Adam Craig has been making a name for himself for years in Music City. As an in-demand songwriter, the Washington native has penned hits for artists such as Jason Aldean, Love and Theft, and Dustin Lynch, but has more recently stepped into the spotlight as a solo artist. Signed to BBR Music Group’s Stony Creek Records, Craig released his debut self-titled EP in the spring of 2016 which landed him on lists like Rolling Stone Country’s ‘Top 10 Artists You Need to Know.’ Now he’s starting off 2017 in a big way – with a new single, ‘Just a Phase,’ his Opry debut, and a spot on select dates of Luke Bryan’s Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday Tour.
Craig’s new single impacted Country Radio on Feb. 6th as the 4th Most Added song at U.S. Country radio that week. “I’m in love with what is happening right now. It’s getting wild!” he said. Adam knew right away that he had something special with ‘Just a Phase’ back when he wrote it in October 2015. He explained that generally when he writes a song he’ll give it about a week and revisit the song with fresh ears and decide if it’s really good or not, but with this one he knew almost immediately. “It was just such a fun song to write because we were actually writing another song that morning,” Adam explained. They were stuck on the other song around lunchtime and Craig couldn’t get Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ out of his head. “I had just heard it for the first time that morning on my way into write,” he said. “There’s such cool emotion in it, it’s just different, it’s vibey.” He described how the song inspired a title, ‘I’m Just Something You’re Going Through,’ and one of the other co-writers came up with ‘I’m Just a Phase You’re Going Through.’ “About an hour and a half later we had it written. Sometimes we luck out and we can write them quick. It’s rare, but sometimes it does happen where you just knock out a song and it’s right the first time.” Craig went to play it for the “bigwigs at the label” and everybody was immediately on board.
As far as songwriting goes, it’s what paved the road to where Craig is today. “That definitely got the ball rolling and opened doors for me that I never would have been able to open. But it’s definitely different now,” Adam described. “I’m learning more on how to be the artist, and write for me as the artist, versus the last 10 years I’ve been writing for other people and trying to chase their sound. So it’s a fun transition really honing in on what it is exactly that I want to sound like and sing songs about.” The singer is still working on exactly what his sound is as he’s been influenced by many different artists. “I love the upbeat – the Aldean, Eric Church, mixed in with Keith Urban, all that crazy stuff but then I love the 90s country,” Craig said, mentioning a special place in his heart for 90s country breakup songs and ballads. “I hope that it’s kind of 90s country with new sound.” One thing he knows for certain is that his sound is evolving, as is the genre.
Craig has been described as an antidote for bro-country, to which he responded with a laugh. For Adam, he doesn’t believe that country music needs to be cured of bro-country, just that trends are changing, as they do. “I think it’s kind of going towards songs again. For the longest time we were kind of stuck in the 16 note hi hat thing with the boom claps, the 808 kick drum stuff. I think that was cool for a while, that was kind of the new wave. It wasn’t a gimmick, it was just a trick that was new to our ears so everybody loved it and jumped on that bandwagon. But I think in a way people are just trying to write songs, just trying to craft a song in a different way now. That stuff always happens, there’s always waves. I enjoyed the heck out of the bro stuff and I’m really enjoying where it’s going now.”
One particular person that Adam has made a significant impression on is none other than Luke Bryan. The country superstar had invited Craig to join him for his 2017 Crash My Playa festival in Mexico as well as on select dates of his Kill The Lights Tour and Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday Tour. Craig already has a handful of shows under his belt and is gearing up for more stops with Luke this spring and summer, including a local stop in Hartford, CT on May 13th. “Oh my gosh, the first tour was crazy! That was a totally different ball game. It was just so cool and Luke couldn’t have been nicer,” Adam described. “What an amazing, amazing human being that dude is… The first time I ever went out with him he was like, ‘Alright buddy, watch and learn!’” Craig said laughing. “I mean, he’s half-heartedly joking but that that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to go front of house and watch his show. It’s just unbelievable! I cannot wait to start the first one back on May 5th at the Bridgestone here in Nashville. I can’t wait until the nerves go away on stadiums and arenas and I can just really take it all in and enjoy it.”
For Craig, it can still get pretty overwhelming at times because so much is happening for him all at once. In addition to the shows with Bryan, Adam made his Opry debut on February 4th – something that just about every country artist has on their bucket list. “I’ve never even gone to the Opry until that day so there was no preparation,” he laughed looking back unsure if that helped or hurt his nerves. “I was freaking out… I was like, oh my god this is the hallowed halls of country music right here.” Craig was able to fly his family out so they could share the big moment with him. “I remember right before we walked on stage I said a quick prayer, ‘Please don’t let me screw up the words, please don’t let me trip as I walk out there,’ and as I was walking out and got into the circle that’s when this weird calmness came over and I just started singing,” he recalled. It’s a moment Craig will never forget and an indescribable honor.
With so much already accomplished in the first few months of 2017, Craig is eager to see what’s in store for the rest of the year. “I’m pinching myself quite a bit because I can’t really believe this is happening,” Adam admitted. “I cannot wait to see what ‘Just a Phase’ does. It’s already been so exciting in its two and a half weeks of life with radio and I’m really excited to see what happens with this,” he said. But mostly he wants to get out there and play more. “I want to play as much as I possibly can and share the music with as many folks as I can. That’s definitely the goal for this year. And being less nervous when I’m on those arena stages – that’ll be pretty cool. It’s already been amazing, I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds!”
Get your copy of Adam Craig’s debut EP here.