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Jason Cross Slows Down In Single "Routine Town"

Jason Cross is a jack of all trades. Local Legend, beer drinking, car slinging, hair cutting, mullet wearing son of a gun who is coming into his own as in artist in Country Music who needs to be on your radar. Jason is a true character with a bigger-than-life personality that just makes you want to be his friend. One of the most personable and caring people I've ever met and has a work ethic to match. "Routine Town" which was released this past summer takes a dive into Jason's electric Country Rock blend with booming vocals and insightful songwriting. Cross has steadily continued to buld on his solid foundation whether it's writing songs for himself and others, perfecting his energizing live show and releasing jams, Jason is paving his own path in Country Music. I sat down and talked to Jason about his single "Routine Town", a career and scenery change to take a leap of faith into pursing music and his experiences touring across the country. Take a look into the life and music of Jason Cross and how the Michigan native navigates through his career in music city.

Get To Know Jason

"When I was 11 years old... I guess we'll take it right from the beginning. My mom set me up taking piano lessons every Wednesday after school. At 11 years old I didn't want to learn more things after I just got done learning things at school... I was just trying to go watch Spongebob with a bowl of Reese's Puffs. After the first few weeks, my piano teacher said I had a ear for music. To this day, I can't read sheet music. She would play something and I would just listen and play it back to her. The best thing I got out of piano lessons was discovering my love for music.

A couple years later, my cousin who played guitar in a Pop Punk band in high school taught me how to play "Smoke on the Water"... of course I needed a guitar after that and wanted to be a Rock star. My dad got me the whole starter pack - off brand Stratocaster's with the amp and gig bag. And I do have to say Guitar Hero was one of the most influential parts of my music career. From 13 all the way through high school I would be up in my room learning different songs out of the tabs in Guitar Magazine. I started writing music when I was about 16, I couldn't sing for shit, I was just figuring it out.

I didn't start playing music professionally until I was 22 when I played my first acoustic gig. I just had a bar in my hometown. Before that it was just playing at parties or around bonfires. I loved that feeling of entertaining people, I enjoyed doing something appreciated and it developed into going and playing bars around town. The crowds started growing and getting bigger and bigger. I went on tour with Sadie Bass, we all know Sadie Bass, she's one of my good friends. She heard me sing at a mutual friend of ours and she heard me sing and play some songs on guitar. She came to me and said "hey, I need a guitar player and someone to sing back up vocals in my band" and I was like "no chance..." I was politely just passing, but she kept hitting me up monthly on Instagram. I had just got out of a relationship, was working two jobs - selling cars with my dad and cutting hair at my grandparents salon and was making really good money for a 25 year old kid with no responsibilities and was living it up. But finally I had the moment where I realized I had to take music seriously. I told myself any music related opportunity that comes my way I'm just going to say yes. Two weeks later, Sadie messaged me and asked me to play an acoustic duo gig at The Loft... RIP it shut down from COVID. It was one of the spots and I saw bigger bands play there so it was a cool opportunity. We played together in front of a few hundred people and it was a blast. I ended up playing a few shows with Sadie and when we rehearsed I was like "wow... this is a blast". After the shows I decided to join the band and three months later we won Battle of the Bands up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and opened for Brantley Gilbert, HARDY, Jordan Davis and Jimmie Allen. We were the first of 5 acts and there was still a few thousand people there when we opened and I remember thinking "this is the real deal and I have to do this for the rest of my life". I ended up playing with Sadie for about a full year right up until COVID. She's the one that got me into songwriting and we got to play the Brantley Gilbert cruise, opened for Tyler Rich and Jameson Rodgers, Jon Langston was another one. Making all these connects was just crazy. Me and Jon are boys now, Tyler comes and gets his haircut from me. Tyler Braden is another one I met on that cruise. Thank God for that decision to make the jump into music. I owe that to Sadie for kicking my ass and getting me to take the leap of faith into music.

January 2020 we came to Nashville together for some writes. We had an acoustic gig in Kentucky, we came down and wrote with Clayton Shay who's now my roommate, Jon Kraft who I just wrote with, Tyler Conforti and myself and Sadie and we wrote song that Sadie ended up cutting called "Made For It". That was my first co-write in Nashville and I was just HOOKED. After that I knew we had to move to Nashville, and Sadie knew I always wanted to do my own thing she was just "baby bird'n it" pushing me along. God bless her for that. Then COVID hit and it couldn't have happened at a better time because it allowed me to be able to collect myself on everything and get a game plan together. During this time I was writing songs a ton on my own because I had nothing better to do and I wrote "It Ain't Me" in May of 2020 and came down to Nashville in June to play a private event and got to reconnect with the people I met on the Brantley cruise and it was magical. I finally made the move in November and I felt like I needed to release a song so Sadie hooked me up with her producer Colt Capperrune and got with him. I felt like the new kid in town and ended up releasing my debut single in March of 2021 and that was a day I would never forget."

Finding His Groove...

With his past singles like "Already Gone" and "Beer Ain't Gonna Drink Itself", Cross has shown fans his fun, party animal side with his edgy, fun easy listening tracks. This time around, the Michigan native really finds his groove and compliments his Rock influences with relatable old school country storytelling that pulls listeners in wanting to hear more. "Routine Town" embodies that small town lifestyle that brings folk that sense of comfortable and steady living. Whether you grew up in the country or come from the city or the suburbs, this track has a sense of relatability for everyone to remember to slow down and appreciate each day and every moment and "smell the roses" once in a while. The production works really well with Jason's vocals oozing with swag and conviction and really elevates the crisp songwriting filled with encapsulating visuals of simpler living... A true masterpiece all around. The first time I heard this song I just knew it was destined to be a hit. "Routine Town" has surpassed 85,000 streams on Spotify alone and is still climbing.

