Filmore Writes With Nashville Heavyweights, Drops Debut Album on Curb

A lot of artists can claim millions of Internet streams, but few of them have the advantage of a record deal that often brings radio play with it, followed by even more publicity and more fans and streams. Country singer Filmore, though, with his deal on Curb Records, is now adding to an already impressive following that was built on word-of-mouth and his being on so many peoples’ Spotify playlists.

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With well over 100,000,000 streams on Spotify alone, Filmore is taking his success mainstream with his new Curb album, State I’m In, and his upcoming radio single “Nothing’s Better.” “The business is continually changing in that you don’t need a record label to do a lot of things,” Filmore told American Songwriter by phone from Nashville. “But signing with a team like Curb’s could only elevate my status, especially with country radio. It’s what I needed to do to take my career to the next level, just another part of the process. In 2019 I signed my record deal, and within three or four weeks I went to radio. During 2019, I was at radio stations all across the country, traveling everywhere, I made so many cool relationships.”

One noteworthy thing about State I’m In is its number of tracks, 18 of them, which can be both a blessing and a curse when trying to decide on a radio single. “Deciding what singles should go to radio, it’s a guessing game with Covid and the landscape right now,” Filmore said.

The album’s songs were co-written by Nashville writers whose work spans the generations. With collaborators like Cary Barlowe (Luna Halo, Florida Georgia Line), Ian Keaggy (Hot Chelle Rae, John Oates), Josh Kear (Carrie Underwood, Lady A), and Bob DiPiero (George Strait, Vince Gill), Filmore found himself in the position of having to figure out which songs to include on the record. “When you write with this many people it’s hard, because you want to put everything out! I haven’t put a song out since April, and before I was dropping a song every month. I think we’ll be able to put more and more things out now, because of peoples’ attention spans; they’re quick with [the songs] and they want the next thing.”

It took him a few years, but he’s been in Nashville long enough now to have written with a lot of the industry’s most successful writers. “I think at this point I’ve written with a lot of people of that level in Nashville,” he said, “and I think the coolest part is that, to be honest, just being around them and hanging out, they don’t seem like that. So that’s been one of the coolest things, working with people of that caliber.” 

Filmore writes and performs on both guitar and keys, and was a seasoned performer before he arrived in Nashville over eight years ago from the St. Louis area. Having sung in choirs and with his own band, he attended the University of Missouri, majoring in vocal performance and appearing in university productions of operas and musicals. But Music City, and a career as a contemporary country artist, beckoned. “When I graduated I decided to move to Nashville and make a real go at it,” he said.     

Filmore said that, all in all, 2020 has been a good year for him. “It’s been a crazy year with Covid, but I will say that from a songwriting standpoint I’ve been writing the best stuff I’ve ever written. The creativity, in a weird way, is really refreshing, and I’ll take it while I can.”

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