Russell Dickerson’s smoldering music video for his single ‘Yours’ cost only $6 and was filmed by his wife. The country music singer, about to attend his first-ever CMA, talks about that video & more.
Russell Dickerson’s best friends are his some of his biggest musical inspirations… and it’s not hard to be inspired when you’re BFFs with Thomas Rhett and Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line. It also isn’t tough to get creative when your wife is a stunning photographer who is willing to bring an idea to life for your first music video. That’s just the life of Russell, whose homemade, $6 music video for “Yours,” an ode to his wife Kailey, has over 5 million views on YouTube. “We knew that we needed to shoot a music video, and it just happened to be that certain day, that certain time and I was in gym clothes and she was like, “Babe, put on some normal clothes,'” Russell told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “I knew the idea, and kind of what road I wanted it to be, and we went out there and just started shooting and every time we would pause shooting, Kailey was like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s lightening everywhere!'” His wife added, “I was trying not to freak out and shake the camera, but everyone time it would happen I’d just want to be like, ‘Woo!'”
Russell and Kailey originally didn’t even tell anyone about the video, they just posted and waited for it to get picked up. The two didn’t know that it would go completely viral. “We didn’t want people to go and watch and be like, ‘Oh well maybe it’s not very good.’ We kind of let them react first and then guess what? It’s here. It’s ours.” That it is, and now, Russell is heading to his first-ever CMA Awards (You can follow him along throughout the whole day on our @HollywoodLife Instagram Stories!). Here, he answers 5 Key Questions about his first studio album Yours.
1. You were signed right out of college. What have you been doing since then to jumpstart your singing career?
Russell: My story was kind of different because I signed a songwriting deal before I was even out of college, so I had the income and I had this team built and I was with management before I was out of college. I had a booking agent and all this stuff, so it was actually cool to have that. People work for five years just to get an agent, so to have that was great. So my agent was actually booking regular shows as opposed to me having to go downtown and play for tips, which was never something I wanted to do. I never wanted to play cover songs. I would rather play my songs to five people than to play somebody else’s songs for 500 people in a bar. So, that was kind of how I got started. I just would play for five people, and then ten people and then 50 and then 100 and just grew organically from there.
2. When was the moment you realized ‘I made it!’
Russell: I mean it all started with the video that Kailey shot. It all took off from there. XM was a huge first step, and then on top of that Spotify, so in those two platforms, were really what helped go and get me a record deal and a radio team and then go to country radio and to take that to the next platform. I played Denver and I had never been there, I’d never done a show, and I sold about 800 tickets. Kailey and I were like, “How?” We were genuinely asking them, “How did you know who we were?”
3. How does it feel knowing that your hit ‘Yours’ is now a very popular wedding song?
Russell: Amazing. In the co-write that day, we weren’t trying to do a wedding song because I think it would have counteracted itself if we were trying to write something like that. We were just writing a honest, basic, true story, and that’s what I think helps, especially men, communicate their feelings. I think that’s why it’s so huge is because it helps guys do that. They can be like, “Baby this is the way I feel.”
4. You & the guys from Florida Georgia Line are good friends! How do you inspire each other and work with each other?
Russell: It all happens so many different ways. It can happen with everybody hanging out in the living room, but usually it’s more strategic. In the morning I’ll make my plug *Bullet Proof Coffee* and we’ll go write. On the FLG tours they have a writer bus and there’s a back lounge and front lounge, and in the back lounge there’s a guy in a little portable studio set up and he usually has a little beat rocking. And if we’re not feeling that one, he’ll pull out another one. Then we’ll just vibe on that and that vibe of that track will remind me of a song title that I saved in my phone and I’ll be like, “Oh this would be a cool thing to do.” There’s literally so much creativity flowing from everyone that you’re trying to sort through all these ideas of, ‘No I don’t really like that song title’ and then somebody else will be like, ‘I want to add this one,’ and it’s all so fast and you’re trying to piece it all together. Then you just start singing really.
5. What do you want fans to take away from your first studio album ‘Yours?’
Russell: Just to come to the shows and sing these songs. I’ve toured on literally four songs for two years. All I had was the EP, which was “Every Little Thing,” “Blue Tacoma,” Yours,” and “MGNO.” Those have been out for two years almost, and so even in the few weeks that the album’s been out, to see those people out there singing these songs already and knowing the words, because I’ve had these songs for like a year and a half at least. I’m always teaching them. ‘Okay, this part goes like this, you ready everybody?! Come on sing it with me.’ So now I don’t have to teach them anymore. They’re the ones driving the show now because they’ll know the songs.
HollywoodLifers, you can follow along on HollywoodLife Instagram Stories for Russell’s first CMA Awards, and make sure to listen to him album Yours on Spotify & iTunes!