Thomas Rhett Releases ‘Where We Started’: ‘I Am Very Proud Of This Record’

Thomas Rhett‘s Where We Started album is out. The father of four wrote all but one of the 15 songs on the record, which includes the poignant “Death Row,” and his duet with Katy Perry on the title track. Rhett poured his heart and soul into Where We Started, a surprise project after the release of Country Again Side A, discovering again who he was as an artist and songwriter.

“I still don’t think that it’s finished,” Rhett shared with Everything Nash and other outlets during a virtual media event. “I think as an artist, you never get to a point where you’re fully there, because I think most artists are perfectionists and overthinkers at our core. It’s just like any type of art. I wonder if when Van Gogh painted all of his many masterpieces, if he was like, ‘Yeah, I think this is it.’ He probably was sitting there going, ‘Is anyone going to like this?’

“But at some point, you have to have a team that you trust,” he added. “And I thank God that I do, that’s just like, ‘Hey, man, this is really good and this is finished. It needs to come out.’ And so at some point, you have to let it go and just let it do what it’s going to do … I think the over-obsessive part of that is what makes records of any kind great. It’s the intense detail that people put into that so that when the listener hears it for the first time, they go, ‘That’s what it should have sounded like.’ So I am very proud of this record. I’m glad it’s coming out. But I also can’t wait to keep trucking on the next one and the next one. That’s just how my brain works.”

Rhett loves how Where We Started sounds, but he admits it’s not a record he could have made earlier in his career, or likely without the unexpected — and unfortunate — time off of the road because of the pandemic.

“2019, I feel like was the year that I started to really just have a lot to say. Mid-2019, I thought I had nothing left to say,” Rhett shared. “And so, I took six or eight months off of just writing, period, because I feel like at that point, how else do you say, ‘I love you?’ How else do you talk about heartbreak? I kind of had a bit of writer’s block, if you will. And so I took a lot of time off, and then I had my dad on tour with me that year, and he and I were writing almost every weekend of our 2019 tour, and I feel like we were writing some of the best stuff that I had ever been a part of. And maybe it was. Maybe it was becoming a dad.”

It is Rhett’s daughters that he believes became one of the biggest catalysts for the songs on Where We Started, especially since he had so much time with them while unable to tour.

“I started to realize how much of the impact my kids were having on my creativity because you just hang out with kids for 20 minutes, and they’re coming up with ways to have fun,” Rhett said. “They’re coming up with adventure outside. My creativity was sparked by them. And then you get in a 2020 and then that was a forced year off the road where I think you either had the choice of, just watching Netflix or really pouring into your songwriting because I was definitely tempted to just sit there and watch Netflix, but I really tried to write almost every day of 2020.

“And that led into touring again in 2021. I had my dad out there, had a lot of co-writers out there,” he continued. “So between the end of 2019 and today, I mean, we probably wrote 300 songs all over the place, all over the board. I couldn’t handle sitting back and watching 190 songs just have to wait for four years to come out.”

Rhett couldn’t have made Where We Started any earlier in his life or career than now, making it his most authentic project to date.

“[There is] a contentment with who I am today at  32 years old,” Rhett acknowledged. “I do feel like I spent a lot of my career trying to be different for the sake of being different. It was authentic, but it was also like, ‘How can I push the boundary enough to where someone will notice that?’  And I feel like on Country Again Side A,  I got to a point. I was like, ‘What do I like to do? What comes naturally out of me?’ And it really is grabbing a guitar and writing. ballads about my life. But then there came a point of, ‘Well, how do I do that without being boring? How do I talk about being a dad, that can also relate to a lot of dads in the world, but also makes them laugh and makes me smile?'”

Rhett had to fully embrace who he was, in every way, to be able to write, record and release Where We Started.

“The challenge is still there to always be better,” Rhett conceded. “But there is also a part of me that goes, ‘I don’t want to chase anymore. I don’t want to try to be somebody else. I don’t want to try to be somebody that I’m not. I want to sit down and write songs. And if that song happens to sound a little bit off-kilter from the genre, then that’s what it is. But if it happens to hit the nail on the head, and that’s what it was, too.'”

Rhett has already said he will follow Where We Started with the second part of Country Again, an ambitious task that Rhett is more than ready to embrace.

“That is the reason that there is so much music coming out,” Rhett explained. “It’s not just because I’m just trying to put content out. It’s because these songs deserve a chance to be heard. Three albums in a year and a half is a lot. But I’m here for it and I’m excited about it.”

Rhett will embark on his Bring The Bar To You Tour in June, with Parker McCollum and Conner Smith serving as his opening acts. Find music and tour dates at