Singer and songwriter John Lane ’21 released “Turn Up Country,” a pop-country single, earlier this month. This is Lane’s second officially-released song, and it was written, recorded and produced remotely due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Lane, music has always been a big part of his life. He started taking drum and guitar lessons in sixth grade, and he later experimented with producing tracks and making his own beats. It was through his work in music production that he developed a passion for creating his own sound.
“The combination of all of those music passions…led me to want to write my own [music],” said Lane in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Upon arriving at Bowdoin, Lane joined the Longfellows, one of the College’s six a cappella groups, and singing became his focus. Lane’s music has been influenced by Bowdoin music theory courses and other student musicians on campus. He cites Fortuno, a former Bowdoin musical duo composed of Obi Omola ’19 and Ellis Laifer ’19, as a catalyst for his music career.
“Fortuno was a big inspiration for me,” said Lane. “That’s probably what pushed me the most to make more music, seeing them succeed.”
With the extra time on his hands during the summer, Lane found himself writing melodies and lyrics in his car and eventually finished “Turn Up Country” as an ode to summer.
“[“Turn up Country” is] definitely a summer vibe, kinda beachy vibe about my small-town background not having anything else to do but drive around and listen to music,” said Lane.
While Lane takes inspiration from his own life, he writes his lyrics about universal experiences.
“The overall country simplicity of just not needing much to have fun is what I like to write about,” Lane said.
After getting in contact with music producer Matt Geroux, Lane planned to travel to Nashville to record “Turn Up Country.” However, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lane instead recorded the song at Bobby Murray ’23’s home studio.
Lane then sent the vocals to Geroux, who was able to add in instrumentals and compelling guitar parts. Although Lane wishes he had gotten the opportunity to record in Nashville, he trusted Geroux to produce the song while keeping his vision in mind.
In less than two weeks, “Turn Up Country” has amassed nearly 15,000 Spotify streams. Lane’s Spotify monthly listeners have already increased by several thousand. The song is also featured on “Country Paradise,” a popular YouTube channel that specializes in promoting original country artists’ work. The song, accompanied by a lyric video, has garnered over 50,000 views and a number of enthusiastic comments.
In the future, Lane hopes that his songs might get featured on Spotify Editorial playlists, which would enable his music to reach a larger audience. While he is proud of the upbeat, pop-country sound he has cultivated, he is also looking forward to diversifying his sound with slower, acoustic tracks in the future.
“Turn Up Country” is available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.