Jacob Davis moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music six years ago, but before he could get a foothold he had to meet some people. After hearing that many of Nashville’s artists and songwriters are into golf, he snagged a job at a golf shop in town hoping to do some networking…until his boss forbade it.

“I told him I wanna be a songwriter and an artist, and he said, ‘Well, good for you. If I catch you talking to any of the talent coming in here, you’re fired,'" the 2017 Taste of Country RISER tells Taste of Country Nights.

Vince Gill came in literally the first week,” he adds, incredulous.

Davis wasn’t going to totally give up, though. Networking would just require some covert ops.

Tim McGraw Would Be Proud of This Cover Song

“I’d have to wait until my boss wasn’t there,” he remembers. “Paul Overstreet — I went and said something to him. Jake Owen came in one day when my boss was there, but he’s an amazing golfer. He knew what he wanted anyway. Darius Rucker — a lot of those guys. Record label guys would come in, and I would know who they were, so I could have conversations with them, but I’d have to be sneaky about it."

Check out the full interview with Davis below.

Six years later, those connections — and Davis’s clear talent — are paying off. His new single “What I Wanna Be” has a bit of a funky vibe and a self-described rapid-fire chorus that give Davis a style worth remembering. It’s the title track from his debut EP, which released in late March. The Louisiana oil rigger turned country artist signed with Black River Entertainment in 2016 and says the EP is a telling representation of who he is.

“I feel like the country music lane is continuing to broaden … and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Davis says. “Being able to put my Louisiana roots into my music has always been my goal … and I think we’ve done that with ‘What I Wanna Be.'”

Sam Alex is the host of Taste of Country Nights radio, a syndicated night show which airs on more than 75 stations nationwide. Listen to highlights on iTunes or your Android device.

Listen to Jacob Davis' Interview With Taste of Country Nights

Jacob Davis Performs "What I Wanna Be' on the Set of RISERS