Country Next: Seaforth

Seaforth; Photo by Matthew Berinato
Seaforth; Photo by Matthew Berinato
Seaforth; Photo by Matthew Berinato
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Seaforth.

It’s not all that common for an Australian duo to break into country music, but Seaforth is already making waves in the genre with their hook-heavy songs, layered harmonies and quick wit.

Growing up in a Sydney suburb called Seaforth, the duo, comprised of Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson, met each other when they were just 3-years-old. They played on the same soccer field and eventually joined forces musically following a brief run as solo artists. After making numerous songwriting trips back and forth between Australia and the United States, they signed a life-changing deal with Sony Music Nashville.

With their debut single, “Love That,” out to country radio, it’s only a matter of time until Seaforth takes the country music world by storm. The infectious and romantic song is the title track of the duo’s recently released EP, which they co-produced with award-winning producer Dann Huff.

Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Seaforth.

Melinda Lorge: Can you tell us about your musical influences?

Tom Jordan: Being from Australia, our influence range is quite broad. Country music isn’t necessarily as accessible in Sydney, where we are from, as it is in the U.S. So we grew up listening to a lot of different styles of music. Once we discovered country music, particularly Keith Urban, at a young age, that was like a light bulb moment for both Mitch and myself where we realized that was the answer to the kind of music that we were making or trying to make.

Mitch Thompson: Like you say, the influence is kind of broad because of that and because of our upbringing. We were listening to rock music, then Keith Urban, then the Beatles and then more modern day stuff like John Mayer. It’s almost like a bucket of just everything in the world at once.

Lorge: Have you ever had the chance to meet Keith Urban?

Thompson: I met Keith back in Australia when I was 18, and funny story – not really funny. I try to hide it. But I actually went on The Voice in Australia, because he was a judge. I went on The Voice because I wanted to be on Team Keith. His team was full when I had my audition so I didn’t get to go with him. But I did have a brief chat with him, and he told me that one day he would buy my record. So I might need to just walk up to his house and hold it out and say, “Hey Keith, I’m here. Here’s the record, ten bucks.” [Laughs]

Lorge: You guys took a pretty big leap of faith when moving to Nashville. What were the reactions from your families and friends when you told them you were making the move?

Jordan: We both come from very supportive families that have believed in us and backed us this whole time. Obviously, it was extremely difficult leaving family and friends. You’re giving away a huge part of your life to pursue this, but [they] all believe in us, and I think they’re just excited for what’s going on and what’s starting to happen here. The hardest part for sure about moving is leaving family, but I think we’re just trying now to do them proud.

Thompson: My mom, she was so excited when I told her we got the deal. She was like, “Oh my god, I am so, so proud of you.” Then she started crying and was like, “But that means that you’re actually leaving now.”

Lorge: Do you still talk to her a lot?

Thompson: Oh yeah, we FaceTime every week. That’s the beauty of modern day technology. But, I mean, it’s not the same as actually seeing them [in person]. But we can stay connected, which is great.

Jordan: A video on our Instagram, if you do a bit of a deep dive, Mitch went back home last year and surprised [his mom] and didn’t tell any of his family he was coming home. He went back for his brother’s eighteenth. He surprised his mom, there’s a video of him walking into the house and sitting down next to her. She tears up, and it gets pretty hectic.

Came home to surprise my bro for his 18th and tested mum’s heart out 😅❤️

Posted by Seaforth on Friday, February 23, 2018

Lorge: That sounds so sweet! Tell me about your first few months in Nashville. What was that like and did you face any new challenges?

Thompson: Honestly, I feel like we instantly started learning things. Tom and I have been very collaborative with each other. Obviously, everything we’ve worked on up to this point was just him and I. It was more so an exciting learning experience for us. There are so many talented people here. I think it made us improve so quickly because of the caliber of people over here. I don’t think it was a challenge. It was exciting. It enabled us to share the load of writing the music with a broader spectrum of writers. It actually took a weight off of us, I’d say, and allowed us to focus on our actual strengths. So it’s been unreal.

Lorge: What do you guys do in your down time?

Jordan: I’m just like obsessed with music and I’m always trying to work on music and play guitar and just do different things. It’s funny, I should probably find a new hobby, but at the same time, I kind of like mine.

