance to learn from someone that’s written 13 number one hits in the last few years!
Dallas started out by talking about his musical influences (Otis Redding is his favorite artist of all time) and growing up in Albany, Georgia. He didn’t grow up playing in bands or thinking he wanted to be a star, and everyone thought he was crazy to move to Nashville to write. One of his closest friends, Luke Bryan, eventually convinced him to make the move.
“In a lot of ways I was crazy,” Dallas said. “The odds were stacked against me. But, that was the fire to keep me rocking and make me work way harder. I was just stubborn enough that I wanted to show everyone that I could do it. And I believed in myself.”
Writing something that “someone gave a damn about” and getting a cut was his initial inspiration. And, remaining true to his ‘rural roots’ has always been part of his drive to write great songs.
“When I’m writing, I dig into my ‘rural file’ for inspiration because I want to be the mouthpiece of my rural friends in the songs I write,” he said. “As far as what continues to motivate me, I love my job and I’d really like to win a Grammy. It would also be an honor to end up in the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside some of my heroes.”
Being a songwriter is an intense process for Davidson, who will write 100-150 songs this year. He believes that melody is the most important element of a great song, followed by groove and then lyrics.
“It’s my number one goal to get a melody right, and I will work on melodies before I even write lyrics in a session,” Dallas said.
Dallas has ‘never had a singing lesson’ and joked that he only knows a ‘few chords’ on the guitar.
“Simple is good, and when I’m singing a demo, it’s not my job to sing it,” he said. “It’s my job to feel it and believe it.”
It has taken Dallas some time as a writer to learn to recognize when a song has the potential to become a hit.
“It took me about six or seven years to really recognize a hit song,” he said. “If I really love singing the demo and want to listen to it over and over again in my truck, that’s when I know it’s a hit.”
For more information on Dallas, visit his website.