Credit: David Colón

NASHVILLE, TN (December 7, 2020) – Naming the Louisiana native to their coveted Next Big Thing Class of 2021, industry trade MusicRow Magazine enthuses, “20-year-old guitar slinger Payton Smith is on the fast track to stardom.” The annual list features 11 artists who have broken through the genre’s ever-evolving format with unique sounds and are featured in the 2021 Touring Issue print magazine, out now.

Layering vivid imagery over propelling tones, the CMT 2020/2021 Listen Up artist is today releasing a behind-the-scenes glimpse at his “What It Meant To Lose You” video, featuring TikTok phenom Jay Sage aka @imthejay. Watch clips from the set here.

Payton shares more of his story and personality with a new, five-part web series called Outdoors with Payton. Explore episodes 1 and 2 with the next clips coming December 16, January 6 and January 20 at 3:00P CT.

As MusicRow notes Payton’s self-titled EP (Big Machine Records) “shows off a mix of solid songs, youthful charm and his killer skills as a multi-instrumentalist.” Playing every part on each track just like his favorite guitar icons across the sonic landscape, the project has amassed over 30 million streams worldwide. Certain that his peers have equally varied musical tastes, the rising star brings a hybrid of his influences to the genre – every bit as much a fan of Pearl Jam and John Mayer as he is Clint Black and George Strait. With his It Started With A Song series Payton has covered some of the artists who have indirectly shaped his sound and showmanship. Enlisting him as one of 2020’s Hottest Country Artists Under 25, Taste of Country praises how his “raw talent, authenticity and strong work ethic are bound to bring him country music success for many, many years.”

For the latest information and more, visit and follow @thepaytonsmith on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/TikTok.