Bailey Zimmerman’s journey from blue-collar employee to breakout country star is exclusive. The 22-year-old Illinois native didn’t even know he could sing until he was 20. “I could all the time follow a melody rather well, but I never sang in front of no one. I just would do it sometimes,” he tells Apple Music’s Kelleigh Bannen. “My whole life, I’ve sang, I assume. But everybody sings. After I first began [thinking], ‘Oh crap, possibly I can actually be an artist,’ was in December 2020; I just thought my voice was really cool.”
During that month, the singer-songwriter decided to place a video of himself singing “Stay” by Black Stone Cherry on Snapchat, which caught the eye of up-and-coming songwriter Gavin Lucas. The 2 got here together and wrote the primary verse of “Never Comin’ Home,” which gained 1.8 million views when Zimmerman posted it on his TikTok. From there, he decided to show in his union card and pursue becoming a rustic artist. “The very first thing I did, I didn’t even exit of my room to inform my mom, I just called the union I used to be in and I said, ‘Hey, I quit,’” he says.
On his debut EP Leave the Light On, Zimmerman tells a story concerning the heartbreak, sadness, and anger he experienced while coping with a difficult breakup. Whether it’s about longing for somebody (“Waiting”), coping with the complicated emotions that include a split (“Trainwreck”), or letting go (“House on Fire”), each of the nine songs takes listeners on a journey filled with emotional, vulnerable, and angsty lyrics layered over rock-influenced country music.
With the rerelease of Zimmerman’s EP Leave the Light On, the Up Next star added three reimagined tracks (“Fall in Love,” “Rock and a Hard Place,” and “Where It Ends”) for a special Apple Music Session in Nashville.