Luke Bryan: How the Country Star Encouraged Cole Swindell to Follow His Music Dream

by Halle Ames

How did country star Luke Bryan encourage Cole Swindell to follow his dreams of becoming an artist?

Would you look at that. One top-selling country artist has helped shape another. We love to see it. We love to hear it even more.

Let’s rewind the clock, back to a time when Cole Swindell was just a baby-faced college student. A band by the name of Neyami Road may not ring any bells, but their guitar player, named Luke Bryan, might.

Neyami Road was hired to play at Cole Swindell’s Sigma Chi fraternity house at Georgia Southern University. One song, called “Small Town Favorite Son,” stuck out to Cole Swindell. The tune inspired him to begin writing country music of his own.

That night. That meet and greet with Georgia Southern Alumni Luke Bryan. That’s all it took to convince Cole Swindell to move to Nashville in 2007 to pursue a career in music full-time. And where was one of his first jobs upon moving to the Music City? At none other than Luke Bryan’s merch table.

Swindell spent three years promoting the artist that he looked up to. At this point in Luke Bryan’s up-and-coming career, he has just released his breakout album, I’ll Stay Me, which includes his Top 5 debut single, “All My Friends Say.”

According to The Boot, Swindell looks back on iconic Bryan’s music, knowing he was going to be a star in the industry.

“I just remember thinking, like, ‘Wow, this guy’s gonna be a huge star,'” Swindell recalls. “I remember seeing him play live and thinking, ‘This guy’s an unbelievable entertainer.’ It took a while to catch on for him … but where he is now, I [knew] he was a star from the first time I saw him.”

Cole Swindell’s Career

However, don’t look over Cole Swindell’s rise to fame. After serving his time at the merch table, Swindell was given one of the opening spots on Luke Bryan’s 2019 Sunset Repeat Tour. In addition, 2019 also featured Swindell as an artist on the singer’s Farm Tour for the third time.

Cole Swindell signed with Sony/ATV Publishing in 2010 and began recording hit songs. Some of the most notable include “Chillin’ It,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Ain’t Worth the Whisky,” and the emotional “You Should Be Here.”

Furthermore, Swindell is also an accomplished songwriter, with his good pal Luke Bryan cutting many of his songs, like “Roller Coaster.”

He has also written songs for top country artists like Thomas Rhett, Scotty McCreery, and Craig Campbell.

In July of 2013, the now 37-year-old artist signed with Warner Music Nashville after he debuted “Chillin’ It.” The song climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot Country charts. By 2015 Cole Swindell was named ACM’s New Artist of the Year award.