Luke Combs Talks No. 1 Hits, Growing Fanbase and Songwriting: ‘It’s Getting Better All the Time’
Between two back-to-back No. 1 singles, two sold-out shows at the Ryman Auditorium and his first-ever headlining tour, it's been a blockbuster year for Luke Combs. The 27-year-old North Carolina and songwriters Ray Fulcher and Jordan Walker recently sat down with The Boot and other reporters to discuss how success has changed their lives and their songwriting processes.
"The first time [you get a No. 1 hit], you never expect it to happen. Then it does, and you're thinking, 'Wow, I could do this again,'" Combs explains. "So when you do do it again, it's just as awesome the second time, but it's a little realer."
Combs' debut single "Hurricane" hit No. 1 in May of 2017. That fall, Combs achieved another hit with his follow-up single "When It Rains It Pours." Although it was the singer's second No. 1 hit, it was the first time either of the song's co-writers had nabbed a song at the top of the charts.
"It actually went No. 1 on my birthday," Fulcher recalls. "I was with another songwriter, and I told him the song had gone No. 1, and he was like, 'Welcome to the club!' I just hope I can get one next year on my birthday, too."
Both writers have plans to splurge a bit in celebration: "I bought an engagement ring," Fulcher continues. "My fiancee's here today, and she's sporting a big ol' ring, so thanks, Luke, for that!"
Adds Walker, "Me and Luke always talk about trucks. I would actually really like a [Ford] Raptor truck. Might do that. But no engagement rings for me."
Since the success of the two singles, Combs has noticed his fanbase expanding, particularly in terms of the amount of women who come out to shows.
"It was a little surprising because I've always been pretty dude-centric ... The fanbase has taken on a broader shape since "Hurricane" came out, though, and that's a good thing. It opens up possibilities not only performance-wise, but writing-wise, too," Combs sharers. "We're going to be able to do things we couldn't have done before now that we have those demographics. It's getting better all the time."
The trio says they took a fun-loving approach to writing "When It Rains It Pours": "We were talking about how we've all been in a situation where you don't realize you want to get out [of a relationship] until you do, and we played on that," Combs explains. "I don't think these things have to be horrible all the time. I'm sure it's always terrible for someone, but we wanted to have fun with it."
Adds Fulcher, "There's so many songs about heartbreak in the world -- some great ones, don't get me wrong -- but we wanted to do something tongue-in-cheek, something danceable. Don't tell a sad story -- tell a good story."