Photo Credit: Jim Wright
NASHVILLE, TN (July 13, 2021) – Aaron Lewis wrote a song out of his own frustration – and quietly put it out into the world. Having played it a few times live to an unthinkable response for a song people had never heard, he wondered if, perhaps, a lot of other people were grappling with the same doubts, same concerns and same feeling of isolation.
“Am I The Only One” dropped via social media on the 4th of July weekend. By midday on Independence Day, it was No. 1 and No. 2 on iTunes chart. A lyric video saw over 500,000 views in less than 24 hours. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and more lit up with people sharing, making their own and commenting on someone giving their own feelings voice.
Today, Billboard posts its Hot Country Songs chart – and “Am I The Only One” debuts at No. 1, marking Lewis’ highest debut as a solo country artist. It is also No. 1 on the Digital Sales chart and No. 2 on the Digital Sales chart for all genres, behind only BTS’ “Butter.” Even more startling, it is only the ninth time since 1958 to debut in this position, joining Taylor Swift’s “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” and Morgan Wallen’s “Wasted on You.”
“I wrote what I was feeling,” Lewis said. “It was something I needed to say for myself, to myself. I played it out a few times, and the response I got said I was not the only one. You never know, even when they’re cheering in all the right places if it’s the moment or something more. But I figured if those people felt so strongly, maybe more people needed these words to say what they couldn’t, so we put the song up very quietly… and what happened? I would’ve never guessed.”
Having spent the last decade exploring the kind of country made by Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr and Sr, Lewis has had two albums debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart. He’s worked with producer Buddy Cannon, recorded with George Jones, Charlie Daniels, Alison Krauss, Dan Tymynski, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson and tried to stay true to the kind country music his grandparents raised him on.
Standing up for what you believe is part of that, making “Am I The Only One” the extension of a dozen year journey through Nashville. But the song also caught the attention of leading conservative pundits from Breitbart to SiriusXM’s Patriot Radio, Newsmax to Fox News. With a soul searching “Am I the only one, here tonight, Shakin’ my head, thinkin’ somethin’ ain’t right/ Is it just me? Am I losin’ my mind, Am I standin’ on the edge of the end of time?,” it echoed with a sense of futility tempered with wanting something more.
“When you hold strong convictions, you often stand alone. It’s amazing to me how many other people have looked at their TVs, shook their heads or their fists – and felt like nobody understood how angry and unhappy they were,” he explained I had to write the song… and put it out… and create a space where anyone who can’t figure their feelings out can rally around this song. I don’t want to be the face of anything, I just want to give people the words for what they’re feeling.”
Evoking Merle Haggard’s “The Fighting Side of Me,” “Okie From Muskogee” and “That’s The News,” Lewis agreed to appear on Candace Owens’ DailyWire “Candace” tonight. Performing the song for a live studio audience – and doing a short interview, the reluctant musician is preferring to let his song speak.
“I am so much less than this song,” he explains. “I want to get out of the way, and let it belong to the people who feel this way. It’s theirs now, and that’s what the best songs should be. Send it out. Let them find their people. To me, that was always the point: don’t feel so alone in this.”
The Valory Music Co. concurs. They will be making the song available to country radio today, based on request from several stations across the nation. With an action date of July 26, the label supports the idea that the radio people who want to play this song should have full access.