Country music artist Cody Wayne will be performing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Ralph & Kacoos in Lufkin.
Wayne is from Henderson and is currently on tour promoting his newest single “Remember the Lost Ones” off of his new album “Bad Influence.” The song is based on Wayne’s time in the Marine Corps and his tours in Iraq.
“I never really talked about anything; I didn’t know how to deal with it,” he said. “With the Marines, there’s tons of help out there, but we’re very prideful, and it’s hard to ask for something and admit you need help.”
One of the ways Wayne was able to get everything off his chest was to write about it, he said. He wanted to write a first-person account of everything that went on, but as he got into it, the song took a little bit of a different turn.
“I got into it a little ways, and I got this overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame because I made it back to tell my side of the story,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who didn’t.”
With careful sound engineering and deeply emotional lyrics like “Now the bullets are flying and his buddies are dying, but the rest of the world they don’t care; so I ask you to remember the lost ones when you go and you order a tall one; they didn’t want to die, and that’s the truth, but they gave it all up for me and you,” the song is designed to bring the listener into the experience, Wayne said.
“Before anybody hears any of the words, I want them to be able to close their eyes and feel the wind, smell the sand, get the whole sense of it,” he said. “I’m so thankful we had such a good producer and engineer working with me because it took me a while to finally get it to where I wanted it to be.”
After the final product had come together, Wayne was dealing with another kind of guilt.
“I still felt guilty; I felt like there was a weight sitting on my shoulders because I felt like I was profiting off of others’ misfortunes,” he said.
Then an organization called The Boot approached Wayne, and he decided to donate 100% of the profits of “Remember the Lost Ones” to The Boot Campaign, a Texas nonprofit program that provides life-improving services for veterans and military families nationwide.
Wayne has won numerous awards in the Texas music scene, including New Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2018 Texas Regional Radio Annual Music Awards and Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year at the 2017 Texas Country Music Awards.
“Bad Influence” was released in March of this year, and Wayne describes it as a scrapbook of moments in his life. The album features 10 tracks, with five bonus tracks that have been released as radio singles.
While his style takes after a mix of Zack Brown, Jason Boland and a little of the Black Crowes, he said everyday life inspires him to write. “Bad Influences” came from a moment when his wife lost her temper at another driver at a four-way stop.
“I was just picking with her and said, ‘Babe, you can’t talk like that in front of a church house,’” Wayne said. “She said, ‘Well, I guess I’m just a bad influence, now, aren’t I?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, but you’re the best bad influence I ever had.’ We kind of looked at each other and said, that’s the next song!”
Wayne said he loves sharing his music with his wife (aka his manager/booking agent/merchandise designer/saleswoman/pretty much everything) and his four kids.
“We are keeping family first and doing the right thing,” Wayne said. “That’s the motto we live by. Hopefully we can keep making people’s lives better, three minutes at a time.”
For more information on Wayne, visit codywayne.com.