Jaron Boyer couldn’t be happier that country trio Rascal Flatts’ new record, “Rewind,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart after its release in mid-May.
A few years ago, he had similar feelings when Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” record became the top-selling country album of 2011.
That’s because the Ardmore native crafted songs for those albums and has written cuts for a whole slew of other country artists, including Dustin Lynch, Joe Nichols and Lauren Alaina. On Rascal Flatt’s ninth album, “Rewind,” one of Boyer’s latest songs can be heard in the middle of the album, track number six. The love song is called “Riot.”
“When I heard the Rascal Flatts’ version, it was about two months before the album came out. It was pretty amazing,” Boyer says. “The lead singer, Gary LeVox, is one of the greatest singers ever. It was pretty crazy. It blew my mind. It brought tears to my eyes.”
Growing up in Ardmore, Boyer never imagined he would be where he is today as a successful songwriter in Nashville. Tuesday, country singer and rapper Colt Ford’s “Thanks for Listening” album hit music stores. Boyer co-wrote a track with Ford on that album. This fall, Aldean, Lynch and Tim McGraw are set to release their next albums, all featuring a song written by the Heritage Christian High School graduate.
Boyer says it was hard work, combined with writing day and night, and mixed with luck that landed him on the roster as a songwriter for global music publishing company Peermusic Nashville.
A Nashville resident for the past 10 years, Boyer didn’t move to Music City to pursue a career in the music industry. As the home of country music, Nashville has become a major recording and production center, and thousands of quality musicians move there yearly in hopes of being discovered and making a name in the business. That wasn’t what drew Boyer to the area.
“My dad lived up there. I was just ready to get out of Ardmore and move to the big city.” Boyer says. “I was going to go to college, but once I got there, I met some people who all did music. I started. That’s kind of how it happened.”
Despite growing up a music fan, Boyer wasn’t one to make up songs or be caught humming a tune. He didn’t even gravitate toward music classes as a grade school student at Plainview and Ardmore schools.
Once surrounded by musically-inclined friends, however, Boyer began to write and attend songwriter nights, playing at bars and clubs along Nashville’s Music Row. But being discovered at a Nashville honky-tonk wasn’t how Boyer met the right people in the music industry. Instead, it was at a party.
“I had just started to write and had like five or six songs that I was just singing,” Boyer remembers. “Some girl told me I needed to meet some guy. Later, I met with him and played the songs. He flipped out and said he wanted to put me in front of some publishers. Anyways, that’s kind of how it happened.”
Music publishers help songwriters by putting their songs in front of recording artists, who may select them for an upcoming album. It was in 2009, that Boyer signed with his first publishing company, and pretty quickly thereafter, he began to receive positive feedback from a well-known country artist.
“My first cut was on a Jason Aldean album, my first cut ever on a record,” Boyer said. “Oh man, and that was one of the biggest records in country music that year. ‘My Kinda of Party’ sold millions of copies. The song ‘I Ain’t Ready to Quit,’ I co-wrote that with Thomas Rhett.”
Just like the lyrics of the song, Boyer wasn’t ready to stop and kept giving his all to writing songs, in hopes of being selected by more artists. In 2013, he switched publishing companies to arrive at Peermusic Nashville, working with Aldean’s producer, Michael Knox.
When it comes to writing songs, he draws inspiration from every day life and past relationships. His country songs tend to have some pop and hip-hop style, which makes his songs unique, he says.
When coming across an idea for a hit, “I got to write it down,” he says.
Three times a year, Boyer makes the trip to visit Ardmore, where his mom and stepdad, along with his brothers and sisters, live.
Boyer says he is eager for fall to come, with Lynch, Aldean and McGraw’s albums set to be released, each featuring a song of his. As he continues to write, Boyer has his sights set on achieving the top honor a songwriter can garner.
“I definitely want to be songwriter of the year,” Boyer says. “That’s a pretty big deal for a songwriter. When a song goes No. 1 in Nashville, the label will have a No. 1 party. The artists and the songwriters come out and get the plaque ... it is a really cool thing. I think this year, I will have a couple of No. 1s.”