C&I has the exclusive first listen — watch the acoustic video premiere.
Born and raised on a small farm in South Georgia, Brian Callihan played baseball and football but found his true passion when he started listening to Keith Whitley. Inspired by Whitley’s Greatest Hits, he took the extra money earned from catching overpopulated wild hogs on the weekends and bought a guitar.
With his new guitar, Callihan sharpened his focus on playing and writing his own music. In 2009 he moved to Nashville, where he began co-writing with Cole Swindell, Josh Thompson, Adam Sanders, and other hitmaking singer-songwriters. In 2011, the hard work paid off when Callihan signed his first publishing deal.
Since then, he has written songs that have been recorded and performed by Cole Swindell, Dylan Scott, Trent Tomlinson, Halfway to Hazard, and many others. As a performer, he’s shared the stage with many mainstream country music artists and has played major festivals such as CMA Fest, Key West Songwriters Festival and the Suwannee River Jam and he recently completed his debut EP and released the lead single “Broke it Down.”
C&I is pleased to present the acoustic video premiere of his new single, “Cool Kinda Hot.” Here’s a quick chat with the Georgia boy about the new song, getting started in Music City, and making music during lockdown.
The new single, “Cool Kinda Hot”
“Cool Kinda Hot” is a very upbeat song with a really cool vibe. It’s also a great summertime song. I had a lot of fun writing it with Wynn Varble and Phil O'Donnell and hope people can hear that when they listen to it.
Releasing music during this pandemic
We released “Broke It Down” toward the beginning of quarantine. It’s taken some time for me and my team to readjust to all of the changes, but I feel like continuing to release music keeps me connected with fans. I’ve also done a lot of live streams on social media, which helps fill the void of not being able to do live shows.
His biggest influences and how he got his start
Growing up, I loved Keith Whitley, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence, and my fellow Georgia boy, Travis Tritt. I started seriously playing and writing music when I was a kid, right after I got Keith Whitley’s Greatest Hits album for Christmas. In 2009, I moved to Nashville and hit the ground running. There were several artists that took me under their wing, like my buddy Cole Swindell, who let me crash on his couch while I was getting settled. I made sure to set up a lot of co-writes and meetings and got my first publishing deal two years later.
What fans can expect next
I’m working on my EP. The release date got pushed back a little bit because of the pandemic, but I’m hoping to have it out by the end of this year. I’d also love to get back on the road when it’s safe to do so.
To pre-save “Cool Kinda Hot,” click here.
Photography: Images courtesy Adkins Publicity