Singer-songwriter Nolan Sotillo has had a busy year. After releasing a few singles and playing numerous Country Thunder music festivals, he’s released his introductory album titled At the End of the Day.
“More than anything it’s exciting. It’s been a culmination of the last couple years of hard work and dedication. I think everyone experienced a weird year in 2020,” he tells us. “I think a lot of times, as creatives, as artists, you know when we feel like we can’t express ourselves, in the way we best know how, the only other way to do it is to just write songs.”
The majority of the LP was written during the pandemic when Sotillo was quarantined at home with his family in south Florida. He specifically remembers writing the title track, “At the End of the Day” over Zoom with James LeBlanc and Brian Maher while he sat in the cabin of his boat. His current single “Run With You” was written at the end of 2019 with Rick Ferrell. Ferrell is a well-known songwriter in Nashville who’s penned songs that have been recorded by artists like Tim McGraw, Tanya Tucker, Montgomery Gentry, Martina McBride, and many others.
“From the first night Rick and I wrote it, it always kind of felt like a movie to me. For me, it’s imagining a character in a town, he doesn’t have anything else for him in this town and then he stumbles across this girl and they’re falling in love,” Sotillo says with a self-assured poise. The music video for the track presents the vivid storyline that played out in Sotillo’s head while penning the song. A girl and a guy (played by Sotillo) go on the run and never look back. It’s filled with imagery reminiscent of a rebellious, coming-of-age story; there are picturesque driving scenes, shots of suitcases, rivers, and roads, and towards the end, a scene at a gas station convenience store that exudes nostalgia. “I love that youthful energy,” Sotillo exclaims. “That young love is always exciting.”
When creating the tracklist, Sotillo made sure to include songs that showed off his signature sound that mixes country sounds with a soulful feeling. “I’ve probably written hundreds of songs, but for this project and in this time frame of my life, these felt right,” he tells us. “It was a proper blend. I wanted to introduce people to the entire spectrum of the stuff that I can be doing whether it’s the soulful side or the country side.”
One of the most personal songs on the album is track number five titled “I’m Still;” Sotillo wrote it all by himself and it was produced by famed producer Keith Stegall who also worked on Sotillo’s first single for the album, “Stop” as well as track number six, “She Did.” When speaking about the slow, smooth, acoustic ballad that looks back at a past relationship Sotillo shares, “It’s a true story. It was exactly what I was going through. It was my voice coming out.” He continues, “When you come to Nashville and start writing, it’s great, you meet a lot of people, but not everyone speaks from the same point of view as you, and a lot of times you get songs that aren’t exactly you as an artist.”
By writing “I’m Still” solo, it gave Sotillo a sense of confidence because everyone around him commended his work and told him it had to go on the project. “As far as the heart I wear on my sleeve, I’m proud of that song from top to bottom. Every word rings true.”
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