Interview: Rising country star Matt Stell talks unexpected success and his Opry debut at BBVA Music Sessions
AXS YouTube

Arkansas native singer-songwriter Matt Stell has been releasing his own music and writing for other artists since 2010. A pivotal shift in his creative journey began when he moved to Nashville in 2014.

Once in Music City, he continued his quest to forge a successful country music career. The stars aligned for him last year when his debut single “Prayed For You” enjoyed chart-topping success. Stell co-wrote the track with Ash Bowers and Allison Veltz. It hails from his 2019 debut EP, Everywhere But On.

Though they were proud of the track, Stell and his co-writers weren’t sure how the song would do. They definitely didn’t expect its breakout success.

Stell talked about the song’s trajectory in an AXS interview during his recent BBVA Music Sessions performance in Denver. Initially, “Prayed For You” garnered streaming success which led to shooting a music video. After landing a major record deal, the song topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

“It was nothing like what I expected or planned for or anything,” Stell told AXS. “It was pretty surreal. It’s still pretty surreal.”

The unexpected series of events enabled him to live out his dream of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. The milestone moment was much sweeter when lots of family and friends turned out to watch him make his Opry debut.

“That was a really special moment,” Stell said. “That’s something I’ll always remember. Not only getting to play the Opry and stepping into the circle where all my heroes stepped into. But also having so many people make the trip to share that moment with me really means a lot. I’ll never forget it.”

Watch Matt Stell’s entire interview above.