Interview with Joe Nichols

Kimeko Mccoy

Anticipation is in the air as Statesboro prepares for the performance of the semester as Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols and Kristian Bush pack Paulson Stadium Friday night for the Take Me Downtown Tour.

One of the opening performers, Joe Nichols, points out that he is just as excited as the students.

“It will be an energetic night no matter what, I love that. I think that there is a youthful energy in a college atmosphere that can’t be duplicated in your average arena or amphitheater,” Nichols said.

Nichols got his start from watching his dad perform at an early age and knew he was meant to be a performer.

“He played music from as far back as I can remember and I kind of fell in love with it back then, watching him play and sing and watching people react to the way he played and sang. It kind of felt like something I was born to do,” Nichols said.

He first got his start in 1999 after signing a record deal with Warner Brothers, but quickly parted ways in 2000.

“It’s kind of come together several times. I moved to Nashville in ’97 and I got my first record deal in ’99 which ended with a parting of ways with Warner Brothers in 2000. I got my deal with Universal South in 2001 and it was a match straight from heaven in the beginning. That’s where everything kind of started for me,” Nichols said.

It was in 2002 when he released his first single with Universal South called “The Impossible.” Since then, he has gone on to have five career number-one hits including ‘Gimme That Girl,’ ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off’ and most recently ‘Sunny and 75.’

“I don’t think it ever gets old, sometimes it feels more of a job than other times. Sometimes it’s fun sometimes it’s not as fun, but for the most part I enjoy what I do and I enjoy music and I enjoy singing and performing for people,” Nichols said.

Nichols has also been nominated four times at the Grammy Awards, which he explains can cause mixed feelings.

“There’s a lot of ego there. It feels pretty good but it’s the egotistical kind of person who says an award makes me feel like this. I think the biggest award is your connection with fans one way or another,” Nichols said.

“Knowing you’ve done something right is determined by the connection you’ve made with the fans. They love to love everything you like and everything you do, and sometimes they hate it but the fact that you’ve stirred something in the fans and you’ve made them connect is our goal,” Nichols said.

This is not the first time Nichols will be working with Lady Antebellum and he expects it to be quite a show.

“We’ve done a few shows together and they’re great, you know, great performers, great singers and just a gentle presence to be around.”

“There is a certain atmosphere in the crowd that says ‘hey, I’m here and I’m ready to party,’” Nichols said.

As far as one his most well known songs, ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,’ Nichols said inspiration came from real life stories all around him.

“We all have tequila stories we can look back in our past and go ‘man, if I hadn’t drank the tequila, that would have never happened.’”

“It’s an everyday person. We all have somebody who we can tell a tequila story about or even about ourselves, so inspiration is around us all the time,” Nichols said.

No matter where his career goes from here, Nichols says he is beyond blessed to do what he loves — sing and perform for fans.

Nichols said, “I feel like I was born to do it and I feel very blessed to be able to do something that I love. I feel like a very small percentage of the world gets to do what they love and luckily I get paid for it.”