Baylee Littrell may be the son of a pop star, but his country roots run deep and are emerging through his own musical endeavors. The Georgia native released his debut album, 770-Country, in 2019, which featured two songs co-written by Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line.
That same year, Baylee had the chance to tour with his dad, Brian Littrell, by opening for the Backstreet Boys on their DNA World Tour.
Even though Baylee grew up in the world of boy bands, his country music influences came from his grandparents, who would listen 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 had the chance to hang with at the 2019 CMA Awards.
The 19-year-old wrote his current single “Gone” during a family vacation at the beach in 2020, when he woke up early one morning and couldn’t get back to sleep.
“I just made a pot of coffee, grabbed my guitar and I just kind of sat there and thought for a second. I was like, there is a reason I need to be up. I read some quote that said something like, ‘if you keep waking up at this time, God’s trying to tell you something.’ And so I was like, all right, 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 in this huge bed by myself,” Baylee recalled. “And I remember seeing all the bedsheets were all wrinkled.” That spawned the first line of the song: “Wrinkled sheets at 2 AM.”
He wrapped up 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’s a bust.’ It was eating at me all day,” said Baylee.
By the time his family was getting ready to leave for dinner that night, he found some time alone with his dad to get candid feedback about the new song. ”Dad and I are usually always dressed and ready before everybody else, so we were just sitting down there, shooting the crap and I was like, I’m gonna go 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 behind those tears. “I said, dad, are you crying because it’s really, really bad and you’re doubting this whole experiment or because you like it? And he’s like, ‘I love it.’”
The first time Baylee played “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 crowd’s positive reaction, since he kept the performance of the song simple with just two chords on an acoustic guitar and his voice. 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 go back into the studio and record new music, Baylee included “Gone” in the stack of songs for his producer Daniel Ross to review. Ross chose “Gone” as one of the songs to record, which thrilled Baylee.
“It meant the world to me that he picked ‘Gone” because that one was a really special one,” said Baylee. “That one to me has a whole lot of meaning.” He added, “I’m super glad it gets to be a single, the first single especially, 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 called “Lonesome Cowboy.” Baylee also brought up surprise guest Trea Landon and the pair performed Landon’s single “Get the Girl.”
Following his Nashville performance, Baylee went into the studio to record “Lonesome Cowboy” and another new track, “Change Your Mind.”
Baylee is now debating whether to release an EP or another full-length album, but says “I guarantee there will definitely be another single coming up here soon.”
To keep up with Baylee Littrell, you can follow him on Instagram.