As if wrapping his head around more Nashville drama wasn’t enough, Esten was wrapped up a personal journey this summer, completing a challenge he gave himself to record one new song a week “until it's stupid” to keep going. That ended up being 54 tunes over the course of just over one year, which he admits meant he “probably plowed right through that deadline."
A big reason he was able to produce so much so quickly is that shooting Nashville keeps him in one place for long stints, whereas many of his country music friends are on the road frequently.
“I'm a guy that's wanted to do this my whole life. I finally get here and I get to do it... It's one of these things where putting the music out was the goal, so in that sense, mission accomplished,” he said. “What happens to my music, that's the future and is some sense all gravy. As it stands now, I get to know that my music is out there and a whole bunch of people bought it and they stream it and they listen to it in their headphones, in their homes. The fact that I can say songs I've written and produced and sang have become some small part of people's lives, I couldn't even tell you what that means to me.”
While many people would want to separate their TV character from their real life, Esten noted that Deacon actually helped his songwriting.
“He has inspired many, many songs. Because a lot of the times when you're writing a song, you're playing a character anyway -- not just me, but every songwriter in Nashville,” he explained. “I've been fortunate. Addie's healing itself is part of the many blessings I have, which includes this amazing wife, these wonderful kids, this life here. So, you can write songs from that happy-things-are-good place, but it sure does not hurt to walk around in the boots of a guy like Deacon every day in terms of inspiring other song."