Granger Smith says his new single was influenced by the death of his son.
The country singer, 41, says he had to go back to the drawing board when it came to the track “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” off his new album, “Country Things Vol. 1,” following the 2019 drowning of his son River, 3.
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“Some things in 2020, we had some stuff happen to me and the family. We had a family tragedy and I canceled the studio appointment to cut that song,” he told “Entertainment Tonight Canada.”
“And a few months later, after the tragedy, I went back and kind of revisited that song and it took on a new meaning. The lyrics spoke differently to me than they did before and I rewrote the bridge and I changed a few lines around and then it became what it is today, which is, there’s a much deeper underlying meaning to ‘That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads’ than it was originally written for.”
Having to endure the loss of a child brought some life lessons for Smith, who said he’s come to appreciate the value of living in the moment.
“It was just really focusing on, really honing in on the things that mattered and the simple things, living in today, living in the present, or at least being aware of the present moment and that tomorrow is not guaranteed, that we always get in this rat race of, especially in the music business, and all businesses, but, for me, the next album, the next single, the next tour, the next year,” he said.
“It’s always planning for the next and less of concentrating on what we have today. The blessing that today and the present moment is to us and I think that’s what really happened to me most.”
For his 10th wedding anniversary with wife Amber in February, Smith posted a message on Instagram, in which he discussed his “failure as a father” following River’s death.
Amber has also discussed the challenge of moving on after the loss of a child.
“Going through the worst of what I hope we ever have to go through, we still have joyful moments,” she said in a TODAY interview in July. “We choose to find joy, and you have to.”
Smith and his wife have two other children, daughter London, 8, and son Lincoln, 6. Letting them swim has been a difficult undertaking.
“I don’t want to go to pools, I don’t want to be around swimming or any body of water for the most part, but I grin and bear it for my kiddos,” Amber wrote on Instagram in July.