by Jessica Nicholson
“The gift and the curse is when you struggle for something for 13 years, once you get it, one you’ve hustled…for so long, you don’t know how to shut it off,” says “Freedom Was A Highway” singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen.
Though Allen has two No. 1 country radio hits under his belt, he continues to be one of the hardest-working artists in music.
Allen, who welcomed his second child, daughter Naomi Bettie Allen last year, recently detailed his workday during an interview on Coop’s Rockin’ Country Saturday Night.
“The baby’s letting us sleep. I start my workday about seven, and I work from 7 a.m. until about 3 a.m. and I sleep about four hours a night because there are so many things I want to do. There are only 24 hours in a day so I work like 19 of them,” Allen says.
He points to actor and comedian Kevin Hart as an inspiration, citing his unparalleled work ethic.
“I’m a huge Kevin Hart fan. To me, nobody hustles harder than Kevin Hart. If I can match his energy, at least half of it, let’s do it.”
Last, year, Allen release the EP Bettie James, and is already planning for two more music collections—one called Tulip Drive and another beach music-inspired album— in addition to a lengthy list of music and non-musical projects.
“I’m not a fan of album cycles, where you put our 12 or 13 songs and wait a year and a half and put out more music. Music listeners don’t want that. They want music now, because guess what—if you don’t give it to them, they are going to go to someone else to give it to them…you can see it in artists that can consistently put out music, versus artists that are still in that old-school album cycle. I feel like if you are a new artist and want to stay current, you need to keep pumping songs out—at least five songs a year, minimum. So I knew if I did do an album in between, I wanted to do shorter albums. We did Mercury Lane and then I knew I wanted to do a collaborative EP [Bettie James].”
In discussing a project titled Tulip Drive, he says he wants to deliver not a full immediate album, but four songs every three months. He’s also planning a five-song “beach album,” which he describes as “Jake Owen meets Kenny Chesney meets Jimmy Buffett, meets a little Bob Marley.”
Allen says his relentless work ethic stems from his years of hard work to reach this point in his career and his desire to help others in the process.
“I’m never satisfied, ever. There’s always room to improve,” Allen says. “There’s always more things I want to achieve…whether it’s getting the newest song up the chart, finishing an album, I have a publishing company now so I signed a writer. On the producer side, I just signed this country girl and I signed this pop R&B guy. I’m working on two TV shows right now, a movie, I’ve got a radio show on Apple Music. I wrote a kids book. I have companies back in [his home state of] Delaware, a septic company, a transportation company and a construction company.
“The more I can create, the more jobs I can provide for other people. We all have a job right now because someone had an idea. That’s ways I can help other people.”