Heath Sanders is one of the few people who have actually gotten a big break in their career after getting viral in social media. The Arkansas native did not expect that his cover of Chris Stapleton’s ‘Either Way’ that he posted on Facebook would land him an interview with Bobby Bones and perform a song live. And even more than that, he never expected that the opportunity would lead him to sign a record deal afterwards.
There’s a lot of buzz going on with this promising new artist. So here are 10 jumpstart facts about this newcomer in the country music scene that you should definitely know.
1. He was born and raised in Marshall, Arkansas.
Heath Sanders was born in a dirt road community outside Marshall known as Zack Ridge or Ozarks with his lower-middle-class blue-collar parents and grandparents. At that time, their life revolved around fishing, hunting, family, and church. When asked how life was back then, he described it as slow and simple.
He grew up in a religious family and music had always been a big part of his life. His parents always put him up on stage. At 6 months old, his grandpa had been putting a guitar on his hands, but he only learned it when he was 21. And when he was 10, his dad bought him a drum set and he was hooked.
Now, the 37-year-old lives in Cleveland, Arkansas, just an hour away from his hometown with his dogs (one of which appeared in his album art) and girlfriend. He also rents a place in Nashville where he spends most of his time.
2. He worked in an oil field before he was discovered as a country music artist.
When he turned 18, he was offered a job in the oil field. He totally enjoyed the work as he could rack up unlimited work hours in a week. But when the price of gas fell in 2017, his hours were cut back to 40 hours per week. His lifestyle was way past that, so he had to pick up a side gig to compensate for the loss.
The only thing that made sense to him was to play songs on the guitar. In 2017, he made a Facebook page to promote himself and book gigs. Then in 2018, he had been dared by a friend to post a cover of Chris Stapleton’s Either Way. And just overnight, the cover quickly became viral.
3. He performed a self-penned song for Bobby Bones and a panel of three big names in the country music industry.
One of America’s most popular DJ Bobby Bones, invited Sanders for a phone interview just a few days after his cover went viral. At that time, he was working on a song after 13 years of songwriting drought because he thought his works were terrible (he wrote two back in his 20s). He finished the song titled Bloodline and performed it live in the studio in front of a panel.
All of the panel were impressed with him and said that he should definitely consider turning his hobby into a career.
4. Garth Brooks is one of his major musical influences.
Growing up in a religious family, his first exposure to music was Christian Gospel songs with bands like The Isaacs and Manuel Family Band. His first inspiration in the country music scene was The Shenandoahs, but Garth Brooks really made an impact when he was young topping his list of musical influences. He mentioned the first interview he saw of Garth Brooks talking about his wife while crying. He said that his humility spoke to him. The Tracy Lawrence’s and The Doug Stone’s helped seal his love for country music.
5. His mom wrote him a two-page long letter.
Before he actually pursued his music career, his mom wrote him a two-page letter citing every reason why he should pursue country music and why he should go after his passion. That was the first time that his mom ever wrote him a letter and he knew she took a lot of time and poured a lot of love into that letter.
That letter alongside his family, friends, and co-workers pushing him helped him make the choice to try out this path.
6. He released Down On The South on February 15, 2019.
Down On The South was his second single, an ode to his high school years. The song was inspired by and advice Mark Alan Springer told him when he explained that he had been struggling with solo writes. The hit songwriter simply told him with a pat on the shoulder to just write what he knows. And from there, the song just came to life.
His Australian Cattle Dog he adopted from his friend (who found her as a stray) featured in his song’s album cover.
7. He wrote a song for his now girlfriend the day after he met her.
Heath Sanders had been single for over ten years before he met his now girlfriend. The two had only been dating for 3 months when she moved in with him in his house in Nashville. He says that he will definitely marry her, so this move-in after 3 months was not a big deal. Sanders knew she was the one and even wrote her a song titled Beautiful Like You the day after he met her. He also played it for her.
8. He would love to do a collaboration song with Miranda Lambert.
In an exclusive interview with The Country Note, he mentioned that his dream collaborations would be with Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, or Ashley McBryde. That is if he were to reach that level.
9. The first-ever concert he attended was Tool in the Summer of 2002.
He recounted that after the release of the rock band’s long-awaited album Lateralus, he attended their concert. He confessed that he was a huge fan then and until now and will always be a fan.
10. He just released his debut EP, Common Ground.
In December 2019, Heath Sanders signed his first-ever record deal with The Valory Music Co./ Big Machine Label Group. Common Ground is a four-track project co-written by Heath Sanders himself. According to an interview, it was kind of a sampler which showed a few of his different writing styles. He wanted to give it to the people and see what their response was for each song.
The EP includes the heart-rending Common Ground, southern rock style Old School’s In, the up-tempo love song Love Needs Makin’, and the emotional Can’t Undo I Do.
You can catch updates on Heath Sanders through his social media.