Bear Grylls Reveals to Outsider What Music is On His Go-To Playlist: LISTEN

by Jon D. B.

What music drives the man? In our exclusive chat, Bear Grylls offers up his current favorite songs, a Nashville connection, and the classic he keeps on tap.

Nothing moves the human soul like a fine melody. Our musical tastes can define us to others, and to ourselves. It’s a big part of who we are. The core of who we are, some might say. Ask any Outsider, and we’ll tell you that music is an integral part of any adventure, let alone life.

In kind, it’s hard to imagine seeing as much of the world as Bear Grylls has and not listening to thousands of hours of music along the way. Chatting to the man himself as Running Wild returns to National Geographic, I had to ask: What music drives the man behind Hollywood’s biggest survival shows?

For King & Country: ‘Amen’

“I like these sort of big, long, deep songs,” Bear grins. “I’ll tell you what I’m listening to right now: For King and Country’s Amen. Epic song,” he reveals.

It may sound like the title for a U.K. symphonic or Gregorian Chant, but if you know For King & Country, then you know these Australian-turned-Nashvillian brothers have been tearing up modern charts for a decade.

“I’m loving it. It’s a super inspiring one,” he says of one of their biggest hits, Amen (above). Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone immigrated to the U.S. as children, settling in the Nashville area. They’ve been forming bands under various names together since 2007, but it was solidifying their current name and sound that would win them a Grammy and cement them as one of the industry’s premiere Christian artists. They live in Nashville to this day, not far from where I sat as Bear told me how much their tracks move him.

A devout Christian, Bear finds much inspiration in the lyrics Joel and Luke conjure. And he’s far from alone.

Bear Grylls Winds Down with a Bit of James Taylor

But what about his downtime? What music helps a man of Bear Grylls’ caliber wind down after a pulse-pounding adventure?

“A bit of Fire and Rain by James Taylor,” he offers without hesitation. “I really enjoy some of the classics. That one, in particular, is a constant, I feel like.”

One of the most beloved tracks in American history, James Taylor’s Fire and Rain hails from his Sweet Baby James record of 1970. It really needs no further introduction, but if you’re unfamiliar, the song details  The song follows Taylor’s reaction to the suicide of a childhood friend, Suzanne Schnerr.

The icon’s own experiences with drug addiction and fame also guide the track. It’s the sort of “deep” lyricism that helps Bear center himself after taking on the wilds; something he’s found in a modern artist, as well.

Sam Ryder: ‘Tiny Riot’

“I’ll tell you what else I’m enjoying at the moment, Sam Ryder. Tiny Riot,” specifically, Bear says, is lighting him up as of late.

Released in early 2021 by Parlophone Records, Ryder describes the meaning behind the song as “turning an outward expression of force into an inward expression of revolution” – something Bear Grylls knows a thing or two about.

Through multiple charities, partnerships, and boots-on-the-ground projects, Bear has become a true champion of conservation. Few know the remaining wilds of our planet like the seasoned British Special Forces vet, and he’s turned his Hollywood icon status into a tremendous force for good.

“It’s super important, as you know, isn’t it?” Bear told me of his conservation work. “We might all be different nationalities, different languages, different this and different that, but we all share the same planet. And we’ve got to figure it out. As far as I see it, it’s not even a debate. If you love something, you do all you can to protect it when it’s hurting.”

Running Wild with Bear Grylls is back with a new tagline: The Challenge, currently airing on National Geographic. The second episode of Season 7, featuring Simu Liu, hits today. All episodes will be available to stream on Disney+ this August.