Joel Crouse Talks Life in Nashville + What Taylor Swift Taught Him, Performs ‘If You Want Some’ [Watch]
When Crouse stopped by the Taste of Country office in New York City, he was in between tour dates and watching his debut single, 'If You Want Some,' climb the country charts. Despite opening for the massively successful Swift and pop sensation Ed Sheeran, Joel remains grounded and grateful for the opportunities he's been granted already in his young career.
The Massachusetts-born singer chatted with us about life as a struggling artist in Nashville, how not to impress the ladies and what lessons he's learned from Taylor and Ed. Check out the full interview in the video above.
ToC: Besides 'If You Want Some,' can you tell us the meaning behind another one of your songs?
Joel Crouse: I'm really excited about my debut album coming out. 'If You Want Some' is a great song for the first single. With summer, having a little party song is always good, but the rest of the record is kind of a reflection of stuff I've been through. Everything is relatable to what I've been through. I always like writing about how I feel about certain things. The thing I love about music is how emotionally it can change your mood from happy to sad, or vice versa. I think you'll find a lot of that on my album.
But probably my favorite song I've written so far has been this song called 'Ruby Puts Her Red Dress On.' I think I love it because I love the melody, I really like the lyrics. I think it's one of the better songs that I've written. It reaches a really emotional part of the heart. I love that one a lot and also another song I have, 'Why God Made Love Songs,' is a song really about how much I love music, how much I love songs and how certain songs can trigger a memory and take you back to where you first heard them.
Being on tour with Taylor Swift, does she do anything you incorporate into your performance?
One thing I noticed the first night I was out there is how she stares right into the camera. She's just got the look. She knows what she's doing. She's just in the moment. I've had to capture that, and also, I capture some things even from Ed Sheeran, who's also on the tour. Now when I'm onstage, I've never played a place that big before, I'm really just trying to capture the people not only in front of me in the pit, but also the people who are in the furthest stands all the way up.
How did you celebrate your 21st birthday?
I was actually in Toronto on the Taylor Swift tour, so I celebrated my 21st birthday in Canada, where you only have to be 19 to drink. So it was a little humorous, but it was cool. I got to play my first stadium, the Rogers Centre, there in Toronto.