Jacob Davis is an unforgettable country talent. When you walk away from his live show you know you just saw something unique. It’s why he was chosen as a 2017 Taste of Country RISER, but it was not always the case. The “What I Wanna Be” singer was born from great influences, good raisin’, and one sharp piece of criticism.

Davis recalls having breakfast with the guy, and out of nowhere, he said he didn’t know who Jacob Davis was. “I remember getting mad initially, but it was one of the better things that I had heard in town,” he tells Taste of Country. “I feel like I knew who I was, but my songs may have been all over the place and that's really what he was saying.”

Immediately Davis dove into songwriting, using characters he met growing up in Shreveport, La., or on the oil rig after college as inspiration. He defined his sound by trusting himself as an artist. Easier said than done, even when you’re raised in a house full of music.

“My mom played piano in the church and my dad is a songwriter, more so poet,” the LSU grad says. “I remember every Sunday mom playing church and playing piano and my dad — he only knew three chords, but that's all you need. I remember dad being down the hall in his bedroom and writing lyrics and just telling the truth, man.”

Early shows in college paid $100, but instead of chasing his dream, he finished school and used his Environmental Science degree to get a job on an oil rig. Within a month he wanted to quit, but Davis’ parents urged him to keep working for one year and then decide. One year later he landed in Nashville, and within a few years he’d signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment.

“They wanted me to learn how to pay my bills and get up and be at work on time,” Davis says. “I guess I was 22 or 23 and I needed that. I'm very glad that they made me stick with it.”

Davis has just released his new single “What I Wanna Be” to digital retailers, and he’ll drop it at radio soon.

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