After college, Kip Moore grabbed a backpack, a surfboard and a buddy and headed to Hawaii on a whim. After crashing on an airport bench the first night, the guys lucked into finding a "little hut" that rented for a meager $50 a month — and that was Moore's home for six months, until his friend convinced him to give songwriting a go.
"For years, I have been searching for the missing link between blue-collar rock and country music," says respected journalist and music historian Robert K. Oermann. "This year, I think I have heard it. His name is Kip Moore. There is a fiery, urgent intensity in his voice. His lyrics vibrate with conviction and true grit. The melodies have gripping, heart-in-throat passion. And the roaring, propulsive performances on his debut album sound like signposts on the highway to some Southern-fried 'Born to Run.' Dare I say it? This man might just be the hillbilly Springsteen."
Moore, who has a hand in writing all of his music, doesn't want to depict an impossible-to-attain, fairy-tale version of love.
"I am drawn to the real-life experiences between a woman and a man," he explains on his website. "I try to sing about the way it is, but at the same time, what you can hope for between a couple."
He may have come back from Hawaii, but he still hits the surf whenever he can.
"I just took a surfing trip to Folly Beach [South Carolina]," he told The Boot. "I've got a buddy that lives over there, and I surfed for five days and had a blast. I'm going to do some surfing in Mexico this winter."
Moore, who played point guard for Wallace State's basketball team and played on a golf scholarship at Valdosta State, also enjoys rock climbing.
Who doesn't love a guy who shares? In addition to writing hits for himself, Moore spreads his songwriting love around. He co-wrote the songs "All the Way" and "Let's Fight" on Thompson Square's debut album, and he co-wrote James Wesley's single "Walking Contradiction."
Last year, Moore was flying high. He was about to start touring with Billy Currington, and his hit single "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" was burning up the airwaves. And then...
"I sang a few shows while I had strep throat," he admits in an interview with The Boot. "I kept pushing, and then my vocal cord popped one night and it started hemorrhaging."
Ouchie! But don't worry — he's all better now.
Since the release of Moore's single "Hey Pretty Girl," fans have been using it for grand romantic gestures like proposing — which makes sense, because Moore wrote the song after watching his guitar player, Dave Lapsley, change through love.
"It came from a place of me watching Dave in the early stages of changing his life," elaborates Moore. "He was pretty wild. Then I watched him settle down, and now I watch him Skype with his wife and baby every night."
For better or for worse, women are drawn to bad boys — and Moore definitely has an edge. When it comes to writing his music, the country boy throws the rulebook out the window.
Of writing "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" with his buddies and worrying about the typical songwriting formulas, he tells Taste of Country, "Well, we were more like, 'F*** it. Yeah we can. We'll do it how we wanna do it, you know?'"
"I lived that song 5,000 times growing up," the Tifton, Georgia, native says. "When you are from a small town like I am, there's not a whole lot to do. You have to make your own fun, and there's a whole lot of sitting in fields, and a whole lot of Bud Light and fishing poles. It's real hot in South Georgia, so all of the girls were wearing sundresses. It was all you needed back then — a truck bed, a radio, and good company with you."
Whereas Moore avoided settling down in the past, he's primed and ready now.
"For the longest time, I feel like I've been trying to dodge it because I've been so focused on my music," he divulges to Taste of Country. "But I'm actually starting to look forward to it now. I think that's how we were all created. We want to go through life with somebody."
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