Who’s New: Thomas Rhett

Who’s New: Thomas Rhett

Originally published in the May 14, 2012 issue of Country Weekly magazine.

Current Single:
“Something to Do With My Hands”

Hometown:
Valdosta, Ga.

Label:
The Valory Music Company/
Big Machine Label Group

Influences:
Alan Jackson, Third Eye Blind,
Mötley Crüe, Sugar Ray

Change of Fate
Thomas began his musical life as a drummer, then took up guitar in his early teens. The son of hit songwriter and artist Rhett Akins (Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee”), Thomas initially prepared for a career as a physical therapist. “I took a kinesiology class and hated it,” says Thomas, “so I switched to business and then to communications, figuring I would work in music publishing or at a label.” Ironically, he inquired about a college internship with EMI Publishing, but was soon hired by the company instead as a staff songwriter. Thomas later landed a song on Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party album.

Opry Calling
Thomas’ current single, the suggestive “Something to Do With My Hands,” will likely be on the set list when Thomas makes his debut appearance at the Grand Ole Opry on May 19. “I didn’t think that would come so soon,” Thomas says of the opportunity. “I’m definitely nervous about that.”

Old-School Idol
Thomas will hit the road this summer, opening shows for Miranda Lambert and for Eric Church, whom Thomas admires for both his songwriting and for his persona. “I like the mystique,” says Thomas. “He’s got this cool old-school rock, mysterious vibe and I try to take after his songwriting tactics.” Eric’s producer, Jay Joyce, is also helping to craft the country-rock sound of Thomas’ debut album.

photo by Justin Nolan Key/BMLG

Daily Dose

New Albums

New Albums

New albums dropping on Nov. 16 include Montgomery Gentry’s 20 Years of Hits and Kip Moore’s Room to Spare: The Acoustic Sessions.