Singer/songwriter Ben Rector joins Chris Lindsey’s Pitch List Podcast to talk all things from songwriting advice to the story behind his newest song, “Range Rover,” which features one of his musical idols, Steve Winwood.
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As far as how Rector is able to consistently churn out hits for artists like Lady A and Devin Dawson in addition to himself, he explains that it’s a delicate “marriage of inspiration and discipline,” which he must constantly tend to.
“When I’m relying all on one or the other, it usually doesn’t go super well. If I’m just waiting around, stuff doesn’t happen. If I’m just grinding myself into the ground, I usually don’t make great stuff either. So I try to kind of ride that line a little bit.”
Later in the episode, he adds that his process is much like what he thinks surfing would be in terms of adopting a “go with the flow” mentality. “I can’t control always what wave I’m riding, but I hope that I’m a good enough surfer that when the right wave comes, I can do the thing I need to do,” he says.
As for “Range Rover,” the wave of inspiration started directly from a conversation with one of his co-writers (either Devin Dawson or Mark Trussell) and eventually grew into a full blown track that he ended up recording with Steve Winwood, who played the Hammond organ on the song.
The singer/songwriter explained, “I don’t remember who it was, maybe Mark was like, ‘Oh, dude, if such and such happened, I think we would totally just buy an all-white Range Rover.’ And I was like, ‘Dude, Range Rover.’ And they were like, ‘We can’t write that song.’ And I was like, ‘We could totally write that song!’”
Rector shares that the group needed some convincing after throwing out the idea to loosely emulate something like Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” but that once they started writing everything clicked into place.
“They were so kind to humor me. Once we got two steps in the door, it was just like, here it goes. Lyrically, it is so comical, and it was fun to put those clothes on and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, we could totally do this, it’s fun.’ And I hope it doesn’t come off…I’m not actually like, ‘Look out for this person,’ it’s just more kind of a fun track,” Rector said.
Throughout the episode, Rector also digs into the story behind another one of his tracks, “Extraordinary Magic” as well as how he played a college circuit of frat parties early in his career, why it was so cool to have one of his musical heroes featured on a song with him and more on the Pitch List Podcast.
Listen to the Pitch List episode here and listen to Ben Rector’s “Range Rover” below.