You can say that Dillon Carmichael didn’t really choose a life in the music industry, that it chose him. During our recent phone conversation, Carmichael explained that music just always was there, in his house, in his community. His mother traveled around Kentucky with a band as their lead singer, his father loved to write songs and both of his uncles are some names in the country music genre that you might have heard of. Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry and 90’s country crooner John Michael Montgomery. Music was played at family gatherings, what was done on the weekends and Carmichael always found himself at parties growing up with a guitar in his hands.
Growing up, blues, rock, and country were what he listened to, his very first concert being Lynyrd Skynyrd when he was in the 7th grade. “Playing in bars and stuff around Kentucky, that’s what everyone played, that’s what people wanted to two-step two and waltz around the dance floor to, that’s just the way it was around that area, it was a cultural thing,” he says of the music he was accustomed to hearing as a child.
When Carmichael was only 17 years old after playing the same bar every Thursday night, a publisher came to hear him sing and offered him a publishing deal on the spot. Leaving his small hometown of Burgin, Kentucky and the comforts of knowing everyone, he moved to Nashville to pursue his music career even further. He explained how in Kentucky he would write all of his songs by himself then moving to Nashville he was introduced to co-writing.
“Writing changed a lot when I moved to Nashville, writing is 360 degrees in my opinion, of this whole music thing,” he tells us. “You learn who you are as a guitar player, as a singer, you learn who you are as a person because you learn what you want to say in your songs.” He tells us that cowriting for him has allowed him to open up to people who he might not know very well, telling them personal stories for writing purposes. “Especially for the songs I write, they are very honest, to the point, straightforward and don’t be afraid to tell the world what you are thinking, it helps to be transparent,” Carmichael says.