I don't know about you, but did anyone else have a friend with a really hot mom that you and your buddies would always bust his balls about? And they would come storming back with a "dude stop" and a punch on the arm... the good ole days. This is what we call the "Stacy's Mom" effect, totally joking I made that shit up. But seriously, now imagine dating a very nice girl and she has a super hot mom and her dad's a complete asshole... now that is a movie I wanna see. Well, Derek Austin dishes out his single "Her Daddy Don't Like Me" and sheds some light on what this experience would be like. I know some of y'all have stories and I can't even imagine.
Get To Know Derek
"I grew up in Minnesota with 3 brothers. We had a goat dairy farm. This was something that wasn't originally our family “business”. My mom wanted a goat, so we bought her one because she needed the milk. The people we bought it from had like 1,000 goats which me and my brothers thought was so cool. That day,we went home and asked if we could start our own commercial dairy farm and have like 1,000 goats. My mom looked at us like we were crazy, but told us we could do it if we could get the money and do all the work. We ended up getting the goats and starting the business. Then my brother went into the Marines and in 2010 we ended up selling everything because of the economy crashing. At the time of the sale, we still had around 350 goats. We were selling the milk to Canada but nobody was buying the cheese. We found a buyer for the goats out in California so we loaded up the semi and were off. Along the way, we had to stop to get gas and milk the goats in Montana. It was a complete disaster!
During that time I was working as a waiter in a casino during the winter, I was the guy that would go around with the beverage cart and give guys packs of cigarettes. While I was there, my one buddy was telling me about his friend who was in Air Traffic Control. It sounded intriguing and I thought maybe it was for me. At that point, my mom was living out in Washington state so I found an Air Traffic Control school out there. I graduated from there and went on to an academy in Oklahoma City for additional training. The 4 month program was by far one of the hardest things I've ever done. Trainees are put into groups of 18 people and go through hands on training with simulators, learning how to talk and all the rules. 18 “students” went in but only 6 graduated. I was at the bottom of my class, almost failed and yet have never been more proud to graduate. I became really close to the guys I worked with. We had all lived together for 4 months and had a really good time. After that, each one of us was assigned somewhere across the country. I ended up having to go to Juno, Alaska. At first I thought it was cool. I was like "I love to hunt, fish and I can go skiing". However, I was so disconnected from family, Juno is so hard to get home from and I felt very alone. There were 12 air traffic controllers that worked there, none of us from Alaska, so the locals hated us.
During this entire time, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about how I have always loved Country Music. Growing up on the farm we always had the radio on and I learned to sing. I never thought I was good, but asked myself “ why not take a chance?”... it would be better than just sitting up here in Alaska where it snows from September to March. One day I just called my boss in Washington D.C. and told him I was quitting. The agency was not too happy - they had invested a large amount of money in me. Going into this new endeavor, I didn’t know anyone in Nashville, I’d never been there, but believed that in order to be a player in Country Music I had to move there. Unless maybe you are from Texas, you need to be in Nashville. I booked a one way ticket and that was it. Everything was weird - trying to figure out how to make friends and where to play shows. It took like 4-5 months to figure that all out. I played at some weird bars like Jed's. That is like a pizza joint, and they were not nice about Country Music. There was an open mic night, but it was all alternative music and I was ready to sing Country Music. I ended up finding out about Midtown and Broadway, and felt more at home. I played my first show 2 days in. After seeing some other people perform, I told myself "I really am not that good, why did I move to Nashville"? These thoughts hit me so quick, definitely a wake up call! I started to slow down and fine tune my craft."
