For Payton Smith, the appeal of his new single “Like I Knew You Would” is in its simplicity.

The song’s lyric video, premiering exclusively with Taste of Country, offers a nostalgic take on the song, with its scratchy intercuts reminiscent of a '90s VHS tape featuring Smith playing guitar as the lyrics appear onscreen. Co-written by Smith, Ronnie Bowman and Dan Fernandez, the singer says the storyline was born out of simplicity.

"It's really just trying to get away from the party with that special someone that you knew the minute that you saw them that they were going to drive you crazy, that they were going to make you feel that way,” Smith shares with Taste of Country. "There was so much melody inside of that song and the story was so simple, and I love not trying to overwrite things. I love trying to paint a simple story.”

Smith describes how the song’s pop-country melody, balanced with the classic feel of the steel guitar, represents the sound he wants to establish in his burgeoning career.

"I like keeping it simple, but also pulling people in,” he adds of the lyric video, calling it a “representation of who I am.”

A day before the video’s release, Smith announced that he will be making his Grand Ole Opry debut on Feb. 22. He found out about the career-changing opportunity when Chris Young called him on FaceTime to not only tell him the news, but reveal that he will personally introduce Smith on stage the night of his debut.

"I didn't believe him, I thought he was messing with me," Smith says, laughing, of his reaction. "That was a crazy way to find that out. Chris has been such a great guy. He's been such a great fan of the music and supporting it.”

The 19-year-old shares that he’s been a fan of the Opry since the age of five, listening to the famous radio show with his grandparents growing up in his hometown of Houma, La. He anticipates tears the night of his debut, but is determined to put on the best show possible for the audience while soaking in the magic of that hallowed stage.

“It was so many emotions, you're happy and you're kind of overwhelmed and it's just all these emotions bundled into one,” he reflects. “I always grew up hearing the Opry and always looked at that as that is the pinnacle of country music. So the idea to be able to go stand in that circle and have that opportunity to be able to represent country music in that way, I feel very thankful and humbled.”

Smith will also join Young’s 2020 Town Ain’t Big Enough Tour as an opening act this summer.

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