Dakota Bradley has already caught the attention of talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, country star Tim McGraw and hit-making producer Byron Gallimore, who were all instrumental in the eighteen-year old’s eventual signing to Streamsound Records. In a quick phone chat before his show at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Phoenix last week, we talked about his first single, “Somethin’ Like Somethin'” and the celebrity connection to his claim to fame.
J.R. Journey: You first appeared on the Ellen show as a duo. Now you’re a solo artist. How did that come about?
Dakota Bradley: Everything happened so fast after I was on that show. I literally just hit my eighty-fifth city on my radio tour. I just finished an album – produced by Byron Gallimore and Tim McGraw.
J.R.: How did that appearance lead to the Byron Gallimore/Tim McGraw connection?
D.B.: Well, right after I was on Ellen, I got to meet some really cool people in Nashville. I got introduced to writers and everybody. And I got introduced to Byron. He gave me a publishing deal and a record deal right away, which was pretty unbelievable. And he introduced me to Tim. I played a couple songs for Tim and the next day we were cutting records. And I’ve been on a radio tour ever since then. It’s pretty wild out here.
J.R.: So, in addition to those guys producing your record, I see your first single was co-written by Shane McAnally (who is one of the hottest writers on Music Row right now) with Josh Kear and Mark Irwin. You’re keeping pretty good company for a teenage newcomer. Tell me about how came to record that song.
D.B.: Oh, I feel very lucky. Mr. Gallimore – Byron Gallimore – and Missy, Byron’s wife, have been instrumental in finding songs for Tim over the years, over his entire career. Missy found that song and brought it to the studio. Tim loved it, and we cut it. And Tim is actually the one who picked it for the first single.
J.R.: Anybody else you’d like to work with?
D.B.: Keith Urban. John Mayer. Taylor Swift. Just anybody who loves good music.
J.R.: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
D.B.: Hopefully still touring and making music, if I can be that lucky. It’s hard to see where I’m gonna be tomorrow. I just hope I’m still making music.