Country music artist on the rise, Ryan Griffin, is following his own advice to “take life with a grain of salt, lime, and tequila” as he steps into a new chapter of his career.
“You’ve got to hustle, you’ve got to show up to win, but at the same time, don’t take yourself so seriously,” Griffin said.
Griffin saw quick success right after graduating from Belmont University. He was lucky enough to sign a publishing deal and a record deal with Warner Music Nashville and also penned Kelsea Ballerini’s hit “Dibs” around the same time. Just as things were starting to pick up, his time with Warner Music Nashville came to an unexpected end. Griffin had to learn how to stand on his own to feet as an independent artist. Luckily, he had the encouragement from his wife to continue his career.
Since he didn’t have a label to back him up, Griffin decided to take his song “Salt, Lime & Tequila” to TikTok, where it became a fan-favorite almost overnight.
Fans weren’t the only ones keeping tabs on Griffin’s career though. He instantly clicked with Rascal Flatts’ co-founder Jay DeMarcus at a writing session. The two reconnected over coffee and without hesitation, DeMarcus asked Griffin to be the flagship artist to his new label, Red Street Records.
“I was just trying to keep my cool and not freak out because Jay Demarcus from Rascal Flatts, the legendary band that like paved the road for me in a lot of ways, was reaching out to me,” he expressed to Music Mayhem and other media outlets.
“It was a surreal moment for me,” he added.
Since they spent so much time together on the road for radio tours, DeMarcus had plenty of opportunities to share his wisdom with the up-and-coming artist. Griffin noted that some of the best advice he received was “just be who you are, be yourself.”
Besides music, these artists are also fathers and husbands who can relate to the hardship of being away from their families for weeks on end. “‘When you’re home, be home, be present.’ That’s one of the biggest personal things he’s taught me,” Griffin shared. “When it comes down to having a song on country radio, his biggest thing is just to soak it in and truly appreciate everybody that is working bending the scenes, appreciating your whole team and appreciating the time that people give you…just have a lot of gratitude.”
Griffin and his wife Talia have two kids at home, Jude and Levi, who actually had a part in the inspiration behind “Salt, Lime & Tequila.” When Griffin logged into the writing session on zoom that day with Jason Massey and Ava Suppelsa, he was asked what he wanted to write about. The idea came to him as he was stressed out from trying to focus with one kid screaming in the background and the other running around like crazy.
“I want to write a song that I can turn on and it quiets my children. I want to write a song that I turn on and my wife and I can de-stress for three minutes,” he shared with his co-writers.
“I said something like, ‘take life with a gain of salt,’ that kind of concept. Ava goes ‘lime’ and Jason goes ‘tequila’ and we laugh and go ‘oh that’s so funny…wait a second,’” he said with a chuckle. “When we got finished with it, we knew it was something special. We didn’t know it would do…but we definitely knew it was something special.”
This song has proved itself to be special indeed. It currently sits on the charts right between Morgan Wallen and Carrie Underwood. “What a spot to be in,” Griffin gushed.
Fans first got a glimpse of the song on TikTok, where Griffin shared clips of many of the songs that labels turned down after a push from his wife. She told him, “go directly to people…there’s no red tape, no gatekeeper.”
“My wife came in running, screaming in the morning and she’s like ‘Ryan get up look at TikTok,’” he said recounting the first moment he saw his numbers skyrocketing. “I look and it’s like one million, two million, three million, it’s just taking off and the follower number’s just rattling off like a slot machine, it was the craziest thing.”
Griffin chose to incorporate kind comments from his fans in the music video for “Salt, Lime & Tequila,” as a way to show his gratitude. The video showcases his family and friends enjoying the warm weather on a boat. Basically, he created the perfect environment to listen to this jam.
As a Florida native, the “Love Don’t” singer-songwriter grew up listening to the likes of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney who also created easy, breezy summer jams. So of course, Griffin has carried their stylings into his music, which is clear in this song and those that will be featured on his upcoming EP, Slow Down Sunrise. He explained that his goal was to create a no-skip EP with the same vibe as “Salt, Lime & Tequila.”
Fans can expect to hear a collection that can be played on those days when the sun in shining, the beaches are full and the lakes are choppy from all the people enjoying a day on the water.
“My whole intention was to try to…have a little bit of depth, but also try not to make it too serious of a record,” he explained. “I love writing really serious love ballads, if I’m being honest, and the coolest part about this record was I kind of got to tap into a different side of me…and try to take the listener on a journey down to the islands, down to the keys and the beach.”
Ryan Griffin is set to release his EP, Slow Down Sunrise, on May 6. The project is currently available for pre-save/preorder HERE.
“Y’all I’m freaking out cuz I’m the worst at keeping secrets and this was a hard one to keep! I’m so excited to share this collection of songs with y’all!” Griffin shared on Instagram. “When you press play I want y’all to feel like you’re sitting by the water soaking in the sun letting your worries slip away. Whether you’re on the beach or sitting at the office — my hope is that it takes you to a place of serenity and peace — gives you a moment to breathe and slow down. I can’t wait for y’all to hear it!”
Additionally, Griffin was recently announced to perform at the 2022 CMA Fest on the Dr. Pepper AMP Stage in June.