NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Like so many thousands before him, Sam Hayes moved from Virginia to Nashville with a dream in his heart and song in his soul. He didn’t know for sure what he wanted, but he knew Nashville was the place to start. About a year and a half later, Sam was introduced to another Virginian native, Josh Gramling, who played guitar. After driving back and forth to Nashville on the weekends, Josh finally decided to stay where he and Sam could play and write music as a band. About a year after that Moises Padilla joined the band as a drummer when their current drummer abruptly left to go with a contemporary Christian group. Moises had to learn about 50 songs in two days. Even though he wasn’t sure Nashville was where he wanted to be, he was eventually convinced to stay on. Then two years ago, Adam Smithwick joined as the bass player.
Finding inspiration from an old Eddie Rabbit album of the same name, Radio Romance was born out of sets cutting their teeth at Legend’s Corner on Lower Broadway in Nashville. Seeing the Radio Romance album cover on the wall during their performances, it was an instant sell.
But Radio Romance does not want to be known as a “vocal group.” They are a band. States Hayes, “There is not yet a category at the ACMs or CMAs for just a band, but we’re hoping to change that.”
With all the pop pseudo-country infiltrating the airwaves, Radio Romance delivers an authentic fusion of traditional Country with a little bit of a 90’s Rock vibe mixed with rowdy and somewhat funky jams accentuated by Sam Hayes strong vocals.
When asked who their musical influences were, they definitely mentioned Alabama, Garth Brooks, and Brooks and Dunn, but as teens in the 2000’s they also listed alternative rock, hip-hop, metal and even contemporary Christian music.
Radio Romance’s dynamic live show recently earned them the reigning Champion title of the NASH Next Challenge further cementing their place in Music City. The band released their debut single “Weekend” April 27 on Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella, which they co-produced alongside Brad Winters. A full record is in the works to debut later this year if all goes as planned.
The recent change to their status means “that we have a team with us. We no longer have to take care of merchandise or rent our own vehicles. We can concentrate 100% on being artists, exploring that space more than we were able to do before.” However, interacting with Social Media is something they still want to do. We all look forward to the great music that is yet to come from this up and coming band.
You can follow Radio Romance on Twitter @romance_radio, on Instagram @radio_romance and on Facebook @radioromancemusic.
You can download the single “Weekend” on iTunes or your favorite music app.
You can see Radio Romance in person at the CMA Fest on June 7 on the Breakout Stage.
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Bethany Bowman is the entertainment writer for The Tennessee Star.