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Steve Moakler Shares Long, Slow Journey to Success

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Steve Moakler has taken the long way around on his road to country music success, but the rising singer-songwriter doesn’t mind.

The Pittsburgh native moved to Nashville to pursue his musical dreams in 2006. Ten years later, he’s had some life-altering success as a songwriter, played hundreds of shows and even reached No. 1 on iTunes on more than one occasion, and now he’s making more noise than ever before at country radio with his new single, “Suitcase.”

“Some people were saying at the start of this year, ‘Man, this might be your year,’ and I was like, ‘They’ve been saying that for a while,'” Moakler says with a laugh in the video above, which is premiering exclusively via Taste of Country.

Ironically, the song that’s finally helping the singer-songwriter crack country radio is the only one he’s ever recorded that he did not write.

“As a songwriter, I never thought I’d want to record a song I didn’t write,” he says. “But when I heard the song, I immediately loved it and connected with it …  it just feels like my song.”

Moakler built his touring base by traveling around the country in a Winnebago with his wife, “playing all these towns and back yards, and being poor, but having the time of our life,”  and “Suitcase” brings those memories to life. “That song centers me … it takes me back to that pure relationship — with her, with music, with fans — and I hope that it’s a song that kinda helps people keep all of that stuff in perspective, too. ”

The rising artist co-wrote the much-acclaimed title track of Dierks Bentley‘s Riser album, and the attention he received from that has helped him gain more traction. “Suitcase” has changed the game for him once again as he’s touring. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had a song on the radio,” he shares. Moakler’s also garnered some positive media coverage, including a spot in Taste of Country’s Hot Artists to Watch in 2016. He made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry just a few months ago, and says it finally feels like the pieces are starting to fit together.

“It feels like people are just now discovering me, and there’s this brand-new excitement when people come in the door. They’ve never seen me before, and maybe just heard my music a month ago. So there’s this fun, fresh new energy that’s in the room.”

“Suitcase” is currently available at iTunes. For more information about Steve Moakler, visit his official website, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

More Hot Artists to Watch in 2016

Next: TOC's Review of Moakler's 'Suitcase' EP

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