By Brian Ives
Jordan Rager has made a big splash in country music thanks to his new single, “Southern Boy,” which features a rather high profile guest: Jason Aldean.
Rager recently spoke to Radio.com about the track, and his famous collaborator. “‘Southern Boy’ was a song that brought to me very early in the process of cutting the record. The song was inspired by a kid from Chattanooga, Tennessee, that was close with my producer, who was one of the writers [of the song]. The kid’s name was Cameron Scroggins, and Cam was diagnosed with cancer at age 15, and then unfortunately passed away at 16. But the reason the song was written was because Cam never lost his smile, he was always very upbeat, very outgoing, a good old southern boy, and he was that way before and after he got sick.”
When Rager heard the song, he knew he wanted to record it. “That story spoke to me. I think everybody has their moments where we find something to complain about that probably isn’t that big of a deal. ‘Hey, traffic’s bad,’ or ‘My coffee sucks this morning.’ And this kid got dealt the worst hand imaginable, and he was just trying to go on and live his life. So that really spoke to me, and I felt like it was a story that really needed to be heard by people, and I was honored to be the one to get to sing it.”
How did Aldean end up on the track? “It wasn’t supposed to be a duet initially, it was just going to be me. And in walks Jason, and Jason hears the story, and says, ‘Man, that’s a great song, I’d love to be a part of it.’ It just made the song that much more special for me.”
How did Rager get Aldean on the track? Well, Aldean’s father is also Jordan’s manager, so it’s family when it comes to support for his music.
“Jason’s been great, man, we’ve known each other for a while, he’s a Georgia boy, I’m a Georgia boy, we had some mutual friends, and it was just one of those things that kind of fell together. Even before I signed to Broken Bow, he was kind of paying attention to me and what I was doing musically. And then once I signed to Broken Bow, he said to me, ‘Man, I’ll be as little, or as much, help as you want me to be.’ He’s been a really, really great guy through the whole process, he’s been a supporter of my music, but also, a friend and a big brother to me. Which really means the world to me, because he’s the biggest guy in country music. To have someone like that in your corner, I feel really blessed.”
Rager is currently working on his debut solo album.