Mitchell Tenpenny Opens Up About What Went Into Making ‘This Is the Heavy’

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Mitchell Tenpenny is at the peak of his career and shows no signs of slowing down. Earlier this year, he notched two chart-topping hits. “Truth About You” and “At the End of a Bar” featuring Chris Young gave the Nashville native some serious momentum. Then, last month, Tenpenny released his latest album This Is the Heavy to praise from fans and critics alike.

The album saw Mitchell Tenpenny taking some risks. Much of the album is straightforward modern country music. However, some tracks break the mold and stand out. For instance, the club-ready electronic song “Elephant in the Room” which features genre-bending artist Teddy swims sees Tenpenny blending two disparate art forms into something that will get folks moving.

In a recent interview with Today’s Country Radio, Mitchell Tenpenny discussed what went into making This Is the Heavy with host Kalleigh Bannen.

Mitchell Tenpenny on Writing the Album

During the interview, Mitchell Tenpenny discussed how important it was to find the correct co-writers. For Tenpenny, country music is all about the lyrics. “It’s been four years since I released a record. I’ve grown a lot in that time, and life had gotten heavier for sure. Country music these days, everyone can fight over what’s country music. What’s new? And you can have your own arguments. But to me, country music is always the lyrics. It’s always going to be the lyrics. It’s always going to be the storytelling.

He wants to pull back the curtain and show his listeners who he is and what’s going on in his life. “You find the people that you write well with that let you do what you do and add to it, don’t change you,” Mitchell Tenpenny said. “I wrote this record with all my best friends, and we’ve written a lot of songs together so they know what my strengths are, what I do well, and then they let me do that while they add their strengths. I let them do that.”

About working with his pals, Mitchell Tenpenny said, “It’s cohesive. We enjoy each other’s opinions, and we don’t fight. It’s just fun to write songs. Once you’ve done it so many times with certain people, you just trust them. You trust their instincts.”

Working with Teddy Swims

Mitchel Tenpenny revealed that he and Teddy Swims have been online pals for years. Tenpenny slid into Swims’ DMs a few years back to tell him how much he enjoyed a cover he had posted. It turned out that Swims was a fan of Tenpenny’s as well. Their friendship grew from there. “He’s one of the most talented dudes I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Tenpenny said. “The control of his voice, it’s spiritual, man.”

“I love him to death,” Mitchell Tenpenny continued. “He just makes you want to be better. I love singing with him. You’re just kind of Tommy topping each other, just trying to one-up, and it’s just fun.”