By Brian Ives
The cover of Jake Owen’s new album American Love sees the country singer sitting in a VW van on the beach. As many of his fans know, he spent some time driving across the country in a VW van. (He documented some of it in his “American Country Love Song” video.) So it was no surprise that a song called “VW” ended up on the album.
But it turns out that Owen didn’t write the song; not only that, but it had been written before he ever took off on his triad trip.
“Well, it was a song that had been written a few years earlier,” Owen tells Radio.com. “I hadn’t heard it [at the time it was written]. But my buddy who is a songwriter saw that I was doing that VW van trip, he sent me an email saying that his friends had written a song that maybe I could use. And I thought, ‘This is perfect for the record.'”
A big part of the album is making connections with people, and “VW” helped Owen make a nice connection with the writers. “It was really cool because the guys that wrote it hadn’t really had a song on a record before. Now they’re on the map; one of the guys said that now he’s working on a publishing deal. So they’re really excited, and that all ties into the mantra and theme of this whole album, which is: when people are able to benefit from things I’m doing, whether it’s this song, or whether it’s someone who signed my van and got a picture, I was able through this whole process to connect with people in really special ways, and that’s something that I’m proud of.”