“Yada, Yada, Yada,” the latest tune from rising country star Brandon Lay, has been a fixture on the country charts all summer long, fulfilling a dream the Jackson, Tenn., musician has had since heading to Nashville after his senior year of college.
Signed to EMI Records Nashville, Lay first made noise in the industry with his autobiographical debut single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” and was invited to open for country superstar Kenny Chesney on his 19-date Sun Stadium tour this summer.
Lay will head to the Palace Theatre in Stamford for a concert that will include all the songs his fans have come to love on Aug. 30. Keith Loria caught up with him before the show.
Keith Loria: You’ve been on the road the last few months. How has that prepared you for this headlining gig at the Palace?
Brandon Lay: I’ve been on tour this summer with Kenny Chesney and we’re looking to pick up that same energy we’ve been getting from him and bring it to the Palace. It’s been a heck of a summer.
KL: What have you enjoyed about touring with Chesney?
BL: It’s like going to concert college. Especially in those bigger venues, there’s just nobody better to learn from then Chesney. It really has been an amazing experience and we’re looking to going to as many places as we can.
KL: How have you been travelling for the tour and what has that experience been like?
BL: We’ve been going by bus — the first one I’ve been able to do. My wife is pregnant and we are having our first kid in October, and she’s been able to come to every show on the bus with me. I have a mobile studio that I’m able to keep on the back of the bus and I’m able to write and play.
KL: Congrats on impending fatherhood. How has this next chapter of your life impacted your recent songwriting?
BL: The other night, I got up in the middle of the night, and wrote a song in about 10 minutes. It wasn’t a plan but something just inspired me to write it. I’m looking forward to recording that one.
KL: The single “Yada Yada Yada” is one of country’s most popular tunes of the summer. What does it mean to you to have a song that the crowd is singing along to and everyone just knows?
BL: I hope it’s a gateway drug for my music as I have a lot of songs that I want people to hear, but that one has been so fun. My first single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” was a little more literal, a little more lyric-driven, and “Yada” just fits in with the theme of the summer, which is to come out and have a good time. It’s been really rewarding to have people sing along.
KL: Where did your love of music come from and what made you decide to get into this business?
BL: I’ve always loved country music, but basketball is my first love. I was an athlete growing up. I quit playing ball my senior year of college and I put a band together, and immediately I knew I was moving to Nashville because I fell in love with performing.
KL: How do you describe the feeling you get being on stage in front of thousands of people?
BL: It’s the forum I have always dreamed about with presenting my songs. There’s no way to get ready for it. One thing my band and I did before the tour was we went to a local high school football field and played to get ready.
KL: I know you’re a big sports fan, have you ever gotten to sing the National Anthem at any sporting events?
BL: Yes, I got to at a Chicago White Sox baseball game and also did some minor league games. It was a lot of fun. It’s always cool when those two worlds can meet.
KL: What’s on tap for you the rest of 2018?
BL: I’m going to be very sad when the tour ends in September. The baby will come in October and between that and continuing to write and record, I’m going to be really busy. It’s been a great year and I’m looking forward to finishing the year strong.