Craig Wiseman is a mega-hit songwriter who has written several big hits for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Phil Vassar, and more. We had the opportunity to chat with him before his Stars for Second Harvest show kicked off. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What prompted you to get involved in this particular charity?
A: I started going to Second Harvest events, like me and my wife just at a table at some dinner. And you kinda get to know Second Harvest, and the lady that runs it, Jaynee Day, you get to realize that she’s not some high paid, over-paid executive in a skyscraper, she’s packing food boxes every day! She’s you know, it’s just like, man, this is the real deal, these people are philosophically motivated, they’re serious about it, and it’s just a really easy charity to get behind. So we help, write some checks, the benefit, I did some shows for them, and at some point they said, “Hey, we’ve got the Ryman…do you want to start doing this show?” And I was like, “Oh My God!” So, it’s all just really, really been great. The Second Harvest…I love Second Harvest. And they are so efficient and so good, I mean every dollar literally feeds four meals. So tonight we’ll probably raise somewhere in the $50,000-$60,000 range, so perhaps up to a quarter million meals tonight alone, I mean c’mon man, it’s great!
Q: Any other charities close to your heart?
A: Ya know there’s a few other things I’ve tried, a couple of international things I like IJM, I like Habitat for Humanity and all that, but we’ve kind of focused on the few, so we do this for Middle Tennessee Second Harvest here, we do Habitat for Humanity from Nashville, and then there’s the International Justice Mission that fights human slavery and stuff. So that’s kind of, those are the things we’ve picked out, so, that’s what we do.
Q: Do you have any special surprises for tonight such as special guests?
A: Yes! If you look at the pop charts right now, FGL has a duet with somebody, this fellow is a rather dapper young man, and rumor is he might show up, so I don’t know…there we go!
Q: Do you have any advice to aspiring songwriters?
A: Mainly is just write, you know, I mean it’s as simple as it sounds, it really is. Just write your face off, write! You know, somebody came up to me one time, I talked to a guy one time, he was a songwriter, he said, “people cut me all the time,” he said “I’m a songwriter.” And I go, “Really? Sing me a song you wrote today.” And he goes, “Well I didn’t write one today.” “Well sing me a song you wrote yesterday.” “Oh, well I didn’t write one yesterday.” “Oh, you’re a part-time songwriter!” It’s like, you know, I’ve had all kinds of jobs and all other kinds of other stuff too, but I still ya know, 2 o’clock in the morning, write songs…do it! Especially now, back in the day you had to move to Nashville, nowadays you can just put it on YouTube…look at Justin Bieber, he still hasn’t figured out how to write a song! He’s getting better I should say, at the writing a song thing.
Q: What inspired you to become a song-writer?
A: I was always, man, you know…I don’t know, music…I was playing drums before I ever thought what I could do with it, and I was writing songs before I ever thought what I could do with it, it just sort of felt right.
Q: Do you have any favorite co-writers?
A: I have a lot of great co-writers, I co-write almost everything and I have a lot of dear friends, brilliantly talented people. A couple of them tonight, Chris Tompkins and Rhett Akins, I mean I’ve got a hit, a top 5 with Rhett, “Boys Round Here.” Me and Chris have got Colt Ford’s and Jason Aldean’s single coming out, “Driving Around,” so I mean, those are…those guys, that I personally find, no shit bad-asses.
Q: Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
A: Yeah, I do. It was a Confederate Railroad thing, yeah man, it was surreal! I still don’t really believe it! I hear a song on the radio and it’s like, you look over and somebody in the car beside you is mouthing the words, and you’re like, “No way! That’s a setup, I’m getting punked right now!”
For more information about Second Harvest, click here!