During Spotify Original’s show 10 Songs That Made Me on Friday (Jan. 15), Wallen revealed 10 songs that marked meaningful moments in his life. The list included a song that impacted him as a child, the first song that made him want to become a musician, a song that got him through his teen angst, a song he loves that would surprise people, a song that he wishes he’d written, a song that brings him joy and even what song he wants played at his wedding in the future.
You can listen to the episode below.
Song that impacted you as a child: “I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow” by Soggy Bottom Boys
“I Am Man of Constant Sorrow by The Soggy Bottom Boys, and it’s a song that I was obsessed with as a child. I grew up in Sneedville, Tennessee, and bluegrass was something that was very prominent there. And that’s just one of the first songs that I remember hearing. And I listened to it all throughout my childhood. And, you know, it kind of just reminds me of home and back then, those times. So I still like it now. But I first discovered it when I was a child. It makes me happy, even though it’s a song about sorrow and suffering kind of. It, I don’t know, it’s just a warm spot in my heart just because it’s one of the first songs other than, you know, hymns that I was really introduced to. So it’s awesome. It kind of takes me back in time. I love to hear it now.”
First song that made you want to be a musician: “The Old Rugged Cross” by Alan Jackson
“The song that first made me want to be a musician is The Old Rugged Cross by Alan Jackson. I grew up in church. My dad is a preacher and naturally, you know, I was around a lot of hymns. It was a Southern Baptist church. So we mostly sang hymns. And I first heard it in church, you know, with a choir type setting. So that’s kind of the version that I hear in my head mostly. But Alan Jackson’s version is my favorite recorded one. Well, I really love Alan Jackson, just his whole catalog. I think he’s one of the best songwriters and singers ever. And I think he really captured, you know, the feeling behind that song. And I don’t know, I just really connected to the melody and the words. And, you know, it just meant a lot to me as a kid. And I learned it then and kind of helped me develop my love for music just as a whole.”
First song that you remember discovering on your own: “The Diary of Jane” by Breaking Benjamin
“I guess I was getting into my teenage years and starting to have a little bit more freedom than I’d had in the past as far as, you know, making choices, whether that’s with music or or anything in life. And I went through a phase where I really like that, that kind of rock and roll music. You know, I was my dad really likes rock and roll, so I think I probably got that from him. And that song just, you know, me and my me and my friend Josh, what we would always ride around.”
“And that was actually the first CD I bought, too, was Phobia about breaking Benjamin. And yeah, you know, I think it’s important to as you’re growing up and getting older, you you want to start being your own person and, you know, turn it into a young man. It felt good. It gave me a sense of freedom and accomplishment. And I you know, that song is I still listen to it to this day.”
Song that got you through your teen angst: “Someday” by Nickelback
“You know, that kind of was a similar time as the Breaking Benjamin period for me. I went through the phase of where I mostly listened to rock, that kind of rock. That song just has a hopeful message. And I think, you know, it gave me a good feeling about what the future held. And I did pretty much, you name it. I snuck out, definitely yelled at my parents a couple of times. That quickly ended though, my dad put a stop to that. But, you know, I think especially me and my dad, you know, we’re very similar and we kind of butted heads a little bit while I was going through that time, you know, because he was just looking out for me. But I thought I knew everything like most people do when they’re that age. So it helped with that. And luckily, me and my dad are really, really close now. So we got through it.”
Song that you listened to the most when you first started driving a car: “Love Your Love The Most” by Eric Church
“This is Love Your Love The Most by Eric Church, and it’s the song that I listened to the most when I first got a car. That’s really the first song that I discovered of Eric Church, that kind of made me fall in love with him as an artist the way that he he wrote that song and how honest and, you know, quirky at the same time. I just felt it was very genuine and I connected to it in a way that I hadn’t really connected to many songs before. So I wear that one out for sure. My first car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was it was old. I mean, I loved it, I was just glad to have a car, you know, I wore that out, too, along with Eric Church song. I blew that that Jeep up pretty quickly. If I saw a nice looking field on the side of the road, I would just hop in there real quick.”
Song that encapsulates your high school experience: “We Be Steady Mobbin” by Lil Wayne ft. Gucci Mane
“I think, I definitely went through through a phase in high school to where I was, uh, I don’t know. I don’t even know how to describe that phase. But that’s that’s the song that we that we listen to a lot. You know, me and my friends at school and there’s a part in that song and talks about, putting bandanas on car antennas and we all did that and that. I don’t know why. Me and one of my friends, Lucas, we made a CD one time and literally had that song about 15 times in a row. So we really liked it. I played baseball in High School, that’s basically all I did in high school was half assed my way through school so I could play baseball. So that song, you know, we we used it to get hyped up a lot during big games or actually just any game. So, it makes me think of my team and and those, you know, those those awesome memories that I have from my from my baseball team.”
Song you want played at your wedding: “Feel Like Making Love” by Bad Company
“I want this played at my wedding. I kind of made this as a joke, to be honest. I don’t have many visions about being married, so we’ll see how it goes. I hope everybody gets lucky that night. You know, I want it to be cool. I just want all my friends and family to be there. And just to share in that moment with me, I haven’t really thought about, like, the setting or anything like that. I think the girl usually handles that part anyway so I’ll roll with it.”
Song you love that might surprise people: “Pain” by The War on Drugs
“I think people will be surprised just because you know, the type of music and it’s a you know, the way that he writes is kind of poetic. And you have to really pay attention to understand what’s being said. You know, and I kind of as an artist, you know, say things pretty straightforward. So I think it might just be a little bit surprising that I don’t always listen to songs that are similar to the ones I sing. I like to play it when I’m driving, especially by myself. I don’t know. It kind of just transports me away from the now. And I think that’s pretty cool. So I hope people can experience that too.”
Song you wish you had written: “Springsteen” by Eric Church
“I know this is my second Eric Church song on this list so I think that speaks to my admiration of what he does. This one is just, it seems to me like it’s perfectly written. There’s nothing, you know, that you could change to make it any better. It’s that, you know, it’s one of those songs of nostalgia that make you wish for something even if you didn’t have it, you know, it like takes you to a place in time. And it’s so vividly descriptive and uses clever words and titles of, you know, based off Springsteen. I just think it’s really, really incredibly done. And I definitely would have been proud to have my name on it. You know, I listen to Bruce Springsteen a little bit, but it’s not one of my go-to’s to be honest, I don’t think I even relate to the song because of the Springsteen aspect. I think it’s just more of just the images and the things that, you know, the places that it takes my mind. It’s more about that, not necessarily the references or Springsteen himself.”
Song that equals joy: “Take It Easy” by The Eagles
“I grew up being around a lot of classic rock just because of my dad and I don’t know this song is one that made me feel like everything was good and right in the world. And I think, you know, I think that was their point of writing it. It was written during, you know, troubling times. And I think they really captured kind of bringing people together with that song and unity. I don’t know, it just makes me feel good. And I still get those same feelings when I listen to it every single time. You know, life can bring you lots of stress, for everyone. Well, music is my main way of dealing with that. And this song just really perfectly takes you to a place that makes you feel alright.”
Previous episodes of Spotify’s 10 Songs That Made Me series include artists such as James Blake, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, Lil Yachty, and T.I.
Wallen just released his much-anticipated sophomore album, Dangerous: The Double Album, on January 8 and includes hit songs such as “More Than My Hometown,” “7 Summers,” “Heartless (feat. Diplo),” “Cover Me Up” and more.