Bailey Zimmerman stopped by The Bobby Bones Show to celebrate is debut album Religiously, that came out today, perform some of his songs, and shared a story about what happened when he hung out with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Brantley Gilbert.
Life has gotten extremely busy for Zimmerman in the past couple of months. He was on Morgan Wallen’s One Night at a Time World Tour, playing in stadiums, which he said was a lot of fun and he’s learning a lot. His performances have a lot of energy, and he loves to run down the catwalk of the stage, which leaves him winded, so he’s been working on figuring out how to contain his breath. But it can get hard when you’re playing in a stadium. He said the energy from the crowd hits you almost like wind and makes it hard to sing, and everything he worked on with his voice and breath wise went out the window.
Zimmerman recalled a story from when he hung out with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. They met at a Nashville bar called Winners and were supposed to write a song together that night, but something happened where they couldn’t anymore. So, the next day, they went to dinner together and Brantley Gilbert and Jelly Roll were also there. In the middle of the dinner, Kroeger pointed at Zimmerman and asked if he had a passport and plans tomorrow. The next day, he put him on his private jet, and they went to his house in Vancouver. They spent four days in the studio writing for 13 hours each day. He said it was one of the wildest experiences of his life.
Religiously, Zimmerman’s debut album is out today. The title track is also the opening song on the album. He said he put it at song one because when he first came to Nashville and started singing, he had nothing and hadn’t officially moved there yet. He had just met his record label, Warner Music, and got sent the song, but it was a hip-hop/rap version of it. They wanted him to cut it so he asked to make it country. They began to change the song and he texted it back to them a few days later and received a positive response. He told himself that if he got the chance to record it and make an album one day, he was going to include that song and name the record after it. It took him two years to finally see that dream come to life, but it did! When he first got the song two years ago, he didn’t relate to it. But now, he does, especially the verse about making a little more money, taking care of his mom, but still not being fully over his ex.
Zimmerman is from Louisville, Illinois, where it’s a whole lot of cornfields and most of the people who live their work on a farm or the electric company or the pipeline. Which is what he was doing before he went viral on TikTok. Five years ago, he was hoping to make his way up in the pipeline industry and be a boss. But he had been praying a bunch about what to do in life, if he was meant for the pipeline industry or something else. He recorded himself singing and posted it on TikTok and didn’t look at it until the next day when he woke up and saw he had a huge number of notifications. The first thing he did was call work and told them he was quitting to become a country singer. Zimmerman had no plan B in case the music didn’t work out, he didn’t want to have something to fall back on in case he got scared. Shortly after that he moved to Nashville and told himself he was going to work as hard as he could and see what would happen.
Fresh off the heels of his number one single, “Rock and a Hard Place,” everything seemed to work out great for him. He hadn’t been writing long when he wrote “Fall in Love” with his best friend. He had the verse and chorus written but didn’t think they would work together since it was a minor and major. They spent time convincing his friend it would sound great, and it became his first number one song.
Before leaving, Zimmerman answered some uncomfortable questions from listeners. The first one asked what does it feel like to have a girl's name? He replied that he had been bummed about it for a long time, but his mother told him it was his grandfather's middle name, and that she thought he was going to be a girl at first. When asked if he’s gotten the money from his first number one song yet, he said he hasn’t and was told it would take a while, he’s just happy to be here. Another question asked if he would ever date a fan, and he said if she was cool then sure!
Zimmerman’s album, Religiously, is out now. To see him on tour this summer, visit BaileyZimmermanMusic.com.
While in studio, he performed his number-one hit “Rock And a Hard Place,” and new songs “Religiously” and “You Don’t Want That Smoke.”