Chris Janson Says Ashley Gorley Took Him to ‘Songwriting School’
Chris Janson has written hit songs, but he realized he had more to learn after working with Nashville songwriter Ashley Gorley for his latest project, The Fix a Drink EP.
Janson has attached his signature to songs including "Truck Yeah" by Tim McGraw and LoCash's smash single "I Love This Life," as well as his own 2015 hit "Buy Me a Boat," making for plenty of success in the songwriting department.
Gorley also recently tattooed his name to "Middle of a Memory by Cole Swindell and "A Guy With a Girl" by Blake Shelton," both of which went No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, so pairing Janson and Gorley in a room together calls for magic -- and according to Janson, it happened.
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At a media roundtable in May, Janson explained the new direction he's taking with his new five-song EP, Fix a Drink. The new work features more pop-infused chorus melodies than ever before, yet settles between that and the hardcore country style Janson has become known for. He credits the adapted style to some of his co-writers, especially Gorley, who he says took him to "songwriting school."
"Every now and again, I'll get in a room with somebody who has a different kind of skill set and I really want to go to school and I really want to learn from them," Janson told the group of journalists. "I thought I had it all down pat and I thought well, I've had a couple hits now and I'm good and everything is great. Then you get a guy in there with 600 No. 1s and he shows you differently."
Janson later told Taste of Country that he couldn't fully explain why Gorley is so good at what he does, but shared a few things Gorley improved in Janson's songwriting game.
"He brought out in me mostly melody, melodic structure," Janson says. "I'm a one-two punch kind of guy. I generally write in the same direction if I'm being just natural old me and not trying to hit any kind of mark, so to speak. I think everybody probably does; they write in their direction, but I got out of my lane big time with Ashley on several occasions now."
Though Janson noted the duo wrote several songs for the project, two of their songs made the EP: the new radio single "Fix a Drink" and "Name on It." Janson hopes to work with Gorley more in the future, calling the songwriter a "brilliant genius."
"He's just a great writer, man," Janson continues. "He writes pop, rock, country, rap; he writes everything. He just broadens my horizons. ... There wasn't any kind of definitive moment where a lightbulb went off in my head. I just knew when I got with him. Songs just literally fall out of the guy. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen."
Jason released Fix a Drink on Friday (June 9).
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