It didn’t make any difference how Zane Williams went about writing a song, it just came out country. You might say Zane didn’t so much find country as country found him.
And that suits him just fine.
“Everything I wrote just sounded country because I was telling stories that I could relate to; that other people relate to,” he said. “I believe that’s what makes a great country song.”
You don’t have to listen to Zane’s music long to recognize he reaches deep within his soul to pour out songs like, “Pablo and Maria.” But if you listen to his, “99 Bottles,” you also know Zane likes everybody to kick up their heels and have a good time on a Friday night.
“When I moved back to Texas I knew I was going to be playing honky-tonks so I figured I needed a good beer-drinking song,” he said. “The only beer-drinking song I knew when I was growing up was ‘99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,’ so this is my take on it.”
Zane nearly gave up songwriting the year before producing “99 Bottles.” He had moved to Nashville shortly after graduating from college and started chasing his dream to be a singer/songwriter. Nine years later, Zane was still cranking out songs, including Jason Michael Carroll’s 2010 top 15 hit, “Hurry Home.” He had other songs – award-winning songs – recognized for their craftsmanship and thoughtful ideas, but he was only scratching out a living. Time to move on, he finally decided, but then he got a second unexpected boost…
…from the real estate industry.
He enrolled in a seminar to learn how to make money through revitalizing entire neighborhoods then selling the houses. Helping people and providing a better life for his family; it sounded like something about which he could get passionate. On the conference’s final day, the presenters spoke about work that aligned with your passion. It reminded Zane of a song; one of his songs.
“I said, ‘Hey you guys want to hear a song I wrote about chasing your dreams and the difference between who you are now and who you want to be?’ I got out my guitar and sang this song for this group of 30 or 40 people, and when I got done they were like, ‘Why are you here? If you can write and sing like that, you need to go do that!’”
So he did. Zane packed his family’s belongings and moved back to Texas. The real estate conference rekindled the dream into a blaze, and he wasn’t going to doubt again. The move proved to be the best career decision to date, mostly because the simplicity of life found around family, close friends and hunting and fishing connects Zane with “what’s real in life.”
“It was wonderful to be back close to our families,” he said. “My first gig was at an open mic night, and I met a local DJ there who started playing my music that very week. I started making fans right away, and there was so much appreciation for my style of music down here in Texas, almost reverence. For the first time in my life, I started to feel the momentum building.”
The momentum has certainly picked-up. Zane has received consistent radio airplay on country stations across Texas that led to his first entry on the Texas Music Chart with “Ride With Me,” from the 2011 album with the same title. Zane is also one of the featured artists on Troubadour Texas, a television show documenting his rising career.
“I can honestly say I’m doing what I love,” Zane said. “And I’m where I need to be.”