Granger Smith Credits Texas Roots, Family for Pushing His Career Forward
Thank goodness for Texas. If not for Granger Smith's Lone Star State roots and his years cutting his teeth in the Texas country scene, the singer says that he may never have found success nationally.
"I’m very, very, very blessed to have had the Texas music scene as a testing ground," Smith recently told The Boot and other reporters. "I had singles -- on-the-radio singles -- I had a radio tour a couple times ... [We] had been running in the minor leagues; that’s really what it is."
The Dallas native says his Texas roots have shaped not only his career but his entire life.
"I’ve always been a team guy. I grew up playing sports. In Texas, I grew up playing high school football, and it’s all about teams; that’s in our genetics," Smith muses. "It’s all about teams, and there are no individuals, and that is definitely what this is, and that’s definitely why I’m on this stage.
"We worked our a--es off -- relentlessly worked our a--es off. There were no excuses," he continues. "If I’m tired, and I don’t want to make that 6AM radio call, I’m setting my alarm because this is worth it. Success is more important than sleeping."
His years spent touring around Texas allowed Smith to hone his stage show before touring nationally -- experience that the singer says he feels "blessed" to have.
"I learned a lot by playing shows where I was just playing to a bartender ... I remember getting so excited that two people would come to the front row -- two people!" Smith remembers. "We would learn how to entertain just two people, and I would watch those two people, or I would watch the people in the booth: 'Why are they not paying attention to this song I’m singing?'
"And so that would affect, in turn, my songwriting; it would affect future performances and setlists -- everything," Smith adds, explaining that he'd think "How can I tell my story and connect with them at the same time? Make them connect with my story?"
"So I think it took years of that to get to them engaged," he concludes. "Now, if they’re not engaged in everything I say, I kind of consider that that there’s something wrong."
Smith is on a festival tour this summer and will open for Florida Georgia Line at several shows in Canada and the Pacific Northwest in November. His non-stop schedule can be exhausting, he admits, but he's propelled by the idea that someday, he will be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
"I have goals to slow down; I’m driven a lot by that goal ... but I also understand that it’s a ‘make hay while the sun is shining’ scenario," Smith admits. "So many times, I’ve looked at that 365 days a year and wondered how we could squeeze any more out of it, because that’s literally what we’re doing every single day."
Specifically, Smith says that the idea of spending time with his family -- his wife Amber, daughter London and sons Lincoln and River -- is what drives and motivates him.
"Not just supporting them financially, but supporting them as a father with an open heart that’s free and that is showing an example of chasing a dream without limits -- and, of course, being able to balance that with my presence at home," he notes. "I think it helps me, when I am home, that I’m focused on them, 100-percent them, because I have no fear that any time is wasted whatsoever."