Levi Hummon was born into Nashville's songwriting community. As the son of Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon ("Bless the Broken Road," "Cowboy Take Me Away"), he grew up surrounded by storytelling and songwriting. It was only a matter of time before he broke out on his own, but his new six-track EP Patient, out Oct. 26, proves his singer-songwriter mark will be distinct.

All six songs on the project were co-written by Hummon, and the Nashville native says they are a cohesive representation of who he is as an artist. With nearly 500 songs in his catalog, he narrowed down the selection to what he likes — what he wanted to listen to in his car.

"For the last two years, I have been writing and recording and on the road," he tells Taste of Country, settling into a couch at BMI's Nashville office. "I wasn't writing for radio, I wasn't writing for record [representation], I wasn't writing for anybody but myself. I just want to showcase the side of me that's an honest songwriter."

Patient combines Hummon's influences of country, pop and folk music. He also factored in his live show while writing the infectious "Songs We Sang," then stirred in heartbreak on the poignant "I Still Do." He calls Desmond Child a mentor (Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady," "Crazy") and has learned to not only sing to the people in the front row, but to the fans at the back wall of the venue.

"My inspiration behind a lot of these songs is, how can I relate to people I know love my music in a new way and bring them new music that they will enjoy?" Hummon explains. "We are playing clubs and it's like you're the opening act constantly and I want to limit the amount of covers I'm doing live. So, I try to make the most singalong-y stuff possible and generally in ['Songs We Sang'] we put 'Oh, oh, na, na, na, oh' as the chorus. I feel like the people in the crowd can probably sing along to that one."

Standout track "I Still Do" was inspired by a real-life romantic breakup and professional (label) breakup. Hummon split with Big Machine Label Group after the release of his last EP and says he channeled these events into the song, which he wrote with Trannie Anderson and Danielle Blakey.

"You can write breakup songs, but they don't always mean something to you. The song 'I Still Do' was like the nail in the coffin for that relationship. I was like, 'Now, I feel better!' and it feels really honest of what I went through," he explains. "There's a lot of heartbreak, but at the same I've been in creative control of what's happening with my team. There's something more honest about it because I've been an independent artist recently and going through that."

"I remember when I left the label, my dad told me, 'Now you can figure out how much you want it,'" he adds. "I'm going to go prove to everybody how much I want it and how much I love music itself and how much I love the process of creating."

Levi Hummon Patient
Courtesy: Paul Freundlich Associates

Hummon has been patiently waiting to release new music, and the title track of this EP, "Patient," is another honest song that shares the story of his musical journey. For now, he's slowly building a team of loyal writers around him to help him continue to explore his new brand as an independent artist.

"I went from writing with my dad and Desmond to actually having a Nashville family of writers, and I feel like now I've taken that same team and developed it and built it out and figured out who I love and who loves me and who's willing to go all the way," he says with a smile. "I have nothing but big plans coming up and hopefully tour my butt off and keep making amazing music. I love being out on the road and being with fans."

"I'm going to keep doing this until I can't do it anymore," he insists.

Hummon will celebrate his new music with an EP release concert on Thursday (Oct. 25) at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley.

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