Dubbed the ‘future of country music,’ Willie Jones makes time to be present and express gratitude for ‘everything he has’ with his uplifting new groove, ‘Back Porch.’
Right now, the current landscape looks a little bit bleak. Yet, the view in Willie Jones‘s new song can’t be beaten. Amidst all the chaos and turmoil of life, the man dubbed the “future of country music” is here to remind us that a change of scenery – and a change of perspective – is only a few feet away. On “Back Porch,” premiering here on HollywoodLife, the Shreveport, Louisiana native paints a picture of “rockin’ in the chair/wind blowing through your hair/feet up on the rail / we ain’t going anywhere.” With sharp lyricism, charismatic delivery and instrumentation that will get your head boppin’, “Back Porch” is a reminder of taking a moment to appreciate the quieter, slower, and simpler pleasures of life.
“The inspiration behind “Back Porch” comes from actually chilling on a friend’s back porch,” Willie tells HollywoodLife. “I was in Nashville working on music for the week. The night before I recorded and wrote the song with Micheal Lotten and Nick Autry, I was staying at a friend’s house in Thomason station Tennessee, right outside of Nashville. At the time we wrote the song, I wasn’t in the best place mentally, spiritually or even physically. Being in nature helps me though, and my buddy’s back porch and backyard were amazing. It just felt so great to be back down south in the open air so I spent hours out there just relaxing. I showed up to the studio the next day, and ‘Back Porch’ was born. Now I’m in a much better place, and the song is a reminder to me how if you just take time and are thankful for everything you have right now, you can grow through anything.”
“The song is a blend of different sounds and genres,” he tells HollywoodLife. “I even channeled the late 2000s on this one with the whole pop dance feel. But beyond the music inviting all genres that I’ve been influenced by hip-hop, country, pop, dance, etc – it invites all people. Honestly, who doesn’t love to sit outdoors every now and then and chill. That’s what this song is about… just being outdoors, chillin’ with the ones you love and being grateful for right now – the present moment.”
It’s a message that couldn’t come at a better time. Right now, for a lot of people, going out on the back porch is out of the question. For others, like those in a more metropolitan area, that back porch may not exist. Yet, when Willie’s new song comes on, the listener gets transported away from the troubles of the moment to a place where the “sunshine is a little bit brighter,” where the “moon hangs a little bit higher,” and where the “beer is a little bit colder.” For nearly three minutes, all the turmoil on the TV gets traded for a porch swing, some green grass, and a warm breeze.
Growing up in Shreveport, Willie soaked up the sounds he heard as a kid – from pop to R&B to gospel to, as he told Rolling Stone in 2019, “backpack, that whole scene” – and the multi-genre influence is evident on his sound. While spending his high school days freestyling for friends and singing country ballads in talent shows, a 17-year-old Willie appeared on The X Factor in 2012. Following his appearance, he landed the musical entertainment slot on MAGCON (the same social-media influencer tour that helped launch Shawn Mendes) for two years.
During this time, Willie honed developed his sound and songwriting ability, leaning in on the improv skills he developed as a freestyler. “Melody is typically where every good song starts. I like to cut the mic [with], ‘Let’s vibe out, let’s freestyle real quick.'” The results have been phenomenal. He released a trio of tracks – “Down For It,” “Bachelorettes on Broadway,” “Whole Lotta Love” – in 2019, and at the start of this year, he teamed up with Logan Mize for “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up.” Willie’s averaging 200,000 streams a day, and with a debut album on the way, fans are picking up what he’s laying down.
“I have gotten people try to say, ‘The record needs to sound more Nashville, more country radio,’ but it’s like, ‘Naw, dawg, this is what I’ve been doing, and this is who I am,'” he said to RS. “A lot of people in Nashville, they chase radio. We just chasing the vibe.”