Country Music #CMchat held its first annual #CMchattys Awards last year, seeking to honor those in the music industry who fans would deem a social media “must follow.” An overwhelming number of fans came to the support of Westin Davis, Nashville songwriter and frequent collaborator with Kip Moore. Westin was declared the “Must Follow Songwriter” by our community and it has been a long time coming that we sit down with him for an interview for our feature “Writers’ Block.” The day presented itself just in time for today’s (February 3rd) release of Kip Moore’s new single, which Westin co-wrote, entitled “I’m to Blame.”
Perhaps Westin is best known for his co-writes with his best friend Kip, who he considers more like family. The two entered into the business at the same time, and as luck may have it, their paths crossed in Music City and they became inseparable.
We share the same heartbeat. We come from the same part of the country. We have the same morals, the same views on things. We love the same music, we like the same things. That’s why it works; the working relationship is so easy.
However, Westin was involved in music long before he moved to Nashville and met his best friend. In fourth grade, Westin was living in a crime-stricken area, heavily laden with drugs. His school’s principal asked that all the students write songs about stopping the crime and drug abuse, explaining that one would be chosen to be performed in front of the student council, faculty, and school board. Westin very quickly wrote a rap song, which ended up the winner of the contest. Following the competition, he capped his pen to play sports, but it wouldn’t be the end of his musical endeavors.
Westin refers to himself as a dreamer who is always seeking a challenge, explaining that he doesn’t “believe in just existing in life.” One day, while trying to find some adversity that would force him to strive to reach a new goal, he picked up a guitar and started playing.
It became an addiction. It was almost like I found religion that day. I was born again, and I haven’t stopped writing since.
While he was surrounded by musical diversity during childhood, it was in his home that he was introduced to some of country’s greats. What ultimately drew Westin to a career in the genre, however, was the fact that he respected the work that went into creating a country song.
You had to be a true craftsman and some of those early country writers, I was fortunate to have some people who were mentors who weren’t really user friendly. They made me work. They made me work work work work. And it was a challenge to write a good song.
The fact that Westin and Kip share similar beginnings has helped them infuse their like influences into the music they write together. Westin explained that they are seamlessly able to draw from all different cultures, as well as genres of music, such as rap, rock, and R&B, during their sessions, giving Kip Moore a unique and identifiable blend of influences in his work.
It’s the yesterdays and desperations we fall back onto. It’s almost like we can’t fail this thing. There is no failing. . . . We respect the music, we respect the writing. Therefore, we command respect. It has nothing to do with arrogance; it’s respect. We respect what we do, we take what we do very seriously because this is not a hobby for us. It’s a profession, but writing and singing can sometimes be a labor of love; not for money or reward. It’s what we do, it’s who we are.
The most recent result of their desperation and labor of love is Kip’s new single “I’m to Blame,” which became available to fans today. Westin explained that the song came about because the songwriters share a recklessness with their lives, took ownership, and put pen to paper. Deciding to take the unapologetic route, they sat down on the front porch, shared a few lines, and recorded themselves being “goofy” during the session. An hour and a half later, the song was complete.
In the near future, not only can you find Westin Davis’ music on Kip Moore’s albums, but he has a cut on the upcoming A Thousand Horses record that he is extremely excited about. He expressed that his excitement is not just for himself, but for the group of men he admires and believes in wholeheartedly.
They’re not just really good, they’re humble, which to me is going to take them even further.
Remaining the true craftsman he always strived to be, Westin has a very simple, yet strong mantra:
If you put out real music and it touches people, you can’t go wrong.
And based on what we have heard from Westin’s catalog, he hasn’t gone wrong yet.