Josh Jenkins Named 2022 SESAC Nashville Songwriter of the Year

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Yeah, we fancy like Applebee’s on a date night / Got that Bourbon Street Steak with the Oreo shake / Get some whipped cream on the top too / Two straws, one check, girl, I got you

Walker Hayes’ 2022 SESAC Song of the Year “Fancy Like” played as Oreo shakes were delivered at the 2022 SESAC Nashville Music Awards at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Nov. 6. The awards returned in person for the first time in three years Sunday night, where Country and Americana songwriters and music publishers were honored for the year’s most performed songs.

Josh Jenkins, a songwriter on No. 1 country hits “Fancy Like” and Jordan Davis’ “Buy Dirt,” was named 2022 SESAC Nashville Songwriter of the Year. He took the stage as those in attendance sipped on Oreo shakes. His publisher, SMACKSongs, received Publisher of the Year recognition for the second time in three years. 

A video message of congratulations from Hayes played ahead of Jenkins’ accepting his award. “I couldn’t be more proud of you,” Hayes said of his collaborator. “I also have the pleasure of letting you know that ‘Fancy Like’ is the 2022 SESAC Song of the Year.”

Jenkins then took the microphone and discussed his introduction to music, which included his mom and dad writing and singing songs, before he thanked the Nashville songwriting community for its support.

“We had a family band as a kid … and my dad always instilled the love of songwriting and said, ‘If you’re going to play music, write songs,’” Jenkins said. “And that’s where it began; my brother and I at 11 writing songs in separate rooms on yellow legal pads.”

He then thanked those who believed in him and “insulated me in this business and pointed me towards what we’re after, which is chasing magic every day to create something that makes us believe that a song can change your life.”

Derek Wells also was celebrated with the Spirit of SESAC Award, which recognized his musical contributions for playing on more than 100 No. 1 songs. Brinley Addington, Joey Hyde, Mike Walker, Aaron Eshuis, Phil Lawson, and Allison Veltz Cruz honored Wells with a medley of Kane Brown’s “Homesick,” Russell Dickerson’s “Love You Like I Used To,” and “Lady A’s “What If I Never Get Over You.” 

Photo: Katie Kauss

“Anything that I’ve ever played that I felt was great was inspired by the songs put in front of me,” Wells said. “Without songwriters, people like myself wouldn’t have a job. We wouldn’t have a platform.”

Additional highlights included a poignant, stripped down performance of “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis and his co-writers, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins and Jacob Davis, and the spirited show opener “Soul” by Lee Brice and Blanco Brown.

The 2022 SESAC Nashville Music Awards’ honors follow:
Songwriter of the Year:
Josh Jenkins

Song of the Year:
“Fancy Like”
Written by:
Josh Jenkins
Published by:
Follow Me Where I Go, SMACKSongs, Kobalt Group Publishing
Recorded by:
Walker Hayes

Publisher of the Year:
SMACKSongs

Country and Americana Performance Activity Awards:
“FANCY LIKE”
Written by: 
Josh Jenkins 
Published by: 
Follow Me Where I Go, SMACKSongs, Kobalt Group Publishing 
Recorded by:
Walker Hayes

“BUY DIRT”
Written by: 
Josh Jenkins
Published by:  
Follow Me Where I Go, SMACKSongs, Kobalt Group Publishing 
Recorded by: 
Jordan Davis ft. Luke Bryan

“SAME BOAT”
Written by: 
Zac Brown, Ben Simonetti 
Published by: 
Day For The Dead Publishing, Kobalt Group Publishing 
Recorded by:
Zac Brown Band

“FREEDOM WAS A HIGHWAY”
Written by: 
Jimmie Allen 
Published by: 
Endurance Juliet, Sony Music Publishing
Recorded by:
Jimmie Allen and Brad Paisley

“WILD HEARTS”
Written by: 
Jennifer Wayne 
Published by: 
Wild Wild Wild West Songs, BMG Silver Songs
Recorded by:
Keith Urban

“7500 OBO”
Written by: 
Matt McGinn
Published by: 
McGinndependence Day, SMACKSongs, Kobalt Group Publishing 
Recorded by:
Tim McGraw

“LAST NIGHT LONELY”
Written by: 
Joe Fox 
Published by: 
Liz Rose Music, Warner Chappell Music 
Recorded by:
Jon Pardi

“TRUTH ABOUT YOU”
Written by: 
Matt Alderman
Published by: 
Good Vibes Good Times Music, Curb Congregation Songs
Recorded by:
Mitchell Tenpenny

“LIKE I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC”
Written by: 
Matt McGinn
Published by: 
McGinndependence Day, SMACKSongs, Kobalt Group Publishing 
Recorded by:
Kane Brown

“UP”
Written by: 
Jeremy Bussey
Published by: 
Hit By The Buss Music, Songs of Fluid, Spirit Music Nashville 
Recorded by:
Luke Bryan

“HOME SWEET”
Written by: 
Casey Brown
Published by: 
Blue Corolla Oklahoma, Feel Your Creative Pulse Music 
Recorded by:
Russell Dickerson

“23”
Written by: 
Chris LaCorte
Published by: 
Card Tables Music, Concord Tunes, Hang Your Hat Hits
Recorded by:
Sam Hunt

“HELLBENT FOR LEATHER”
Written by: 
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Published by: 
Snake Farm Publishing, BMG Silver Songs 
Recorded by:
Ray Wylie Hubbard

“NICE THINGS”
Written by: 
Hayes Carll 
Published by: 
Highway 87 Publishing, BMG Silver Songs 
Recorded by:
Hayes Carll

“MODERN WOMAN”
Written by: 
Erin Rae 
Published by: 
Good Memory, Confidentially Canadian Publishing 
Recorded by:
Erin Rae

“IN DREAMS”
Written by: 
Sierra Ferrell 
Published by:
Abel Elba, Pulse Music Publishing
Recorded by:
Sierra Ferrell

“THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP SOMEBODY THROUGH IT”
Written by: 
Jim Lauderdale 
Published by:
Wudang Mountain Songs, BMG Silver Songs 
Recorded by:
Jim Lauderdale

Photo credit: Katie Kauss

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