When Drew Baldridge released his viral country hit “Senior Year” in 2019 as a memento to his senior school days in Patoka, Ill., he couldn’t have ever fathomed the life span his record would just take just months later since the world many students knew would never function as the same.
The 28-year-old crooner and songwriter, whose grandmother would shuttle him to piano lessons as a teenager, knew early on he wanted to bring happiness to the faces of screaming fans as a musician when he graced the staged for the very first time as a first-grader throughout a Christmas program.
Years later, Baldridge was handed a guitar at 16 rather than looked right back as that he frequented the local Elks Lodge where he’d put on small shows in the corner of the establishment – singing to the likes of Johnny Cash and Josh Turner.
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Ironically, all those same tales, along with the wants of Brooks and Dunn, Eric Church, Eminem and Nelly, would turn out to be inspirations showcased on a multitude of burned COMPACT DISC mixes Baldridge would create as a high school pupil, which he’d distribute amongst his close friends.
But for the “Burnt Toast” performer, March 2020 would certainly mark a monumental change in his lifestyle and profession that sadly came once the country started shutting lower due to the coronavirus pandemic that will swiftly permeated the globe. “Senior Year” would end up being the anthem regarding thousands of high school elderly people who would get their milestone occasions cut brief.
“This is a song that’s gotten way bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Baldridge stated. “You know, I’ll be honest – when I’m in a writing room, I just try to create something that’s real to me. And I know if it hits home with me, it’s going to relate to somebody else. And we sat down that day and we just all talked about our senior year. And we’re all from different age ranges. And we kind of put it together.”
Baldridge said whenever he composed the song’s hook, “Never thought it might disappear mature year,” he did together with the purpose of delivering the information to graduates that “it’s going to go by fast, so enjoy it.”
“Then all of a unexpected in 2020 when March hit plus on March 16 once the shutdown occurred and everyone – colleges said, ‘Hey, you’re not returning,’ Well, I began getting labeled [in] just about all [of] these types of TikToks plus my dad known as me and said, ‘Hey, there’s a little girl in the future and she utilized your music in a video – you should move watch this,” Baldridge explained.
“So I went and watched it and it got to the hook where it was all her videos of her kids, her friends, and pictures,” this individual continued. “And it got to the hook and said, ‘Never thought it would disappear, senior year’ and man, I just start crying. I was like, I can’t believe I wrote that because their year did disappear. And so it took on a whole new meaning. And before I knew it, kids all around the country were reaching out and were posting these videos.”
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Baldridge stated he couldn’t believe the particular “wildfire effect” their song got on a generation of students.
“And that’s all – as a songwriter – you can hope to do is to write something that’s going to impact somebody,” this individual said. “And this the song’s really done that in a huge way. It brought a generation of people together forever.”
The contemporary spirit said just before he understood it, he or she was actively playing “Senior Year” a few 60 in order to 70 digital concerts across the country.
“It was six or seven a day,” this individual said. “I was like, man – it was a lot of Zooms. But it was so, well worth it. And like, jumping on there and hearing these kids’ and stories like, ‘Hey, we were supposed to go to state this year in soccer and we didn’t even get to kick a ball.”
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A former senior high school athlete themself, Baldridge stated those discussions with learners who obtained the brief end of the stay in 2020, hit house, and he empathized with all those students provided the fact this individual lost their record offer as lately as Oct. 2019, which usually left your pet to fend for themself while hustling his songs.
“Senior Year” doubled as well as rewarded Baldridge when it damaged the particular top 50 on the Billboard graph.
“I was independent and one of the biggest surprises for me is that we didn’t have a promo team or a record label and ‘Senior Year’ was top 50 on Billboard, and that never happens,” recalled Baldridge. “The stereo just began playing this and it have got to top 50 which was a huge shock for me.”
He added that will because of his change of good fortune regarding the viral success their song has already established, Baldridge desires everyone, specifically students to maintain pushing ahead and keeps that many will certainly grow to be stronger because of the situation they discovered themselves needing to overcome.
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“Now, of course, heading out and actively playing these drive-in shows – that’s a whole different shock [for] me, as well, because We never believed I would become going plus doing a ‘Senior Year’ tour. You know what After all? That had been a strange surprise,” Baldridge stated. “Of course with COVID-19 and there are a lot of different things going on but I never thought, ‘Man, I’m going to play graduations and it’s going to be cool.’ But it has – it’s been so much fun!”
Baldridge added that this energy this individual feels whenever playing drive-in shows pales in comparison to the particular response this individual receives on the event circuit.
“I’ve played so many shows – so many huge, huge festivals and to play these graduations – it’s like the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done to make these kids days when you’re playing the song and in the middle of it, they’re all just blowing on their horns in their cars,” this individual explained.
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“You know, it’s a whole different feeling. It’s not claps – they’re horns and you hear screams out the windows and it’s a whole different experience that I’ve never had or felt before. I mean, I’ve played all kinds of shows and I always hear people screaming but hearing the honks, when you’re like, ‘How you doing class 2020?’ and they’re laying on their horns and sticking air horns out the window – it’s a whole other feeling for sure.”