Inspiration Behind "Routine Town"

Written By: Jason Cross, Matt Gorman and Kaylin Roberson, Produced By Jake Parshall

"It's a really cool story actually and I try to tell it every time I play it out. I was heading back, it was actually two years ago this past September and I was going up to open up a few shows for Tyler Braden in my hometown. I had my buddy Ben Goodvich with me and I totally have to give him credit for the song because he was sitting shotgun and I was taking the same route that I always take to get home I come down US-12 it's just a two lane highway, it runs through three really small towns in southern Michigan just south of where I grew up. You go through Jonesville and right when you get outside of it there's a machine shop on the north side of the road and every time I go back home I noticed, because it's the same time of night in the evening, the same two trucks, parked in the same two spots... like deja vu. This was like the 5th or 6th time I'd realized it and I said to Ben "man, isn't that wild... every time it's like it never changes" and Ben answered with "it's just a routine town" and I knew it was a song right there and jotted it down in my notes.

About 6 months after I got with Matt Gorman and Kaylin Roberson and when they came to write I hadn't planned on dropping that title until they got there and I was going through the notes and I threw out the title and Matt and Kaylin were down to write it. And I got to be honest... Kaylin crushed this write, she was all over it, Matt and I contributed the best we could, but she had a lot to do with writing that song. I was so happy when we finished writing it because I knew this was going to be a great song and the potential of it and we just took it to the max. Up until this point I don't know if I had a release that struck people and was very relatable like "Routine Town" was."

Q & A With Jason Cross

Q: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? And how to that transition to discovering music and wanting to pursue it as a career?

A: "You know dude, if I have to think back to it, I kind of always wanted to be a cop. When I was growing up, middle school and the beginning of high school I knew I wanted to help people and for me at that age it was like "being a cop... what an exciting job to have". It's so funny because looking back, I don't think there's any way I could be a cop. I have so much respect for police officers nowadays and any first responder, like what a gig. I don't know where the transition really came, I went to community college for a semester when I got out of high school and was going to take me pre-recs and figure it out and after a semester I just didn't know. I went to a hair show/expo in Chicago for barbers, hairdressers, cosmetologists. My grandparents have owned a salon for a long time and my great grandpa started in the 1940's. It's a huge generational thing, my mom, my aunt, both my grandparents, my uncle does hair... he's a badass out in L.A., but I thought it was a cool industry that was exciting and fun so I gave it a shot. It's not your cookie cutter 9-5 type job. I dropped out of college ended up going to hair school and I got my certificate and license in cosmetology and started cutting hair at my grandparents salon on the side. My full time gig was slinging cars with my dad at his dealership. And I loved that just as much, I got to deal with people and the who sales thing, I'm just personable and I love getting to know people. On the weekends I would gig and play shows around town and that started to take over my mentality. Like I loved what I did, but I think with music there was more to it where I felt like I had to take the leap into music."

Q: What's your experiences been like touring and playing shows across the country?

A: "The road has been amazing. I think that might be my favorite thing about having a career in music is going to new places, playing for complete strangers, most of the time just playing for people that don't know anything about me or have never met me. It's so cool to be able to go out and be able to make a first impression on so many people. So far, so good. I feel like every time I've played for new people at a new place it's been very receptive and I don't know if I've met a bad apple on the road. I'll tell you what, as far as fan interactions go, the kids are just your #1 fan and it doesn't get any better than that. Think about it... I remember being young and going to a concert and you're just like "woah... this guy is doing something not a lot of people do". When your young, you look at artists like they are superheroes, it's a really cool feeling you can be such an influence to people no matter their age. It's neat you can have that influence. If I had to pick a favorite place to play I would say outdoor venues are awesome, but Renfro Valley in Mount Vernon, Kentucky would definitely make the top 3. It's super old, they have an old venue and the new venue and the old spot they call "The Opry of the North", a bunch of old school acts have played there. It's a big ole barn and it used to have have church pews in it, it's so old school country it hurts dude. They took the pews out and they do general admission shows there. The new barn is a beautiful new theatre, looks great, sounds great, we opened for Craig Morgan there and opened for Scotty McCreery there this past fall. As far as cool places we got to visit and play would for sure be Denver, Colorado is one of my favorites. Out west has been magic, went up to Sheridan, Wyoming and opened for Parmalee, you want to talk about "slow down" different kind of place, the people, everything it almost felt like they were behind, it was so comfortable, felt like it was 10 years ago. Oregon is another gorgeous place and I really liked New Jersey, in Wildwood on the boardwalk."

Q: If you could go back 5, 10 years what advice would you give your younger self?

A: "I've always teetered on this. I believe timing is everything, your in the place you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there and the other part of me on the advice I'd give myself is to maybe jump two feet into the music industry a little sooner than I did. It all happens for a reason, like I moved to Nashville with a good rolodex of people I had met and connections I have made. If I were to have moved to Nashville 2-3 years before that I would have had to go a different route. It's hard to say that the way it happened for you isn't the way it was supposed to go. I truly believe that. If I had to give myself more advice maybe it would be to take music more seriously earlier on when I moved to Nashville."

Q: What does music mean to you?

A: "Music is a gateway for us to relive moments in our lives and seriously dude, I hear a song and it takes me right back to the moment I first heard it or the time in my life when that song was popular. It allows us to time travel a bit, I listen to 90's country and instantly life is good. Music is here to make us feel something to relate to and it makes life easier as a whole, it gets us through things, it can hype us up, it can relax us. I always had to have music playing my whole life, when I was young, like 3 or 4 years old I couldn't even read, I remembered him playing songs on the big house speakers and I instantly fell in love with music and flipping through his CD book just putting them in listening and trying to find my favorite songs I heard him play before."

If you are just discovering Jason Cross check him out on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok



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