Entertainment, On A High Note

Up & Coming artist spotlight: Granger Smith

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Granger Smith grew up performing music from a young age. He started writing songs early on and he also taught himself to play guitar. After signing a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing he moved from Texas to Nashville. He lived in Nashville for five years before moving back to Texas. He has released an amazing seven studio albums so far and he is just getting started. He also released a live album in February of 2012.

Granger Smith building a new legacy. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANGER SMITH

Granger Smith building a new legacy. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANGER SMITH

As of this past August, Smith was signed to Wheel House Records, which is part of Broken Bow’s label family. And Wheel House actually picked up two artists for the price of one…or so to speak. If you’ve not heard of Earl Dibbles Jr., you might want to check it out. He is the wayyyyy countryfied version of Granger Smith and makes an appearance on Smith’s EP, singing “City Boy Stuck.”

Now some might think that the alter-ego thing never works out, but this time, it may be working out much greater than even Smith thought it would. As his social media for Dibbles Jr. has skyrocketed. According to Smith’s website, “on average, a post from Smith on Facebook reaches over 1 million and a post from his alter-ego “Earl Dibbles Jr.” reaches a whopping 22 million.” That detail might have to do with the fact that Dibbles has a particular – if not somewhat peculiar way of choosing his favorite football teams. Check out one of his “Dip Em’ and Pick Em'” videos here.

Building a groundbreaking career is no surprising accomplishment from this guy. Smith has been performing and working the road for years and has been quietly building his audience. As did Eric Church when he suddenly took the nation by storm after quietly building a near-cult following, Smith has done much the same and has done so with incredible forethought and imagination.

His idea to make Earl Dibbles Jr. part of the mix has been a great one – because face it, everybody loves a good ole country boy. Whether you find him funny or offensive you’ll likely still be talking about him and remembering him for months or even years to come. That is the result of a great promotion – to get the public’s attention and have them remember what you created.

The music industry has been through so many changes over the past ten years and so for Smith to be building his career so steadily is a great achievement. With Smith’s social media exploding, accumulating millions of followers and having already surpassed 35 million views on youtube Grange has a great foundation for a long-time career. Smith’s new album is coming out the first part of next year, which will be the remainder of his 4 x 4 EP that he has already released.

Granger SmithThough “Backroad Song” was released as a single in 2013 from the Dirt Road Driveway album and produced 32,000 downloads the first week and hitting the iTunes country singles chart at number two – it is still gaining ground as we speak.

“Expectations are raised with each album, but this one is different,” says Smith. “It shocked us when Dirt Road Driveway [album] debuted at Number One (on the iTunes Country Chart in 2013) — we kept thinking, ‘People are going to wake up and figure out that they’re following the wrong guy!’ But no one wants to take a step back, so this time there’s some pressure, and I embrace that, because it means you have a good business rolling.” 

Smith has a lot to live up to and no doubt he will live up to all expectations with his new album coming out early in 2016.  “I’ve learned that it’s not about talent or work ethic,, A lot of guys have talent and work hard that just gets you in the door.  Granger explains, “But after that, there’s so much strategy. My talent is just good enough to get me in the game. But then it’s up to you how you’re going to play.” 

 “When I first started, we were trying to go by the usual path, but it never came out that way,” Smith says.

“Everything we needed, whether it was a booking agent or a video budget, we couldn’t get, so we just decided to do it ourselves and try to do it better. And we made some magic that way, and created something that wasn’t being done.”  But Smith doesn’t have to do it on his own anymore.

His new label, Wheelhouse, is behind him every step of the way. Smith got their attention and with their help he now has the attention of, well, just about everybody! This Texas Guy is making music his own way and that seems to be the only way it will work and be assured we will be hearing a lot more from this guy. It’s clear he is going places – big places. Even if he does prefer back roads.

If you would like to hear more of  Smith’s music you can purchase it on iTunes or visit his website. You can also find him on Facebook  and twitter.