Backstreet boys

Baylee Littrell says her new single ‘Gone’ brought her dad, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, to tears

Baylee Littrell may be the son of a pop star, but his country roots run deep and emerge through his own musical endeavours. The Georgia native released his debut album, 770-Countryin 2019, which included two songs co-written by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard.

That same year, Baylee had the chance to tour with her father, Brian Littrell, opening for the Backstreet Boys on their DNA World Tour.

Although Baylee grew up in the world of boy bands, her country music influences came from her grandparents, who listened to artists like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette. Some of his current favorite artists include Randy Travis, Devin Dawson, and Morgan Wallen, all of whom he got to rub shoulders with at the 2019 CMA Awards.

The 19-year-old wrote his current single “Gone” while on a family beach vacation in 2020, when he woke up early one morning and couldn’t get back to sleep.

“I just made a coffee pot, grabbed my guitar and sat there and thought for a second. I was like, there’s a reason I have to be up. I read a quote that said something like “if you keep waking up at this time God is trying to tell you something”. And so I was like, okay, well, I need to know what this is.

After more than an hour of no progress, he found inspiration in an unlikely place.

“I was alone in this huge bed,” Baylee recalled. “And I remember seeing all the sheets were all crumpled up.” This gave rise to the first line of the song: “Leaves crumpled at 2 a.m.”.

He finished the song two hours later and wasn’t sure how he felt about the final product. “I remember thinking, ‘This might be the worst song I’ve ever written. I don’t know, this one is a bust. It was eating at me all day,'” Baylee said.

As his family was preparing to leave for dinner that night, he found time alone with his father to get candid feedback on the new song. “Dad and I are usually always dressed and ready before everyone else, so we were just sitting there, spinning shit and I was like, I’m gonna grab my guitar and I want to play you this song I wrote And I just don’t know how to feel about it. I played him ‘Gone’ and he started crying.

Baylee remembered how nervous he was to find out the reason for those tears. “I said, Dad, are you crying because it’s really, really bad and you doubt this whole experience or because you love it?” And he’s like, ‘I love this.’

The first time Baylee performed “Gone” live was at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia last July when he shared the stage with fellow country artist Trea Landon. Littrell was pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction from the crowd, as he kept the song’s rendition simple with just two chords on an acoustic guitar and his vocals. He said it helped remind him that for a song to resonate with people, “it doesn’t have to be complicated”.

When it came time to return to the studio and record new music, Baylee included “Gone” in the pile of songs her producer Daniel Ross was due to review. Ross picked “Gone” as one of the songs to record, which elated Baylee.

“It meant the world to me that he chose ‘Gone’ because this one was really special,” Baylee said. “That one makes a lot of sense to me.” He added, “I’m super glad it’s a single, the first single in particular, and that I got to write it.”

The “Some Guys” singer performed a showcase in Nashville at Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in March, where he performed “Gone” and some of his unreleased music, including a traditional country ballad titled “Lonesome Cowboy.” Baylee also brought up surprise guest Trea Landon, and the pair performed Landon’s single “Get the Girl.”

After her performance in Nashville, Baylee entered the studio to record “Lonesome Cowboy” and another new track, “Change Your Mind.”

Baylee now wonders whether to release an EP or another full album, but says “I guarantee you there will definitely be another single coming here soon.”

To keep up with Baylee Littrell, you can follow her on Instagram.

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