If you haven’t heard of country singer Ryan Griffin, we bet you’ve listened at least one of the songs he’s written — ever heard of Kelsea Ballerini and her hit song “Dibs”? His Sake of the Summer EP was released in March and has already racked up over 500,000 streams on Spotify.
Griffin’s new music video for “Back Seats & Burnt CDs” was filmed in his adopted hometown of Nolansville, Tennessee and will give you all the summertime vibes.
Here’s three things to know about the talented rising country star.
1. He’s a doting dad.
One-year-old Levi keeps Griffin on his toes and also influences his writing. “It’s a different level of love that you have for your child. I’ve always heard it and all the cliches are true. But it helped my songwriting for sure, because it puts me in a different mindset.” he tells PEOPLE. It’s that love and affection that’s going to keep Griffin on toes for the next 18 years. “I was drinking a bourbon the other night and he was sitting in my lap and I look down and his fingers are dipped in my bourbon and he’s putting them in his mouth.”
2. He’s got “Dibs”!
Griffin was one of the writers that penned Kelsea Ballerini’s smash “Dibs,” so he’s no stranger to writing hit songs. “ is so freaking cool. That’s how you meet people—pouring your heart and soul out in a writer’s room. There’s people scattered around Nashville that know more about me in certain ways than my wife. because when we sit and write, you pour your heart and soul out.”
3. His wife always has his back.
Every once and a while a singer forgets the lyrics to a song on stage, but Griffin’s wife Talia has his back — and the words. “There was one time where I just straight-up had a brain fart and I could not remember the beginning of a song for the life of me.” Lucky for Griffin, he had a secret weapon sitting in the front row. “My sweet wife was sitting in the front row and she knows all the lyrics to everything and I was like, ‘Baby, what’s the beginning of this song?’ She told me and we went on and everybody laughed about it.”
Ryan will be hitting the stage at Chevrolet Park Stage at CMA Fest in Nashville this June.