Artists like Cody Jinks are forcing the evolution of country music radio. He isn’t alone in that. Folks like Parker McCollum, Zach Bryan and Cody Johnson have also made the terrestrial format reevaluate what defines “success.” For years, success was impossible without radio. But as streaming becomes a primary source of music discovery for many listeners, it is shaping what can work over the air.
That means that old hits can find new life.
“Loud and Heavy” was on Cody Jinks’s 2015 album The Adobe Sessions. And it was sent to country radio on July 1, 2022. Since its’ initial release, the song has garnered 436.5 million streams. The song achieved platinum status without ever hitting the traditional airwaves.
“A good song is never dated,” says Jinks. “The first year, mainstream radio basically told us we weren’t allowed to be in the club – like we couldn’t release it because we didn’t have the proper backing. And then they basically said, ‘Well, it’s not a proven hit.’ So after it went platinum, we kind of went back and said, ‘Will you play it now? We checked all the boxes.’ Like, put your money where your mouth is.”
It’s a bit of a double bind. On the one hand, Jinks has proven that he doesn’t need country radio to achieve massive success. But on the other, terrestrial radio can still reach new audiences that don’t have access to streaming. And the goal is give as many listeners as possible an opportunity to hear your music. So he approaches the concept with some skepticism. But why not?
His son Larson actually received a co-write on the track. Then just two years old, Larson began to chant “loud thunder heavy rain” on a stormy car ride. That inspired the seven-and-a-half-year-old track.
Cody Jinks Built His Audience on the Road
It wasn’t country radio that made Cody Jinks a star. It was relentless touring. The 41-year-old Texas native hit the circuit in his home state hard and built a loyal following on his own. He eventually spread that following across the South and later, the United States. His tenth studio album, Mercy, was released in 2021. He also released Red Rocks Live in 2020. Country artists no longer need radio to perform at one of the most hallowed venues in the world. A sign of the times, indeed.
He’s not letting his foot off of the gas anytime soon. He plays arenas and sheds throughout the fall, beginning at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi on August 11. He also returns to Red Rocks for a pair of dates on October 1 & 2. To check out his entire schedule and for ticket information, visit his website.