When Drew Baldridge launched his viral nation hit “Senior 12 months” in 2019 as a souvenir to his highschool days in Patoka, Unwell., he couldn’t have ever fathomed the lifestyles his document would take simply months later as the arena many scholars knew would by no means be the similar.
The 28-year-old crooner and songwriter, whose grandmother would commute him to piano classes as a teen, knew early on that he sought after to carry pleasure to the faces of screaming enthusiasts as a musician when he graced the staged for the primary time as a first-grader all the way through a Christmas program.
Years later, Baldridge used to be passed a guitar at 16 and not regarded again as he frequented the native Elks Resort the place he’d placed on small displays within the nook of the status quo – making a song to the likes of Johnny Money and Josh Turner.
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Paradoxically, those self same legends, along side the likes of Brooks and Dunn, Eric Church, Eminem and Nelly, would turn out to be inspirations featured on a mess of burned CD mixes Baldridge would make as a highschool scholar, which he would distribute amongst his pals.
However for the “Burnt Toast” performer, March 2020 would mark a enormous shift in his lifestyles and profession that sadly got here when the rustic started shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic that impulsively permeated the globe. “Senior 12 months” would turn out to be the anthem for hundreds of highschool seniors who would have their milestone moments reduce brief.
“It is a track that is gotten manner larger than I believed it used to be going to be,” Baldridge stated. “You realize, I will be fair – when I am in a writing room, I simply attempt to create one thing that is actual to me. And I do know if it hits house with me, it’ll relate to someone else. And we sat down that day and we simply all mentioned our senior yr. And we are all from other age levels. And we roughly put it in combination.”
Baldridge stated when he penned the track’s hook, “By no means concept it will disappear senior yr,” he did so with the goal of sending the message to graduates that “it’s going to head through speedy, so revel in it.”
“Then unexpectedly in 2020 when March hit and on March 16 when the shutdown took place and everyone – faculties stated, ‘Howdy, you are now not coming again,’ Smartly, I began getting tagged [in] all [of] those TikToks and my dad known as me and he stated, ‘Howdy, there is a little lady down the street and he or she used your track in a video – you must move watch it,” Baldridge defined.
“So I went and watched it and it were given to the hook the place it used to be all her movies of her children, her pals, and photographs,” he endured. “And it were given to the hook and stated, ‘By no means concept it will disappear, senior yr’ and guy, I simply get started crying. I used to be like, I will’t imagine I wrote that as a result of their yr did disappear. And so it took on an entire new which means. And ahead of I knew it, children everywhere in the nation have been achieving out and have been posting those movies.”
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Baldridge stated he couldn’t imagine the “wildfire impact” his track had on a era of scholars.
“And that is the reason all – as a songwriter – you’ll be able to hope to do is to jot down one thing that is going to have an effect on someone,” he stated. “And this the track’s in reality achieved that during an enormous manner. It introduced a era of other folks in combination without end.”
The fresh soul stated ahead of he knew it, he used to be taking part in “Senior 12 months” at some 60 to 70 digital concert events across the nation.
“It used to be six or seven an afternoon,” he stated. “I used to be like, guy – it used to be a large number of Zooms. Nevertheless it used to be so, smartly value it. And prefer, leaping on there and listening to those children’ and tales like, ‘Howdy, we have been meant to visit state this yr in football and we did not even get to kick a ball.”
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A former highschool athlete himself, Baldridge stated the ones conversations with scholars who were given the fast finish of the stick in 2020, hit house, and he empathized with the ones scholars given the truth he misplaced his document deal as not too long ago as Oct. 2019, which left him to fend for himself whilst hustling his tune.
“Senior 12 months” doubled again and rewarded Baldridge when it cracked the highest 50 at the Billboard chart.
“I used to be unbiased and one of the vital greatest surprises for me is that we did not have a promo crew or a document label and ‘Senior 12 months’ used to be most sensible 50 on Billboard, and that by no means occurs,” recalled Baldridge. “The radio simply began taking part in it and it were given to most sensible 50 which used to be an enormous wonder for me.”
He added that on account of his flip of good fortune in regards to the viral good fortune his track has had, Baldridge urges everybody, particularly scholars to stay pushing ahead and maintains that many will change into a lot more potent on account of the circumstance they discovered themselves having to conquer.
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“Now, in fact, going out and taking part in those drive-in displays – that is an entire other wonder [for] me, too, as a result of I by no means concept I’d be going and doing a ‘Senior 12 months’ excursion. You realize what I imply? That used to be a unusual wonder,” Baldridge stated. “In fact with COVID-19 and there are a large number of various things occurring however I by no means concept, ‘Guy, I’ll play graduations and it’ll be cool.’ Nevertheless it has – it is been such a lot amusing!”
Baldridge added that the power he feels when taking part in drive-in displays pales compared to the reaction he receives at the pageant circuit.
“I have performed such a lot of displays – such a lot of massive, massive fairs and to play those graduations – it is like essentially the most rewarding factor I have ever achieved to make those children days if you find yourself taking part in the track and in the midst of it, they are all simply blowing on their horns of their automobiles,” he defined.
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“You realize, it is a complete other feeling. It isn’t claps – they are horns and also you listen screams out the home windows and it is a complete other enjoy that I have by no means had or felt ahead of. I imply, I have performed a wide variety of displays and I all the time listen other folks screaming however listening to the honks, if you find yourself like, ‘The way you doing magnificence 2020?’ and they are laying on their horns and sticking air horns out the window – it is a complete different feeling evidently.”