Nothing like a good song that can really tell a story... "Her Daddy Don't Like Me" delivers impeccable imagery start to finish
I know this ain't just me... anyone else scared of going to your significant others parents house for the first time? All I ever picture is the dad being 6'5 with arms bigger than my head and both parents drilling me with like 50 questions on "why I'm dating their daughter". Haven't had any horror stories yet from meeting my girlfriend's parents for the first time, but I’m sure there will be one in the next few years. Derek Austin has the full package, a damn good songwriter, a hell of a voice and might be one of the nicest singer-songwriters I've ever met. "Her Daddy Don't Like Me" has a 90’s feel that tells a story and from start to finish has that upbeat boot stompin' vibe. The song puts you in the perspective of a young gentleman going over to his girlfriend's house for the first time and has the joy of meeting her asshole father. A fun, light hearted jam. When you hear the hook, it will have you going wild. "Her daddy don't like me, but her momma does"... GOD DAMN that draws you in and gives you a nice laugh. A bright future in Music City awaits Mr. Austin and I'm excited to see what the future has planned.
Inspiration Behind "Her Daddy Don't Like Me"
Written By: Derek Austin, Mark Irwin & Adam Wood
Produced By: Jimmy Robbins & Jonathan Singleton
"This write was over Zoom. We were finishing up my project and honestly, for me writing on zoom has been really weird. It's hard to get that energy right, though sometimes it does help give us more time to work on the lyrics, get a better song and worry about the track later. Sometimes the track can be a distraction. I’d told my team we had some great songs in the project and that we needed one more. I wanted an uptempo song and also a story song. I felt like some of the songs I had grown up on (story songs) from the 90s and early 2000s weren’t around any more. I told Mark and Adam that. We went around and around then landed on "Her Daddy Don't Like Me". The words just fell out. I'll tell ya - the hook, the whole chorus is "her daddy don't like me, that's fine because... her daddy don't like me, but her momma does". When Adam said that, he was joking around and said "but her momma does" and I was like "Adam go back... we have to put that in. People my age who are looking at Barstool everyday are going to eat that up". Anyways, I told them that we had to stick with those lyrics, even though they are goofy. We got done with the song and my people loved it. For the record my girlfriend's dad actually doesn't hate me."
Q & A With Derek Austin
Q: Who influenced you to pursue Country Music?
A: "I kind of started learning to sing and play guitar in church. Our church was very supportive and that's where it all started for me. When I was a teenager, I went to Wheat Fest. It was 65,000 people on a big hill watching Kenny Chesney. That was during the time he had won Entertainer of the Year 3 times. Chesney was doing stadium shows, being one of the only performers besides Garth Brooks to do so. Obviously you have all the greats like Alan Jackson and George Strait, but the energy Kenny Chesney brought really got me hooked."
Q: What is your favorite show you've performed?
A: "Man, I have to go with the Listening Room Cafe. About a year and a half ago I signed with Round Hill Music. Basically Jimmy Robbins came to me and wanted to put together a show. He said that we could do the Listening Room and he wanted me to play it with him. I was like "na man, I don't think I deserve that. I don't want to be sitting up there with guys that have all these hits". At that point he let it be. After a week, I was like "why am I doing this... I need to put myself in a position to win." So I called Jimmy and was like "I want to do it, put me in coach". Jimmy called up Nicolle Galyon, who is a huge writer and has a bunch of massive hits, then he got Josh Osborne. I'm sitting up there like this is surreal... it was one massive hit after another. I was the odd guy out and I told them all that, but I was super grateful for the opportunity. At the end I got a standing ovation, which was the only time that has ever happened. For sure my most memorable show."
Q: What is a song you wish you wrote and why?
A: "I would say, "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks because it's transcended in a weird way. People don't realize that one song could be that big. Fans connect to that song and it reaches so many facets of life."
Q: If you could host your dream concert who are they and why?
A: "Alright so, I'm going to pick Johnny Cash, because I never got to see him when he was alive or in his prime or at all. I'm also going to pick Elvis, because... I don't know why I'm going with all the guys that are dead. I think it's the entertainer side of my brain. I want to know the "why factor" of why they are who they are and how they did it. Then I'd throw Kenny (Chesney) in there, he's been one of my biggest influences in my music career. Lastly, I'll go with someone outside of Country Music so I'll say Def Leppard. I've never seen them live."
If you are just discovering Derek Austin, check out his other music on Apple Music & Spotify.