Corey Smith to kickoff gameday weekend at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater (Q&A)
September 27, 2012
Sarah CureTUSCALOOSA, Alabama --Corey Smith, a Georgia-born singer and guitarist, is heading back to T-town Friday night, but this time he'll be filling the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater with his music.
Smith isn't your average musician and about eight years ago he was only a part-time musician and a full-time teacher. He says the transition "required a lifestyle change, but at the end of the day I knew it was the right decision for my family and for me".
Smith started his career playing shows while teaching and had fellow Jefferson, Ga., singer Brantley Gilbert opening for him.
"Brantley opened every show for me for about two years," Smith said. "Rode in the car to the venue, stayed in our hotel room, it was before he even put out his first record. I actually took him to the studio where he made his first record."
At this same time, Smith was building a giant MySpace following and had released two albums without a record deal.
One fan started Smith's MySpace page for him and when it got too big, they handed the password over to Smith to take over.
"By that point I was the No. 1 unsigned artist on MySpace," Smith said. "For like two years I was the No. 1 unsigned artist on MySpace, so that just happened and then Facebook started and we started growing through there. It was just one of those things that happened."
He still remains active on social media. Smith's management keeps his website and Facebook up to date, but Smith uses Twitter and has more than 50,000 followers, something he says he uses as "an outlet to be creative and it's a way to communicate with fans".
Although Smith started his career in a non-traditional way, he has had lots of his own success and has no regrets over how he chose to do things.
"I never would have had a career if I had started out trying to be like somebody else," he says.
In 2011, Smith released "Broken Record," an album that consists of both new songs and old songs re-released.
Smith says he chose the name because of how he felt about the record-making process.
"The whole process was broken," he said. "It was like taking apart an old car and trying to put it back together again. Hopefully if you put it back together it runs better so I did that with about half the record and the other half of the record was brand new stuff".
"Twenty-One," "F*** the Po Po" and "If I Could Do It Again" are just a few of Smith's fan's favorites, but he also released a song about a controversial event that has gotten a lot of reactions.
"Chattanooga" is Smith's response to a show he played at the venue Track 29 in Chattanooga, Tenn., that was shut down.
"There was a lot of controversy around it but they shut the show down because they didn't want me to play the song I wrote about being arrested called 'F*** the Po Po,'" he says. "I was really angry about it. It was just really me retelling the stuff that had happened to me."
Smith is excited about his return to the Druid City.
"I really like the people there," he says. "I've been going to Tuscaloosa for years so I've made a lot of friends over the years."
On Friday, Smith will bring with him fellow country crooners Dustin Lynch andTyler Farr, but it isn't all work and no play. Smith is excited to be able to enjoy some fishing in T-town before the big show.