Rewind to 2015, when Crandall was still at Colorado Mesa University, and he was learning how to play guitar in his dorm room after suffering a shoulder injury that benched the college athlete. “I was honing my skills as a songwriter and a guitar player, and I started building an audience online. I would see someone was a fan of a certain artist and direct them to my own cover of their popular song. At the time, I didn’t know I was using social media as a discovery tool in the way we know it now, but I’d do that as often as time allowed until I had 100,000 followers.”That dedication to truly connecting one-on-one with Day One fans and new fans has stuck with Crandall ever since. He still won’t let anyone on his team take the reins and be his voice on social media. If you get a direct message from Crandall, it’s really from Crandall.”
With that exact purpose in mind -- and his parents’ blessing -- Crandall packed up his Nissan Pathfinder in 2016 and drove himself straight to Nashville. “My car was packed so tight that if you opened a door, my whole life would fall out. And I knew nobody. I found a roommate through the one guy I knew, and then I started going to writers’ rounds – asking everyone I met to grab coffee. I grabbed a million coffees that year I moved here,” he says.
He recalls finding inspiration from other singer-songwriters who moved to Nashville and were not overnight sensations. “Keith Urban had lots of things that didn’t turn out, but I admire that tenacity. Same with Luke Combs. If you came to town and got told ‘No,’ but succeeded anyway, that’s inspiring,” he says now. And things are different today, because of the way fans find music. “You don’t have to wait for the industry to let you in. You can build a fanbase by going directly to them, and always putting fans first. I still spend an hour a day connecting with my fans. People tell me everything.”
But country’s not all that influenced Crandall. While there was once a section in every music store for every genre, those lines have blurred. Songs from Nelly, Mario, Macklemore, Justin Bieber and more have all made their way into Crandall’s headspace and ultimately, into his music.
Running the numbers on Spencer Crandall:
Crandall has amassed over 200M streams across all platforms as an independent artist, with two album releases debuting at No.1 on the iTunes country charts. Crandall’s hit-song “My Person” has over 52M streams and reached No. 1 on
SiriusXM, and “Made” has notched over 19M streams, debuted at No.2 on the all-genre iTunes chart and No.4 on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs Sales Chart, and also made it to No.1 on Sirius XM.