Thompson: I’ll come home from a day off and Tom will be in the studio for the whole day just working on something really cool. My pastime, which has kind of changed a little bit, but fishing was my main pastime back in Australia. Every second that I wasn’t playing music, I was out on the water. I’m trying to get into that here, but it’s different with the lack of ocean. [Laughs]

Lorge: Congrats on the release of your single! Can you tell me more about writing “Love That?”

Jordan: We are super, super excited about that. This whole thing is kind of surreal and crazy. We wrote “Love That” in Nashville with two of our closest friends,  Michael Whitworth and Daniel Ross. None of us are writers on a song that was a single at country radio before, so this is kind of all four of our first singles on country radio. They’ve become best mates of ours. So to be celebrating this and be experiencing this with not only great writers, but great friends as well is pretty amazing for us.

Lorge: What’s the story behind the song?

Thompson: It just comes down to, I think, everyone experiences this in the early stages of a relationship, where everything is up in the air and there is obviously a chase involved, but there’s something about that chase that’s so addictive, and, in turn, you just love that.

Jordan: It’s definitely a feeling that both Mitch and I have felt before with different people. I think it’s a pretty common thing to have felt. We try to write things primarily about what we’ve experienced, whether we’re experiencing it at the time or whether it’s something we can draw on that we’ve experienced before. I think that’s where the most real and honest or believable songs come from.

Lorge: Tell me about working alongside Dann Huff.

Jordan: It was amazing. Discovering Keith as an artist was huge for us, and then alongside that we discovered Hunter Hayes and Rascal Flatts and these artists that all led back to Dann as a producer. That was on the top of our list from day one since we were kids. To get into a room and work with him was everything we’d ever hoped it would be. He was such an amazing overseer of the project. We co-produced the whole thing with him, but he was really incredible in just helping elevate this sound that we were striving to achieve. I think he really understood where we were coming from and he didn’t overstep. We played a lot of instruments on the record and the guitar solos and everything. So he was really amazing at letting us find our own musical voice, as well as obviously a vocal voice on the record too. It was a dream come true for sure.

Lorge: Who was the first to pick up a guitar?

Thompson: Tom picked up the guitar first. He was maybe nine years old. I followed a couple years after that. We played all through high school together at various cocktail parties, teacher events and school assemblies, but we actually started writing six years ago and that was honestly, as cliché as it sounds, a light bulb moment for both of us. I feel like everything that we’d been trying to do separately made sense as soon as we came together. It was like just likethis is what we were supposed to be doing and the whole vibe of it was country music. Nashville being the home community for that, we knew we needed to come here and experience it for ourselves. So we just started doing trips and fell in love with the town. Now we are here.

Lorge: What has been your biggest success so far?

Thompson: Everything honestly just feels surreal, and it’s funny, because you set benchmarks for what you want to achieve. During our first trip to Nashville, we were walking down the street in East Nashville and we were like, “we want to sign a record deal and make a record with Dann Huff.” Then that ended up thankfully happening, so we were pinching ourselves with that. Now, it’s like we want to have a single on country radio, we want to go on tour and these things are starting to come together. It means everything to us. Particularly, not being from the U.S. is really crazy and surreal. We don’t take any of it for granted. We’re trying to just really take everything in.

Jordan: Signing the deal without living in the U.S. to move here has generally been the biggest moment so far. We were just two Australian dudes dreaming of coming to the U.S. Signing that deal, and allowing us to move over here was definitely the biggest moment so far, but we’re continuously just growing ourselves and experiencing new things every day.

Lorge: Is there any advice that you’ve received along the way that has really resonated with you?

TJ: I think the thing is, at the end of the day, songs win. You can have an amazing voice and all that, but you’ve got to have songs that people hopefully connect to or react to. I think that’s the most important thing. That’s why we’re so excited and lucky to be able to be writing our own stuff. To have these songs that we are writing on our project that hopefully, people connect with. I think songs are the most important thing, and to challenge yourself constantly and try to evolve but stay true to yourself. That’s again a cliché thing, but just believing in what you believe in.

Lorge: What’s the most memorable gig you have played so far?

Thompson: For me, it was last year, we played at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden with Kane Brown. Not only was it an incredible gig, and Kane is a great dude, and also puts on a great show, but it was also when things first started getting the wheels into motion for us. We put some music out on all streaming services. The show was amazing when we came off stage. From that show, I remember our Instagram numbers alone basically doubled.

Jordan: That was literally just the two of us acoustic. I think that the Hulu Theater show last year with Kane was like a big, big deal.

Fans can learn more about Seaforth on the duo’s website.

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