After releasing six indie albums, Cody Johnson dropped his major-label debut, Ain’t Nothing To It, on Jan. 18.
The Sebastopol, Texas, native is now busting out of the chute like one of the bucking bulls he used to ride. Cody’s new 15-song offering debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, moving 35,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music. That total was good enough for No. 9 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
With musical influences ranging from Elvis to Billy Joe Shaver, Cody says he worked with longtime producer—and friend—Trent Willmon to create a traditional-sounding country album, but he’s got nothing but “love and respect” for the guys on the other end of the country music spectrum.
“You know why I love Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt, that type of genre? ’Cause I can’t do it. I have a lot of respect for it,” says Cody to Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown. “There’s no way I could do that. That being said, that gives way to a guy like me for the opportunity to come into this town, do exactly what I’ve been doing all along, and to hopefully bridge that gap . . . for the people who didn’t get that opportunity . . . for the people that always said, ‘Well, if you’re gonna be here, you have to change.’ I know that what we’re doing is a little different, and I think that’s why I’m so excited is because I like the challenge. The competitor, the rodeo guy in me goes, ‘Come on! Bring it on! Let’s.’ I love the mountain to climb.”
Cody’s new single, “On My Way to You,” is currently No. 22 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart after 25 weeks.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com