You just released your new single “Whiskey’s Fine.” How are people responding to it?
Great! For me, it was kind of the first music I put out. My team and I obviously loved it! But when you put it out, that’s when you’re going to see if it works with everyone else and the audience that would be listening on the radio and that kind of stuff. But it’s been great, people have really been responding to it and I haven’t heard a bad thing about it. The numbers keep increasing every week, so we’re excited about it! People seem to love it and that’s always a good feeling to see that.
Explain your songwriting process.
Well, I came to Nashville to be an artist because that’s all I ever wanted to do, but when I got here I really fell in love with the songwriting part. People always ask me which one I like more and it’s a tough call, I love them both. As far as songwriting goes, I try to keep it as real as possible. I want there to be some kind of real element or real feeling. It’s funny because people are always wanting to know who this song is about or what I wrote it about and I tell people that I don’t write songs about people, I write songs about feelings that people give me. That way songs can change meanings as you continue to grow and you’re not stuck in one situation every time you listen to it. I think the biggest thing for me is being myself and writing what I feel and not trying to write into what everyone else is doing right now on radio. I’m a big fan of John Mayer and I like him because I know it’s John Mayer everytime I hear one of his songs. He just has a distinct style. I think that’s how you make fans and that’s what I’m trying to do. When people hear the first word of one of my songs I want them to know it’s Adam Doleac.
Is there anyone that you are dying to collaborate with?
I’ve been a big fan of Chris Stapleton way before I started writing songs. I’m also a big fan of Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, any of those guys. I’m from Mississippi so I like to sing with a lot of soul and those are the people that do that as well, so I would love to work with any of them.
You were recently named as SiriusXM “The Highway’s” Newest Find. How does that feel?
It feels great! I was on “The Horizon” a couple of years ago on “The Highway” and when you’re on that you’re hoping that they bump you up to “The Highway Find.” It took a couple of years but it was really cool to get that call. We are unsigned as far as the labels go, so it’s not an easy thing to do without a record label, so being able to do it independently is a great feeling. I love Storme Warren over at “The Highway,” he’s been very good to me and he’s such a great dude, so it’s awesome to hear all of the response and get all kinds of text messages and videos people are sending to me.
What drew you to country music? Has it always been country music?
It hasn’t always been country music. I grew up listening to 3 Doors Down and my Dad brought me up on The Eagles and Bob Seger, so what pulled me into country was the songwriting part of it. I love to tell stories in the writing and that’s my favorite thing about country music. I love how you can take all of your influences whether it be rock or pop or whatever they are and write a story on top of it and it turns into a country song. So I would definitely say the writing is what drew me in the most.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
We just released an EP but we are going back in the studio to finish the album which will be fun. We’ve got a lot of one-off shows here and there across the country which I know has been an issue lately. The first question I always get from people is when are you going on tour so we are setting that up and will be on the road a bit this fall. We’ll hopefully get a bunch of opening spots here and there and then a couple shows of my own.
Ok, now for some food questions…
So you’re from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. What was your favorite meal/restaurant growing up?
There’s a place in Hattiesburg called La Cocina Mexicana, or in English, The Mexican Kitchen, and it is very, very authentic Mexican. It’s one of those places where you either love it or hate it and I love it. I probably ate it once a week growing up, but it’s still there and I go every time I go home. Other than that though, obviously my mom’s home cooking. She’s the best cook I’ve ever known.
What is your guilty pleasure food?
Pizza and ice cream all day! I literally don’t know how to say no to either one of them.
What are three things that you always have in your refrigerator?
Well, breakfast eggs and stuff to make an omelette with. Breakfast is my favorite thing to cook, basically because it’s the only thing I know how to cook well. California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas are always in there and then obviously ice cream like I said before.
@adamdoleac Breakfast! #yummy
Now Let’s have a bit of fun.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Nashville? My favorite place in Nashville is Urban Grub. I get the pork chop and a side of grits. I love it!
Lunch: Calypso Cafe. When I first moved here, I lived in Berry Hill off of Nolensville and they had a Calypso Cafe there. I knew all of the workers there very well. It got to a point where I would pull in there and they would start making my order when they saw my truck in the parking lot. That’s how much I went to Calypso.
Dinner: Urban Grub like I said before. I always leave there feeling really full!
