Where We Started Radio
Thomas Rhett is one of country’s biggest superstars, but there was a time when the “Slow Down Summer” hitmaker was a fledgling songwriter, playing tiny rooms and hoping to get the attention of Nashville’s music industry with his catchy, genre-blurring country tunes. His sixth studio album Where We Started is a reflective collection of songs, serving as a capstone on his first decade as a musician. On his new eight-episode Apple Music Country show, also called Where We Started, Thomas Rhett breaks down the making of his new album alongside family, friends, and collaborators, pulling back the curtain on his own creative process and looking back on how a 20-year-old emerging songwriter with a new record deal became a chart-topping, globe-trotting country icon. “I think it’s really important to look back at where you began,” Thomas Rhett tells Apple Music. “Because you can't really be happy about your future until you look back and understand, like, ‘Dang, we started with zero.’” Guests include famed producer Dann Huff, fellow artists Riley Green and Parker McCollum, Thomas Rhett’s own wife Lauren Akins, and his father, the celebrated songwriter Rhett Akins, who wrote a few songs on the new album and whose insight helped provide some perspective, both personally and professionally. “It was great being able to dive into his early years on the road, when I was too young to remember what was happening, just how different the landscape of music was,” Thomas Rhett says. “I don't think I understood that back then, if you didn't have a record deal, nobody was ever going to hear your music. It was really cool to hear my dad get really into depth of the challenges, but also the coolness of not having your life portrayed on an Instagram post the next day. There was actually some mystique back then that we don't really have a lot of today. Hearing that story from my dad was really special.” Conversations range from the nuts and bolts of writing hit songs to the early obstacles faced by Thomas Rhett and his fellow artists, with intimate stories peppered throughout. And after years of being an interview subject, he had to learn on the fly how to turn the tables. “When I realized it needed to be more of just a conversation rather than talking points, I got way more comfortable and actually really enjoyed being able to hear a response and then share how that resonates in my world, and what I went through when I was a new artist,” he says. “It’s cool especially talking to the younger guys, just being like, ‘Man, I remember when I was in your situation. How did you deal with this? How did you build your career on songs that weren't really on the radio? And how did you gain that fanbase?’ Because we all did it in different ways.” But ultimately, the show is a unique look into his own creative process. “It is an interesting way, I think, for people to hear the record,” Thomas Rhett says. “But it’s also a way for people to understand what each person’s role was in making the album, whether it’s the inspiration behind a song or how a song changed from just an acoustic guitar demo to this giant production.” Plenty of surprises are in store, too, for a one-of-a-kind show that should appeal to music fans and aspiring musicians alike. Where We Started premieres on Apple Music Country on March 15.