Like many young talents that move to Nashville seeking stardom as a country music artist only to find themselves roped in and caught up in the songwriters legion of Music City, Brian Callihan’s story is a familiar one, but (pun intended) he is still very much writing it. He left his little hometown in rural southern Georgia with ambitious designs on Nashville and spent years on a tight rope in a balancing act between his need for the stage and the demands of a published songwriter. As a kid he was able to do this with greater ease because a tough childhood and the lack of contentment at home made plenty of room for the pursuit of escapism...and that’s what music was for him. He was already well into writing songs at the age of 12, and by the time he was 16, Callihan was a local hotshot playing 2-hour sets in bars, venues and at house parties. The scope of his original songs at such a ridiculously young age, and his unflinching presence on stage brought him constant notice. So, after several more years of honing his stage craft, he finally packed up and headed to Nashville at the age of 21.
The key to setting up community in Nashville is to find your “group” of people to write with, and for Callihan, it was making those songwriting bonds with Josh Martin and Cole Swindell. Though his living arrangements were rather spartan, calling a friend’s shed his home, he wrote every day, built up both his catalog and connections, and two years later in 2011, he signed his first publishing deal with Better Angels. Now, the proud renter of a full blown house, Callihan is shoulder to shoulder writing songs with folks who have basked in the golden light of a #1 hit. He hits the pavement running with a few of his songs put on hold for Scotty McCreery, Dustin Lynch and Dierks Bentley. Though he never had intentions of moving to Nashville to be a songwriter for other artists, his knack for it kept that path under his feet. His songs have been recorded by several artists including Cole Swindell, Dylan Scott, Trent Tomlinson, Halfway To Hazard and many others. Callihan also snagged a coveted spot at the Key West Songwriters Festival, and debut performance at the CMA Music Festival. Over the course of nearly a decade Callihan has had a total of five publishing deals, and while his love for writing songs burns bright, his clamorous need to be “the artist” burns with even greater force.
In early 2020, he began working on his debut album and in the fall released the first single “Broke It Down”. The song hit home with music critics as American Songwriter deemed Callihan "a firm fit within today's contemporary country confines". Parade Magazine goes on to say, "Broke It Down" captures country heartache in a beautiful song". The single also faired well at Country Radio as the song hit # 41 on Billboard Country Indicator. His debut main stream radio release is coming in the Spring of 2022; the song is titled "Same Thing She Told Me" and is another song co-written by Callihan himself.
With his pen, with his guitar, with his voice, and also behind the controls, his brand of country music is 100% him from start to finish.