Jordan Davis says he came close to giving up on his dream during the lean years that preceded a publishing deal, record deal and chart-topping success as an artist. But he never actually packed his car to leave. He didn’t have to.

“I didn’t have (the car) packed because I didn’t have a ton of stuff," Davis says smiling. "I feel like I could have packed up in like two hours."

Bartending at a family restaurant called Ellendale’s in Nashville paid the bills most months, but didn’t satisfy him. The Louisiana native moved to Nashville in 2012 at the age of 24 hoping to be a songwriter. “There were some nights where I was like ‘Man, what am I doing?’” Davis recalls during a conversation at the Taste of Country studio. “I moved to town a little later so you’re always talking to buddies who are getting jobs and doing this and here I am pushing 30 years old. I feel like I’m just kind of at a standstill."

The artist thing — recording, releasing music and touring — wasn’t in his plans but fixing what held him back as a songwriter led to one opportunity after another. One day Davis decided to quit writing songs in the style he thought would fit the artists he hoped would cut his songs, and started writing what felt right to him, in his voice.

“Before I knew it I was becoming an artist,” he says. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world the way I organically came into making music.”

Take It from Me” is Davis’ second single from his Home State album and one of Taste of Country's 10 Hottest Songs of the Summer. The danceable, soulful cut is often paired with his No. 1 hit “Singles You Up” to close his live show, creating a memorable moment at the end of a set that features the personal love songs from his debut album. It also recalls his best day in Nashville, which technically took place in Las Vegas but “Nashville” is symbolic for his career in the context of this conversation.

"The best was the day I found out ‘Singles You Up’ went No. 1,” he says. “I had a lot of my team out there ... to be able to celebrate with them and just kind of feel like for that day we reached the top of the mountain — it was pretty awesome."

Look for Jordan on Kip Moore's After the Sunburn Tour this fall. Moore's Slowheart is an all-time great record for Jordan and he's excited for the chance to hit the road with the Georgian and opening act Jillian Jacqueline.

The Best Song of the Summer? Here's the Full List!