Jimmie Allen may have more fun than anyone when he's performing live, and this acoustic performance video of "Make Me Want To" proves it. The newest Taste of Country RISER leads his band through an addictive performance of his newest single, the follow-up to his chart-topping "Best Shot."

When "Best Shot" hit No. 1 last November, Allen became the first black country music artist to debut with a No. 1 single — an achievement that's the result 10-plus years of hard work and hustle. You may know the story by now, but soon after moving to Nashville in 2007 the now 32-year-old Milton, Delaware, native was forced to live out of his Chevy Malibu for several months. Odd jobs like school janitor kept Allen fed while he chased his dream of becoming a country music singer and songwriter.

It's a dream he never gave up on, telling Taste of Country that had he'd known it'd take a decade he'd absolutely do it again.

"My mom told me years ago I got the patience of Job, so I'll stick something out for awhile," he says. "Darius (Rucker) didn't come until 2008 ... there was no Sam Hunt, no (Florida Georgie Line), no Maren Morris so I look different and my sound is different so it was very foreign. A lot of times it's easier to chase what's been done than create something new but if you look at all the artists that we love, that we say are superstars or pioneers, they're the first."

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"I like adversity," he adds, "because I feel like it's motivation. I feel like if everything is easy and you're always told how great you are than there's no need to get better."

A chance encounter in 2016 led Allen to producer Ash Bowers, which ultimately led to a record deal with Stoney Creek Records, an imprint on Broken Bow Nashville. His debut album Mercury Lane is personal, yet accessible. Allen — who first appeared on Taste of Country's Who's RISING list of newcomers to watch in June 2018 — didn't insist on writing each of the 15 songs, something younger artists often dig in for. In addition to biographical tracks like "Warrior," "Underdogs" and "All Tractors Ain't Green," he includes easy love songs, like "Best Shot" and "Make Me Want To."

"Girl, what's your name, what you drinking / Yeah, what's your favorite song / If you're thinking what I'm thinking / We ain't gonna be in this bar too long," Allen sings at the chorus. "We'll be sneaking on out to your car / Stealing kisses out there in the dark / Yeah it might be too soon to say I love you / But you're gonna make me want to." 

"I'm a sensitive guy. A lot of times I catch feelings fast, maybe too fast. It's a song about a guy that meets a girl and he catches feeling and he's not afraid to tell her," he shares.

Paul Sikes and Jennifer Denmark co-wrote the song with him.

Allen is the second Taste of Country RISERS rising act of 2019. His three-month long feature will include multiple performance videos, an intimate interview and evidence that he might be the funniest guy off stage as well. In becoming a RISERS artist he joins established hitmakers like Cody Johnson, Brett Young, Morgan Wallen, Runaway June and Lindsay Ell.

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