Country singer Kyle Park talks about his latest album, Don’t Forget Where You Come From, out June 1.
With seven No. 1 singles on the Texas Regional Radio Reports and 11 singles on the Texas Music Chart’s Top 10, singer-songwriter Kyle Park has produced an authentic Lone Star State identity by dispensing gritty backyard tunes with a neo-traditional country feel.
Grounded in traditional country music, Park’s new album, Don’t Forget Where You Come From (his sixth studio record), plays as an ode to his humble upbringing. It’s an album full of storytelling and honky-tonk beats.
Album highlights include the fun and carefree album opener, “Ain’t Nobody Hotter”; the pedal-steel-driven “Over and Over Again”; “God Made a Farmer,” inspired by Paul Harvey’s “God Made a Farmer” speech; and the proud title track, “Don’t Forget Where You Come From.”
Recently, C&I caught up with the Austin, Texas, native to talk about the new record and what’s down the road.
Cowboys & Indians: What do you hope your fans will get out of Don't Forget Where You Come From?
Kyle Park: I hope they get to know me better as a musician, producer, and writer, but also as a person. These are the most genuine, personal, and heartfelt songs I’ve ever written.
C&I: What are some memorable stories along the way of getting this album from concept to actual release?
Park: I have some fantastic memories making this album. The song “Rio” literally came to me while riding on a horse in the mountains of Colorado. I recall every single detail from what time of day it was to what the mountains looked like. It was a beautiful scene.
I was also able to collaborate with a lot of amazing writers, including Trent Willmon, Cody Johnson, Bart Butler, Six Sanchez, and CJ Sola, to name a few.
The album and its title, “Don’t Forget Where You Come From,” are inspired by my family, faith, and pride in the path you take in life. I used childhood photos and had fun going back and looking through those. In fact, that’s me on the album cover when I was 4 years old!
C&I: What was the writing and recording process like? Where did you draw inspiration from for the sound?
Park: I grew up loving ’90s country music — fiddle and steel, no synthetic instruments. Lyrically, everything was written from the heart like traditional country music is and was. [It’s] a “lyrics first” record. In addition to those musical influences, I drew inspiration from cowboys, rodeo, drinking a little beer, family, love. …
C&I: Do you have a favorite song or track on the album that you’re most proud of?
Park: The title track is the one I’m most proud of because it reminds me of who I am and how I got here. It also reminds me of my father.
C&I: Are there any songs that didn’t make it on the upcoming album that we can expect to hear later?
Kyle: There are a couple tracks that didn’t fit the format of this album, but maybe someday we’ll see them on another album or played live!
C&I: You’ve been playing in country venues since you were 15. How did those experiences affect your music today?
Park: I definitely haven’t forgotten being that 15-year-old kid playing in a smoky bar with my grandma watching every move. It made a lasting impression on me. It taught me how to get a sense of what songs worked and what you have to do to play a live show and engage the audience. You gotta make them dance! Being onstage then and now, you learn you have to speak from the heart lyrically, musically, and conversationally.
C&I: Who are some of the singers and songwriters that have inspired your creative development and made you want to become artist?
Park: George Strait, Clint Black, Hank Williams Sr., and Mark Chestnutt, plus countless peers and contemporaries in Texas country music. I’m also a huge Western swing fan.
C&I: What can we expect in terms of touring?
Park: I’ve got an extensive tour plan scheduled throughout 2018 and beyond. We’ll hit numerous markets throughout Texas, along with stops in Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, and more. Fans should check out my website for regular tour updates.
C&I: What’s something that fans might now know about you?
Park: I wanted to be a professional baseball player.
C&I: You’re from Leander, Texas, outside of Austin. What are some of your favorite things to do there when you’re not on the road?
Kyle: First things first: visit my family.
For more information on Kyle Park, his upcoming tour, and to purchase Don’t Forget Where You Come From, visit his website.