Luke Laird Chases His Dream of Becoming A Songwriter –– And Scores BIG With "So Small"
by Janelle Landauer
Luke Laird left Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania and made his way to Tennessee after he finished high school in 1997. Laird enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and after graduating from there, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry.
One of his early contacts in Nashville was a songwriter by the name of Bill Luther. Luther has written songs for artists such as Kenny Chesney (“Who You’d Be Today”) and JoDee Messina (“Was That My Life”). Luther introduced Laird to Chris Oglesby who was working at BMG Music Publishing at the time. “Chris was the first publisher to show a real interest in my songs," says Laird. "After playing songs for him for about 2 years, he offered me my first publishing deal."
During one of Laird's co-writes with Luther, Luther mentioned that hit songwriter Hillary Lindsey might be a perfect fit to help them finish a song that they were working on. "That same day (the first day we met), after we finished the first song, we wrote it so fast that Bill said, 'That was painless,'” explains Laird. “We then immediately wrote “Painless”, which ended up being recorded by Lee Ann Womack. That was my first released cut. Hillary and I just hit it off and have become great friends and co-writers.”
Laird recently celebrated his first number 1 single alongside co-writers Hillary Lindsey and Carrie Underwood. Laird, Lindsey, and Underwood co-wrote Underwood’s lead single, “So Small” from her sophomore project, Carnival Ride. “So Small” came about when we were talking about another writer (that Hillary and I know), losing his father,” Laird adds. "We were talking about how hard we work as writers, trying to get our songs heard and recorded, and how at the end of the day, your family, friends and the ones closest to you, are what REALLY matters."
The single, “So Small” went through many stages after Laird, Lindsey and Underwood wrote it. Carrie recorded it, released it as a single and then made a video for it. “The whole experience was incredible,” notes Laird. “Everyday I woke up I kept almost having to pinch myself. This being my first single, I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to have all the pieces fall into place. Everything from having the opportunity to write the song with the artist, to it being the lead single from Carnival Ride, to the video – everything. It was just such a blessing.”
Laird will find another one of his songs on the charts soon, as Carrie Underwood is set to release her new single, "Last Name" to radio stations tomorrow (March 24). "Last Name" was written by Laird along with Underwood and Lindsey again. The single is Underwood's 3rd single from Carnival Ride. Underwood's latest single "All-American Girl" was her sixth consecutive #1 single... so Laird has a pretty good chance of scoring his next hit single with this release.
A lot of songwriters can only dream of making a living doing what they love – writing songs – and Laird has already accomplished that goal. Laird is currently a staff writer for Universal Music Publishing in Nashville. “I hope to continue to be able to write songs and make music for as long as I’m around,” says Laird. Aside from his three cuts on Carrie’s CD (“So Small,” “Last Name” and “Twisted”) Laird also had a cut on both Rascal Flatts’ and Tim McGraw’s latest albums. Tim McGraw recorded “Put Your Lovin’ On Me” and Rascal Flatts cut “Help Me Remember.”
Laird invites everyone to come visit him on his MySpace: www.myspace.com/lairdtunes “And, to all the music fans, thank you very much, because if it weren’t you, I’d still be trying to chase my dream of being an NBA basketball player, a professional wrestler, or the next Tony Hawk. Pretty funny, huh?”
Songwriter Spotlight: LUKE LAIRD
Click on any photos for full view
Pic 1: Luke Laird standing in front of his banner at Universal Music Publishing in Nashville | Pic 2: Luke Laird playing guitar / working on a song
Pic 3: Luke Laird, Carrie Underwood and Hillary Lindsey at the BMI Awards celebrating their #1 hit "So Small"
All photos courtesy of LUKE LAIRD