Zach Top Opens Up About Keeping Traditional Country Music Alive With His Single, “Sounds Like the Radio”

“Sounds Like The Radio” is just a glimpse into Zach Top’s forthcoming album, ‘Cold Beer & Country Music,’ available this April.

By

Melanie Rooten

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Posted on January 30, 2024

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Zach Top; Photo Courtesy of Citizen Kane Wayne

With artists like Luke Combs, Parker McCollum, Jake Owen and more praising him as the next big thing, Zach Top is truly the future of country music, with his newest single “Sounds Like The Radio” and his forthcoming album, Cold Beer & Country Music, paving the way for an extremely successful 2024.

With loads and loads of tunes on the horizon that are reminiscent of the 90s country legends who inspired him in his youth — such as Alan Jackson, George Strait, Easton Corbin, and more — Top sat down with Music Mayhem to discuss some of his recent releases and endeavors, as well as what the future holds. See below for all the behind the scenes content.

Newest Single, “Sounds Like The Radio”

Zach Top released “Sounds Like The Radio” on January 8 as a way to kick off 2024, which he described as somewhat of a “biopic,” ultimately exemplifying exactly who he is as an artist.

“We didn’t set out to write it as a biopic for me, but I think it turned out kind of halfway that way, which is funny, but that was the way that I fell in love with country music,” he prefaced, before delving into the details. “I grew up listening to the radio still when Alan Jackson and George Strait were still having some hits on there, and you know, stuff like Easton Corbin and Billy Currington. When there was a little more of the traditional flavor of country music still on the radio, and that’s the kind of stuff that I fell in love with, so it felt like when we kind of got through with this song… I knew I wanted it to be kind of my introduction to country radio, I guess you could say.”

After writing the song a whopping three or four years ago, Top admitted that he is “really excited to finally have it out and to have folks fall in love with it like they are,” and it looks like the response has been nothing but positive, becoming the number one most added song at country radio.

Advocate for Bringing country music back to country radio

Speaking of country radio, the Washington native is known for wanting to bring raw, authentic country music back to country radio, and “Sounds Like The Radio” is just the beginning of accomplishing this mission.

Prefacing that “there’s room for it all,” Top shared exactly what he means by bringing country music back to country radio. He dished, “When I turned to the country station on the dial, I want to hear something that sounds definitively unmistakably country, and I think that that’s been missing for a while in the country radio format… When you turn to the country station, you immediately know you’re on the country station, cause you hear a steel guitar, or you hear a fiddle. I think there’s just a bedrock sound to country that’s familiar and that’s been there for a long time, because obviously the music always evolves, and it changes and morphs, but I think there are certain qualities to it that kind of stand the test of time that are definably unmistakably country that I think people are missing lately on the radio.”

Forthcoming Album, Cold Beer & Country Music

This “definably unmistakably country” sound will not fall short in his forthcoming album, Cold Beer & Country Music, which is set to hit all music streaming platforms this April.

Admitting that it took “somewhere between four and five years” to create, Top dove into the details of the record, explaining to Music Mayhem that “some of the songs on here are 3 or 4 years old. Some of them things we’ve just written last year. We’ve had an ongoing list of what we think the first record is going to be. That keeps kind of changing, and we’re swapping stuff out as we write new stuff that we fall in love with… It’s just kind of putting together a project that feels cohesive and feels like, you know, a great first introduction to me and my music and what you’re going to get for, you know, hopefully another few decades from me.”

He concluded with a smile, “It’s kind of evolved into that, and I’m very excited about the track list now and really excited for folks to hear some of this stuff that we’ve been working on for a long time.”

