He was born in Columbia, South Carolina on April 25, 1988 and gained an interest in music at a young age, uploading his songs online. He moved to Nashville in a bid to establish himself further, waiting tables in a restaurant and playing small gigs.
He attracted the attention of Dutch country act The Common Linnets, fronted by Ilse DeLange, who asked him to come to the Netherlands to write some songs. He is also credited with co-writing the group's 2014 Eurovision Song Contest runner-up "Calm After the Storm". After the departure of singer Waylon, he replaced him as the male lead singer for the second studio album 'II'.