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12h ago

No one forgets hearing their own voice on the radio. Country artists, especially. And even more so, country artists who are out of town.

Such was the case for Matt Stell, whose debut single “Prayed for You” was released earlier this year. Because it’s one thing to hear it on the radio in Nashville, but outside of Music City is a different story.

“I’d heard the song hear in town,” Stell said in a recent radio interview, “and I’d heard it back in Arkansas and that was great, my home town station.”

Then summer came, and Stell went to Las Vegas.

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“The one time that I heard it though — I felt like out in the wild — is when I was in Vegas this summer. I got in an Uber and it was on the radio. And I just looked to the left and said, ‘Ma’am, that’s me right there,’” he said. “She gave me a ‘no, it’s not’ look, and I gave her ‘No, no. That really is. I just had to tell somebody.’

“So, we had a nice little chat in the Uber. Kathleen, I think was her name. So shout out to Kathleen. I hope you’re having a great day in Vegas in your Uber in the line at the airport.”

Stell may have déjà vu all over again now that his follow-up single is climbing the charts. Stell wrote the tune “Everywhere But On” with good friends Paul Sikes and Lance Miller.

“I love that song and I can’t wait to get people’s ears on it. I can’t wait to share new music with folks, but I know that ‘Prayed For You’ is the reason that I get to do this stuff. I mean, it’s almost like a one plus one equals three thing, because not only did we write a song that we all liked, but I got to write it with some of my best friends.”

Stell is on the verge of his first headlining tour that kicks off on Jan. 24 in San Diego, and what he’s most looking forward to is seeing the back of everyone’s smart phones.

“It’s a function of how many backs of iPhones that you see in the crowd,” he explained. That’s how he knows people in the crowd are recording him. “I have to say that’s the most gratifying part of playing it live. My favorite songs make me feel the way nothing else does, and I wanted to make that kind of music and see people respond to it that way.”

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Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.

@alisonbonaguro