Music Spotlight: Zach Top

Zach Top

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Anybody who follows me or my column knows that I have a type. Traditional country music stirs my soul. When I find someone young who can do the same thing, I do my best to track them down.

Zach Top is such an artist. His name kept showing up all over my feeds. When I heard the popular “Sounds Like the Radio,” I was thrilled and couldn’t stop smiling. I relentlessly pursued his people until I got an interview.

Top grew up on a dairy farm/ranch in Sunnyside, Washington. While his parents weren’t musically inclined, he grew up listening to Marty Robbins and George Jones. But it was when his older sister took piano lessons that she set down her three younger siblings and organized a family band.

“I got my first guitar when I was three and took my first lesson at age five. I wanted to be the next George Strait for as long as I can remember,” the singer said.

CASE

Growing up with three siblings, one sister played bass, a brother played Mandolin, and another sister played fiddle while he played guitar. By the time Top turned seven, he and his three siblings formerly toured as a family bluegrass band called Top String, where they played the festival circuit for the next ten years.

Zach Top

Eventually, he left his family band, but through his teens and early twenties, Top played in various bluegrass bands, including Modern Tradition (winners of the 2017 SPBGMA international band competition), with whom he notched a string of hits on bluegrass radio, including the #1 song “Like It Ain’t No Thing.”

When country singer Daryle Singletary unexpectedly died in 2018, Top made a video of himself singing “Spilled Whiskey” to honor the man. That video went viral and gave the singer a taste of what becoming a solo country artist might look like. Some people in Nashville noticed and saw that Top was a cut above your everyday armchair acoustic singer.

Singer/songwriter/producer Carson Chamberlain took young Top under his care to teach him the ropes of the music industry. He learned to work a melody and turn a lyric from Nashville greats like Chamberlain, Wyatt McCubbin, and Mark Cubbin.

He stated of the co-writing experience, “You’re laying your heart out there. I’m very thankful to all those guys for letting me sit in a room and learn from them.”

In 2021, Top moved to Nashville permanently, where he got a publishing deal after getting noticed singing his acoustic tracks on TikTok. With a sound reminiscent of a young Keith Whitley, Top released the song “Bad Luck,” a true country lament about having a string of bad luck (until you came along). The bad luck song has been a good omen for the singer/songwriter as it, alongside the tender love song, “There’s the Sun,” were two tunes that firmly planted Top as a contender in the country music singer/songwriter landscape.

On July 27, 2022, Top made his Opry debut, a milestone cherished by any rising country artist.

Zach Top

He stated, “All my heroes played here, and getting to step in The Circle and do the same thing they did is a huge dream for me.”  He debuted his now-hit song “Cold Beer and Country Music.” When he and Chamberlain wrote the song, they knew they had something special.

In April of 2023, two former Universal Music Group Nashville senior executives, Rachel Fontenot and Katie Dean, launched the Nashville-based independent label Leo33 with Top as the flagship artist.

Named after the aforementioned song, Top released his debut album, Cold Beer & Country Music on April 5, 2024. Top’s mentor and cowriter Carson Chamberlain collaborated as the sole producer on the project, ensuring a seamless blend of classic and modern influences.

The debut single, “Sounds Like the Radio,” a rollicking, devil-may-care song that caught my attention, and it was the most added song on country radio for two weeks after it was released.

Still clinging to the traditional sounds on which he was raised, Top released the ballad/waltz, “Use Me,” a song that sounds like it was released in the 80s or earlier but is just as relatable to listeners today. “Use Me” paints a poignant picture of two lonely hearts finding temporary comfort in each other’s company. The lyrics tug at your heart when he sings “I’ll pretend if you’ll pretend too.” Words like that are timeless.

However, his song “Cowboys Like Me Do” may be his most personal tune. With the busiest touring schedule of any artist I have interviewed this year, Top admitted he is a “big softy” when it comes to falling in love, but he literally does not have time to date. He is a modern-day traveling cowboy, traipsing from town to town.

“Just hop on the bus, if you want to see me,” he said.

But in all seriousness, Top leaves some of himself in every song he writes. He said, “When a song comes from somewhere honest, it’s going to resonate with others. Authenticity connects people.”

When I heard Top sing songs like his title track, “Cold Beer & Country Music,” I would have sworn it was Joe Diffe singing if I had closed my eyes.  Thankfully, even though many country music greats are no longer with us, with artists like Top keeping traditional sounds alive, country music is in good hands.

Top will join CMA Award Winners Brothers Osborne, Lainey Wilson, Luke Bryan, and Dierks Bentley this summer on their respective 2024 tours. For a full list of tour dates, news, and more please visit www.zachtop.com.

You can follow Top on FacebookXInstagramYouTubeTikTok, and all streaming services.

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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blogInstagram, and X(Twitter).

 

 

 

 

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