Jimmie Allen celebrated his newest No. 1 hits – “Make Me Want To” and “Freedom Was A Highway” –on Tuesday at SESAC with family, friends, and the songs’ writers Matthew J Rogers, Ash Bowers, Paul Sikes and Jennifer Denmark.
“I’m thankful for the amount of success that I’ve been able to receive so far,” Allen said before the music industry event. “It’s definitely a testament to a lot of people I have working with me, whether it’s my record label, my radio team, management, PR, booking agency, even my band because they’re the ones that get on stage with me every night and help me deliver the show that makes people wanna come back and see it or make people wanna go listen to music. The same thing with my crew because they’re the ones that make me and my band like what we’re doing. It feels great. Hopefully, it’s motivation for people not to be afraid to chase things, even when it’s different.”
Allen said he was motivated to write the vulnerable “Make Me Want To” to show what happens when men fall first in a romantic relationship.
“I just wanted to write a song about a guy that caught feelings first,” he said. “It seemed like a fun thing to do because a lot of songs are about the female catches feelings, but the guy makes the move. I was like, ’No, let’s write a song about a sensitive dude that catches feelings after the first kiss, and he’s ready to risk it all.’”
However, after he was finished recording it and it was released to country radio, Allen tried to stop thinking about the track. He said he tries not to pay attention to radio chart position because it’s not always indicative of a song’s success and diving into those numbers stresses him out.
“No matter where the song is on a chart, it’s not a real rep representation of what the song is doing for people because I know a lot of songs that were No. 1 but not hit songs,” he explained. “I know a lot of hit songs that never reach number one. For me, I just kind of grade the song based off when I play shows, how many people sing it back? How many messages do I get?”
For both “Make Me Want To” and “Freedom Was A Highway,” Allen said the fan reaction was immediate.
“There was a time when ’Freedom Was a Highway,’ when it was on the radio, it was in one position, but the sales on the song outsold six songs in front of it,” he said. “Even though it was back here on the radio, it showed that people were still hearing it through the radio, and they were going to purchase it because they liked it. That’s really how I judge stuff for me. It’s all about the people. It’s all about the listening because as an entertainer and as a musician, it’s my job to service them through my music.”
Allen’s fans can catch the singer this fall when he hits the road with Carrie Underwood for her THE DENIM & RHINESTONES TOUR.
Allen’s new album “Tulip Drive” will be available on June 24.