Luke Grimes Wants to Be Known for More Than ‘Yellowstone,’ Talks Breaking Up With His Hometown & Debut Album

Luke Grimes released his self-titled album today (March 8), and he recently spoke about his influences and what the record mans to him personally as his full-length debut. Speaking with AP News, Grimes shared details on his formal introduction to country music.

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Grimes began by saying that with this album, he tried to articulate “who I am, and where this music is coming from — and I’m trying to be honest here, I’m trying to do this the right way.” He continued, “Country music is at its greatest, I think, when it’s really honest. So that was important to try to accomplish on this first album.”

As a star on the hit neo-western Yellowstone, Grimes has made a name for himself as Kayce Dutton. However, he wants his music to reflect who he is as a person, not as an actor. Acting, by its nature, involves taking on a different persona, but a lot of country music is about being authentic and real.

“The other thing that I do is to very much not be myself,” he said, referencing his job as an actor. “To do that correctly is to take on a different persona, a different name, to say someone else’s words, and in a lot of cases, someone else’s clothes. The whole point is to escape who you really are and to make someone believe who you’re not.”

[RELATED: ‘Yellowstone’ Star Luke Grimes Strikes Global Deal Amid Career Pivot]

Luke Grimes Talks About Finding His Identity in Music

However, Grimes has found himself in his music, writing deeply personal songs about his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, and his experiences in a place where he felt he didn’t have a lot of choices in life. He calls his song “Oh, Ohio” a “breakup letter,” not with a person, but with a place.

“I didn’t maybe feel like I totally belonged there,” he said of growing up in Ohio. “I just hadn’t heard that in a lot of songs. Usually when you hear songs about people’s hometown, it’s kind of a love letter. And this was more of a breakup letter.”

Grimes praised the songwriting and production process for his album, saying, “That’s kind of the magical part of the whole process, that there are no rules.” Additionally, he shared that he really wanted to make a record people could relate to.

“Certain albums that have stuck with me through the years, it’s just kind of made me feel like there’s someone out there that I can relate to,” he said. “Whatever this feeling or emotion is that I don’t know how to articulate, someone else has articulated it really well and through music, and in a way that I feel like a connection to. And so, if I could just do that for some people, then I think that’d be mission accomplished.”

Featured Image by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Paramount+

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