All On Me

Album: Dark Horse (2017)
Charted: 52
  • Devin Dawson came into view when he filmed a mashup of the Taylor Swift songs "Blank Space" and "Style" with his Belmont University dorm mate Louisa Wendorff. They posted the clip on YouTube on December 23, 2014, and it soon gained popularity after Swift herself shared it.

    The video earned the Orangevale, California native a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell and Neon Cross Music.
  • This is Dawson's debut single, which he wrote his twin brother Jacob Durrett and his good friend Austin Taylor Smith at the latter's basement studio in Nashville's Antioch neighborhood. The trio had no immediate song ideas when they kicked off their session, so Dawson pulled up his smartphone, where he found the prospective title, "All On Me," which had caught his eye that morning.

    "I literally just started listing all these things for the idea of 'put it all on me' - you know, the burden, the weight, everything," recalled Dawson to Billboard. "We went all the way down through the chorus and kind of just listed things: 'When it don't add up you can count on me,' 'When you're mad you can put the fall on me,' 'Call on me' - all these things that are 'on me,' right? We just really wanted to explain what that 'all' was. We kind of, for lack of a better term, just kind of word-vomited it out."
  • Dawson cut the track with producer/Neon Cross owner Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town). With the help of Joyce, he signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2017. According to the singer, "All On Me" was a key song - maybe the song, that got him his record contract.
  • "All On Me" wasn't intended to be a single, let along such a breakthrough song. "It was just kind of a random Sunday," Dawson recalled to The Boot: "We had a thing where we wrote every Sunday, which my publishers hated. I would write all day, every day, and then I was supposed to take a rest on the weekends, but I am obsessed and addicted to songwriting, so I do it at all times every day,"

    "It just kind of came out," Dawson added. "It's one of those songs: It had the melody I wanted to sing, had the words I wanted to sing, had the groove I wanted to move to. It just felt good ... It's been a good time to see it have a life of its own."
  • Dawson explained the story behind the song in a Genius attribution:

    "This was actually the very first song we recorded in the studio with Jay. We ended up just jamming it out and re-forming the arrangement till it felt right. Like throwing a puzzle on the ground and re-arranging the pieces till it fit right. The song is lyrically relentless in a way – there's not much of an instrumental break anywhere – so we wanted to make sure the track kept building all the way till the last note. We wanted to keep gaining the attention of the listener by making sure each section had its own moment, and the groove was constantly evolving the whole time – without seeming out of place. It was a really awesome first day of recording that set a great tone for the rest of the record and the recording process."
  • Asked by Billboard if there is a line in the song that stands out as one that people are especially connecting to, Dawson replied:

    "For me, it was just one of those 'We're gonna be songwriters here' songs. The whole chorus is this really clever poem, and I just really love the line 'When it don't add up, you can count on me.' It's just such a simple but clever turn of phrase that we like to do in country music a lot. It's got a little cool hook melody to it.

    One other line that I like comes at the end of the bridge where it talks about you can bet your life on me, like you can put it all on me. It's kinda this underlying thing, you know, when you're going to play roulette and you're like 'put it all on black' or whatever. It's got this kinda underlying gambling thing."
  • Though Devin Dawson loves writing love songs, he was single when he penned this tune along with a lot of the others on Dark Horse.

    "It's crazy how sometimes when you put something into the universe, it comes back," he told Taste of Country of putting the "All on Me" lyrics in song. I've been lucky to find love, and it's cool to hear these songs in a different light having somebody else to share it with instead of putting myself in somebody else's shoes."
  • Devin Dawson explained to ABC Radio why he shot the music video in a prison. "You know the song is like, when the world gets you down, I'll be there for you," he said. "So [it's] kinda this apocalyptic setting of the end of the world and this guy and this girl."

    "There's three characters: me, a girl, and the prison," Dawson continued. "The prison is a character in and of itself. And director Justin Clough did an amazing job kind of mirroring that with this upbeat love song. And they just work really well together I think."

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