Ernest's new project Flower Shops (The Album) just dropped last week. He stopped by the Bobby Bones Show for his first visit to share some stories behind his songwriting, as well as perform his title track "Flower Shops."
Before Ernest was releasing music as an artist, he was making his way in Nashville through songwriting. He wrote 11 songs with Morgan Wallen for Wallen's Dangerous: The Double Album, and he wrote country songs recorded by other artists including Chris Lane's "Big, Big Plans," Florida Georgia Line's "I Love My Country," Sam Hunt's "Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s," and Kane Brown's "One Mississippi." Ernest shared that he knows pretty early on during a write if he's writing a song for him personally or if it's going to be a song for another artist.
"Big, Big Plans" was already half-way written when Lane's manager heard the song and told Ernest that Lane was looking for a song to propose to. So Lane came in halfway through the writing of the song to help them finish it and personalize it for himself. Ernest was a co-writer on "Heartless," and admitted they manifested the Diplo collaboration during the write. They thought it would sound like a great collaboration between Wallen and Diplo, because of that, they believe that's why the collaboration ended up happening. "Old Town Road" had several versions including one with Mason Ramsey as a feature. Ernest was the writer behind Mason Ramsey's rap part on the song. Ramsey's manager had FaceTimed Ernest, so Ernest wrote the verse and recorded it in a studio and sent it off within 24 hours. That connection led to Ernest being the opener for some of Ramsey's concerts.
Ernest shared the story behind his collaboration with Wallen on "Flower Shops." When Ernest was on the way to a write, he heard the song "A Good Year for the Roses" by George Jones. He told his buddy in the car that the title to the song was so cool and he wanted to write a song like that. By the time Ernest got to the write with his friend, they had already written the majority of the song. Once they finished it, Ernest texted Wallen a demo of the song out of excitement. The song was a favorite for both Ernest and Wallen. They started singing it together at some events, and then Wallen basically just dropped the news in public at Nashville's Whiskey Jam that he was going to do the song with Ernest.
This entire era of Ernest's career was majorly inspired by the time he spent living on St. Thomas Virgin Islands for over a year. At the time, his girlfriend's (now his wife) dad was looking for houses on the island. So they all went down for 6 weeks to stay on the island and help him find a home. Ernest loved the island so much, he decided to stay down there with his girlfriend's dad for the entire year. He spent the time playing music at different bars. Now looking at his career and life, Ernest said he's a family man. He has the dream which is a combination of music and family, admitting that it is sometimes hard to find a balance between being a dad, a husband, and a rockstar.
Watch Ernest perform an acoustic, solo version of "Flower Shops," and then play some pieces of "Big, Big Plans" and "Heartless."