Chris Bandi Talks With NECM About His ‘Whirlwind’ 2020

The ink is barely dry on Chris Bandi’s contract with RECORDS, but the St. Louis native is already taking the country music scene by storm. From touring with Matt Stell, making his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, and releasing his first EP, 2020 looks like it’s going to be Bandi’s year. 

All of this, thanks to his breakthrough single, ‘Man Enough Now,’ which will hit country radio this month.  

If Chris Bandi and his song, ‘Man Enough Now,’ sound familiar, it’s because he’s been blowing away fans since releasing the track through online streaming four years ago. 

When speaking about the inception of ‘Man Enough Now,’ Bandi told us, “I got that idea one day thinking about a relationship that I had been in in college, when I was young and dumb and made a lot of mistakes that young dumb 21-year-olds make. I was living in Nashville at the time [the song was written] and it had been 4 or 5 years since that relationship. Although I had not matured too much, I felt like I had matured enough to make a relationship like that work. So, I was wondering if we had met at 25 would that have lasted? I was wondering because I felt like I was ‘man enough now’ for a relationship.” He brought the title and idea to his friends, Jason Massey & Jason Duke and within a couple of hours the entire song “just kind of fell out.”

Bandi decided to forgo the traditional route and released the track independently in 2016. “We were playing all these shows and needed somewhere to direct people other than, ‘Hey, check us out on Facebook,’” he told us, “So we decided to put it up online, not really thinking anyone would hear it other than somebody that caught a show.”

But others heard it. 

Millions heard it. 

He went on to explain, “We got very lucky that Spotify picked it up and put it on their playlists.” 

But we were the lucky ones, privy to the first release of such a heartfelt song. The highly relatable subject, paired with Bandi’s smooth vocals were, no doubt, the reason this song took off and made Nashville take notice. Five years in the making, and ‘Man Enough Now’ has found a home with RECORDS, and is finally getting its country radio debut. 

Speaking of debut, Chris Bandi is also set to hit the stage at the Grand Ole Opry on February 25th, a rite of passage for aspiring country singers. “I’m going to be so nervous that I will need a bucket right before we walk out,” he tells us, laughing. With his parents coming to town for the occasion, pride and excitement were clear in his voice as he said, “I’ve wanted to do it for years and to get that opportunity. There’s so much history within those walls; the people who have walked on that stage and become members of the Grand Ole Opry. I’m just honored to be able to walk out there and play a couple of songs.”

Chris is also showcasing his talent on the road with fellow RECORDS artist, Matt Stell, on his ‘Anywhere But On Tour.’ The tour makes a stop at Foxboro’s Six String Stage and Grill on March 13th. Bandi tells us he’s “very excited” to play here in New England, on the stage where one of his biggest idols, Garth Brooks, just performed weeks ago. “[Brooks] was my first concert when I was five-years-old,” he told us. “I think he’s the reason I decided that I wanted to play music for the rest of my life.” 

Along with ‘Man Enough Now,’ Chris Bandi will be releasing an EP comprised of conceptually-rich, crowd pleasers. When asked which song he’s most looking forward to, he responded “I know it sounds cliché, but I’m excited about all of them.” He continued on, saying “I got to take last summer off to focus on writing and what I wanted to say as an artist.” 

With so much falling into place for Bandi in 2020, it looks like he’s setting the pace for successful career in making music for years to come. 

Be sure to check out his new video for ‘Man Enough Now,’ and catch him live at Six String Stage and Grill on Friday, March 13th.