While carrying the weight of a household country songwriting name, singer/songwriter Levi Hummon is intent on blazing his own path in the Nashville music scene. heirwaves caught up with Levi in music city to talk about his approach to writing, his father’s influence on his work, and being part such a brilliantly acclaimed songwriting community.
It seems difficult to imagine Levi Hummon pursuing any other career anywhere other than Nashville, after growing up watching his father, Marcus Hummon, thrive with writing credits such as Rascal Flatts’ Grammy-winning “Bless the Broken Road,” Sara Evans’ “Born to Fly,” and the Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away.”
While there was a brief period of time when Hummon didn’t consider a career in music, after heading to Florida and pursuing his own interests, including painting, sculpting, and skateboarding, his path ultimately brought him full-circle back to Nashville’s Belmont University, where he began to study and develop his craft of songwriting.
“Even though I grew up in a songwriting family, the world of co-writing was completely foreign to me,” Hummon shares, recalling the beginning of his pursuit of a songwriting career. “I think I’ve become a decent co-writer, able to be the melody guy, lyric guy, or just artist in the room. You have to be able to work really well with others,” he adds. One of the major co-writing skills Hummon has learned is to just listen in the writing room and let others’ genius influence the song. He reflects that sometimes being the silent person in the room is the most valuable thing you can do during a co-write.
Hummon shares that environment and headspace are “everything” to him when writing or walking into a co-write. “Sometimes people describe songwriting as flexing a muscle, but for me it’s all about gathering the energy in the room and just the vibe and riding whatever wave you’re on,” he explains.
Hummon is one of the rare “unicorns” of Nashville who grew up and still resides here. When thinking about the acclaimed songwriting community in Nashville, he reflects that he feels lucky to be part of it. “It means everything. I grew up in it, I love it, and I am thankful everyday that this is my job. I truly want to just keep getting better and every day living here pushes you to be the best possible,” he adds.
While he has released several recent songs like “State I’m In” and “Drop of Us”, there is one particular song the world hasn’t heard yet that is close to Hummon’s heart. “There’s one song in particular that’s unreleased, called ‘Make It Love’ that is probably my all time favorite. I love the song because it talks about my mother’s work with Thistle Farms, an organization that helps women get off the streets and employs them, and also I happen to co-write it with my dad. So, the song just feels like a part of me and my family,” he shares.
When thinking about other aspiring songwriters in Nashville and beyond, Hummon shares a few words of wisdom. “I would just say to stay creative, inspired, and write through everything. My best songs are usually the song after I write something crappy or by myself just to get to the good stuff. Also, engage the older generation of songwriters because there is so much genius all over this town.”
Levi’s latest single “Cowboy Take Me Away” feat. Runaway June is available now on all streaming platforms.