Zach Top 'Cold Beer & Country Music' Album Art
Zach Top ‘Cold Beer & Country Music’ Album Art

Cold Beer & Country Music Track List

  1. “Sounds Like The Radio” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Wyatt McCubbin)
  2. “Cold Beer & Country Music” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain)
  3. “Cowboys Like Me Do” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Roger Springer)
  4. “There’s The Sun” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Wyatt McCubbin)
  5. “Dirt Turns To Gold” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Paul Overstreet)
  6. “The Kinda Woman I Like” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Michael White)
  7. “Lonely For Long” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Mark Nesler)
  8. “Bad Luck” (ZachTop, Carson Chamberlain, Mark Nesler) 
  9. “Use Me” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Tim Nichols)
  10. “Ain’t That A Heartbreak” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Paul Overstreet)
  11. “I Never Lie” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Tim Nichols)
  12. “Things To Do” (Zach Top, Carson Chamberlain, Mark Nesler)

Co-wrote Every single song

As far as the track list goes, the budding country star wrote every single song, admitting that while songwriting was never something that was on his radar, Top “fell in love with writing and being able to, you know, to say something exactly how I’d say it.”

“There are great writers all over Nashville and putting out awesome songs that we could be cutting, but there’s something about, you know, when you get to just say it exactly how you feel it and turn that melody exactly how you would hear it. It’s a little closer, a little more personal connection, I guess, to the song, so I really enjoyed that, and I’m proud of being a part of all those songs.”

Talks Performing With Luke Bryan At Crash My Playa 2024

With the new tunes aside, Top has been hitting the road for numerous fairs and festivals as of late, with one of his most recent gigs being at Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa festival, taking place from January 17 to 20 in Riviera Cancun, Mexico. With his name being on the lineup alongside country music stars like Jelly Roll, Dustin Lynch, Bailey Zimmerman, and more, the 25-year-old gushed about the experience in our exclusive interview, sharing that the whole week “was a ball.”

Zach Top; Photo Courtesy of Alive Coverage
Zach Top; Photo Courtesy of Alive Coverage

Admitting that “it started out rough,” losing his luggage and being forced to wear his bass player’s shorts and his tour manager’s shorts for half of the week, his suitcase eventually ended up in Mexico, and then the fun began. He spilled, “That’s kind of some of the first international traveling for music we’ve done. I played a couple of times in Canada and stuff like that, but that was fun to be able to get to go down there and have a bunch of country music fans follow us all down there and really fun to interact with so many people.”

Top continued by detailing some of his interactions with his fellow country music stars at Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa festival, notably ERNEST and Ashley Cooke. He gushed, “I’ve known ERNEST a little bit. He was down there. We kind of talked a little bit before, but never really hung out with him. I got a lot of respect for him as a songwriter and everything, so it was fun to get to hang with him a little bit. I met Miss Ashley Cooke. We’re mutual fans of each other, I think, and that was fun.”

Naturally, Zach Top had a great time with Luke Bryan — the host of the whole entire event — as well, revealing to Music Mayhem that “Luke was just cool as could be to us. He’s a really solid dude, and I got to go up and do a couple of cover songs on his set as well, which was just a blast.”

Touring with Lainey Wilson and Brothers Osborne

The country crooner is preparing to hit the road for even more shows in 2024 with some of the biggest country music stars of this generation: Lainey Wilson and Brothers Osborne. Top could not have more positive things to say about the CMA Award Winners, sharing that “those two artists are great examples. Just people that I’m really a fan of everything they’re doing.”

He continued passionately, “Brothers Osborne, they were a soundtrack to the whole summer of my life, and when they came out with those first couple of big hits, it was just kind of a breath of fresh air in what had been happening in the country format. I just love the music they put out.”

Top also said, “Lainey, obviously she’s hotter than fire right now, and I think about the coolest thing that’s out right now. I’m a huge fan of her, so I’m really honored and feel privileged that they decided to have us out on their shows. I think our music complements each other nicely, and I think hopefully we can steal some of their fans.”

“Not steal some of their fans, but adopt them too. We’re super excited to be out on those shows,” Zach Top concluded with a giggle.

Country music fans can stream “Sounds Like The Radio” on all platforms now, and they can connect with Zach Top on Instagram @zach_top for updates on Cold Beer & Country Music, his shows with Lainey Wilson and Brothers Osborne, and more.

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Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

See more posts from Melanie Rooten