Born and raised in Holland, Mass., Show Dog-Universal Music recording artist, Joel Crouse, penned his first song at the ripe age of 14, formed a band by age 15, graduated from high school by age 16, and signed a record deal by age 19. Now, at age 20, he has released his first single, “If You Want Some,” to country radio and iTunes on February 5. Crouse co-wrote the up-tempo party anthem alongside acclaimed songwriter Luke Laird (No. 1 Billboard singles include Blake Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone,” Rodney Atkins’ “Take a Back Road,” Eric Church’s “Drink in My Hand” and Little Big Town‘s “Pontoon”) and his producer Jamie Houston (High School Musical, Christina Aguilera).
“My life has definitely changed in the past couple years,” states Crouse. “I’ve been on the road the last few months visiting country radio, and that’s just been incredible. I’m very thankful.”
Crouse grew up performing in his father’s church, but credits his grandfather for introducing him to country music.
“We called him ‘Big Guy,’ and he lived with us while I was growing up. I guess I was 12 years old when he first took me down to the music store, bought me a guitar and set me up with lessons,” shares Crouse.
Crouse was introduced to Houston through a mutual friend, Brandon Creed (Manager for Bruno Mars) shortly after Crouse graduated high school.
“We began working on music immediately and knew we both wanted to make a really cool sounding record,” Crouse reflects. “Jamie blows me away every time we’re in the studio because his ear is so unbelievable.”
Houston notes, “I think what was most unique about Joel — especially being the age that he is — was how hard of a worker he was in the studio. When we would write a song, he would sing in the room as we were writing it but then come back a few days later and he would have it all worked out — all the lifts, peaks and valleys — and he nailed it. I think he has a lot to contribute to country music stylistically.”
“For someone that young to know who they are as an artist is really impressive,” says Laird. “He’s just one of those that has a natural gift for the songwriting process, and just knows who he is as an artist.”
Crouse spent 2012 road testing his music for the fans, opening for Rodney Atkins, Sara Evans, the Goo Goo Dolls, Toby Keith, and Darius Rucker and will perform several shows with The Band Perry in 2013.