Place to get BBQ? I would say Peg Leg Porker. It’s really great!
Best place to relax with a beer and listen to music: 3rd and Lindsley
Breakfast? Dose in East Nashville. I go there quite frequently. I usually go with the Spicy Egg Everything Bagel.
Losers or Winners Bar: I think I’ll have to go with Winners.
Finally, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
That’s such a tough question. I would have to go with my favorite musician John Mayer. First of all, he broke up with Jennifer Aniston, who does that? I would need to ask him why he did that and what went wrong. He’s dated Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, all of them! He just seems like the most weird, interesting person. I think you could actually talk with him for a day and still not run out of things to talk about. He keeps me interested all the time. I would definitely drink an Old Fashioned. Old Fashioned’s are definitely my favorite and my “Whiskey’s Fine” song is not a lie because I really do love whiskey. I don’t drink much beer at all, whiskey is kind of my go-to for drinks. My dad and I have this thing where we have to try a new whiskey anywhere new we go to make sure it’s not the best one we’ve had. Whenever I’m home or whenever my dad is in town we make our own Old Fashioned drinks. He actually cooks the syrup and all that good stuff and we’ve been doing it for years, so it’s one of our favorite things.
By the time he was two, Adam had already displayed some musical talent.
Singing came much later, unless you count the video of four-year-old Adam, sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses, performing Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman.”
Even though he demonstrated musical talent, as a youngster, Adam also excelled in sports. There was soccer, t-ball, and even ice hockey. The Mississippi Sea Wolves played in a rink an hour south of Hattiesburg, and his parents drove him there so he could participate in a league.
Adam also played baseball until he was 13, when he gave it up for golf. “I was away every weekend playing tournaments.” Halfway through his Junior year in high school, he was offered a full golf scholarship to Delta State University. With offers for golf and basketball already on the table, after being talked into playing baseball his Senior year by his friends, the University of Southern Mississippi made its own offer of a baseball scholarship after just one year of playing. Adam accepted and went on to win three rings in four years as the Southern Miss. Conference USA Champ. He also played in the College World Series in 2009.
That decision changed the course of his life. “It’s unbelievable how much one decision can impact where life takes you,” he says. His college roommates were on the baseball team with him – and they were all guitar players. “That’s where I learned my first chords. On Dec. 29, 2010, I wrote my first song while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.” It was the first time out of the country for the Mississippi native who had only experienced Hattiesburg and family vacations in Florida. “I remember sitting on a hotel balcony on the third floor, watching people of all different ethnicities and walks of life. I’d never seen any of that before, and that gave me the idea for my first song, ‘Travel On.’ I put it on YouTube and the next thing I knew, it had 450,000 views.”
Adam wrote four more songs and released an EP while he was still playing baseball. Over one thousand people showed up for a CD release party in his hometown. Then Adam hit the road, and for the first time, sang live in front of people. Success on the road led to more songwriting and a full-length album. “I was driving back and forth to Nashville to write songs so I decided to move there to write with other people.” Adam arrived in Music City on Oct. 15, 2012. “It’s a happy, driven city,” he says. “Everybody is chasing after something they love to do.”
Things moved relatively quickly for Adam in Nashville. In a little over a year, he had already experienced having his first song played on the radio. His mother called to let him know she heard “I Put It On Ya” on SiriusXM’s The Highway, and Adam quickly tuned in so he could hear it himself. “Hugh Freeze, the head football coach at Ole Miss, loves the song and blares it over the stadium speakers when the team is practicing.”
He then met Jake LaGrone, who became his manager, and in 2015, signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV. He’s played nearly 400 shows the last two years, but has scaled back live performances lately to allow more time for writing songs. He’s penned upwards of 200 songs since the day “Travel On” was written on the balcony in the Dominican Republic, and in the last few months, several country superstars have put holds on some of his compositions, including Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Justin Moore and David Nail.
What’s next for the country artist whose diverse influences range from John Mayer to the Eagles and Chris Stapleton? He’s about to record a new EP and has been taking meetings with various labels in Nashville. His dream is to play the big stadiums and arenas and every day brings him one step closer to fulfilling that dream. Look for his name on the charts soon – both as a songwriter and as an artist, one of country’s next superstars.