Skrillex and Diplo Are Apparently Influencing Country Music Now

Georgia country star Zac Brown says his new project was inspired in part by the Jack Ü dudes.
September 30, 2016, 9:48pm
Zac Brown and Jack U. Photos courtesy of the artists

Line dancers and shufflers battling it out in the club? It could happen on a dancefloor near you. Country artist Zac Brown, lead singer of the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, has announced a new dance-pop side-project, Sir Rosevelt (alongside singer-songwriter Niko Moon and recording engineer Ben Simonetti), which was influenced by electronic producers turned in-demand pop auteurs Skrillex and Diplo.

"We started listening to Jack U, Diplo and Skrillex, and I love listening to that music," Brown told Billboard, adding that the trio was further inspired by crossover stars including Avicii, DJ Snake, and Calvin Harris. The goal, he explains, is to expand the breadth of their musical repertoire. "When we cover a Chainsmokers song in our live show with ZBB people are dancing and going crazy," he says. "I think it's up to us to make sure what we're doing has that mojo in it that makes people feel something, regardless of their background."

Sir Rosevelt punctuated their debut today with four new tracks, maintaining its country flavor while infusing it with an energetic dancefloor vigor that your aunt can still line dance to after her weekly mahjong tournament and a couple glasses of boxed wine. Though "For My Own" leans more toward pop-country, funky single "Sunday Finest" and the horn-heavy "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" incorporate steady builds and chorus explosions typically found on festival main stages; and "Take Your Love Away" throws a trap-lite curveball with its growling, 808-pattering beat.

As Rolling Stone pointed out in 2014, country and dance music's relationship dates back to the days of Dolly Parton and disco, but who knew it would go this far when Avicii did it at Ultra Music Festival 2013 in the Confusing Set Heard 'Round the World™? During his slot, he brought out country and bluegrass artists Mac Davis, Audra Mae, and Dan Tyminski to perform songs from his new album, True, home to twangy cuts "Hey Brother" and "Wake Me Up." Avicii's track, "Broken Arrows," off his 2015 album Stories, features vocals from none other than Zac Brown. Another popular country act, Lady Antellum, collaborated with producer Audien on "Something Better," and at the CMT Awards performed live with Zedd.

Listen to Sir Rosevelt's four new tracks below.

"Unless you can love yourself you aint gonna have any love left to spread. You gotta save some for your own."- Zac
— Sir Rosevelt (@SirRosevelt) September 30, 2016

Turn it up and watch @SirRosevelt's debut music video, Sunday Finest! #NewMusicFriday
— Sir Rosevelt (@SirRosevelt) September 29, 2016

BONUS TRACK: Nothing's Gonna Stop Us
"If you can listen to this and not feel the joy that's in there, you are a cold son of a bitch." -Zac
— Sir Rosevelt (@SirRosevelt) September 29, 2016

BONUS TRACK: Take Your Love Away
"The song colors are consistent w/ the places we were,Take Your Love Away is just black, straight up." -Ben
— Sir Rosevelt (@SirRosevelt) September 29, 2016