At Outsider, we cling to country music, not for its pomp and circumstance but its raw emotion in storytelling. One country superstar who crafts that rare authenticity we so often find ourselves drawn to is none other than Kip Moore. And one of Moore’s most gripping stories told through song is a heartbreaking reflection on his father’s death.
During the latest episode of “The Road You Leave Behind,” host Marty Smith sat down with Moore for an intimate conversation about how his regret and grief led him to a new revelation in his career.
The two wasted no time discussing the glitz and glamour that can often infiltrate the entertainment industry. Instead, they dive deep into a conversation about Moore’s song “Payin’ Hard,” and the vulnerability that came along in the process.
Moore wears his grit and honesty with a badge of honor— something we can’t get enough of at Outsider. During the interview, he didn’t shy away from opening up about the internal conflict he faced when he sat down to write.
“Payin’ Hard was one of those tunes that was a very direct, personal piece of honesty, that fell onto a piece of paper.”
Kip Moore Resolves Decade-Long Regret On ‘Payin’ Hard’
After his father died in 2011, Kip Moore’s pain would be trapped inside for nine grueling years. Finally, in 2020, Moore set out on an exploration of his regret and remorse that resulted in “Payin’ Hard.”
“That was one of those days for me that I couldn’t even sing the work tape, he recalled. “It was sitting so heavy with me, the regrets…”
His father’s cancer diagnosis revealed itself simultaneously when Moore’s career was starting to take off. As a result, Moore was left with a painful decision. He could either move forward in his career or return to the person who inspired him musically.
“He was the one who turned me onto music,” Moore said. “I attribute so much to where I am now because of him, and I looked up to him.”
After nearly a decade of wrestling with the emotions of his father’s passing, Moore transformed his pain into a passion when he released the song, that in a way, closed the door on his battle within himself.
Included on his album, Wild One, “Payin’ Hard” is Kip Moore’s culmination of a lifetime of emotion. Sorrow, solitude, and sadness— all elements inescapable to all of us— present themselves in a beautiful resolution for Moore, and we’re grateful artists like him are brave enough to share their stories.