Dillon Carmichael + Girlfriend Shayla Whitson Are Learning How to Be a Couple in the Spotlight
"I've never put out a song quite like this," Dillon Carmichael confessed of his newest tune, "I Do for You," on the carpet before SESAC's 2019 Nashville Music Awards in November. For one thing, the song represents an unusual approach to a love ballad.
"I like to say "I Do for You" is a tongue-in-cheek love song, in a way. It's supposed to be a little bit lighthearted as well," the singer explains. "It's dipping into '90s country a lot. The song sounds like '90s country."
It's also the first time Carmichael has really opened up to fans about his real-life love story with his girlfriend, Shayla Whitson, who co-stars in a special lyric video for the song. The decision to spotlight their romance felt natural, the singer explains.
"We were laying in bed one night talking about what does this song mean and what would this video be, and I think originally the idea was that she wasn't gonna be in it. Then we get a call from the management and the record label people, and they're like, 'We really think Shayla should be in this video,'" Carmichael recalls. "And it was like, 'Well, we were just talking about it.' We were at our house, on our land, built fires on our property, shot the video at home. It just really felt so genuine."
"We just filmed it two days after I got off work, and it was so much fun," adds Whitson. "You can really see how much we care for each other and love each other ... The comments on it, even, [show that people watching it] could get the picture. People were like, 'It seems so real,' and that's because it really was."
Carmichael and Whitson are beginning to learn what it's like to be a couple with a public following. Though Whitson says she didn't expected to be in this position, she's enjoying the ride.
"It's something I never thought I would be doing ever! I'm from a really small town in Kentucky, so this is awesome," she adds with a laugh. "A once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure. I'm excited to grow and meet new people in that community as well."
Carmichael adds that he hopes that opening up about his relationship will allow his fans to find new aspects of his music to relate to. "It's really cool to see the fans responding to the video," he reflects. "That's the end goal, for everyone to love it ... In this case, it's been all good, which is a blessing."
"I Do for You" is also the title track of Carmichael's EP, which also features the previously released "99 Problems (Fish Ain't One."
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