Music Spotlight: Zach John King

Jun 01, 2024 at 11:58 am by Bethany Bowman

Zach John King is from Fayetteville, Georgia, a small town outside of Atlanta with a population of 18 thousand people. He got exposed to country music by his grandparents, but it was his dad who gave him a preloaded iPod shuffle that had everything from Otis Redding to Alabama on it.

King took guitar lessons for four years but soon realized he didn’t want to play other people’s music. He wanted to write his own. By age 15, he discovered he had a knack for singing and especially for songwriting and that was all he wanted to do.

King writes heartfelt lyrics inspired by multiple events from his own life intermixed with a genre-bending sound of country, Americana, and indie rock. His songs carry twist-heavy lyrics, memorable melodies, and heartache coming from an artist who considers himself "kinda country" pointing back to small-town life and love lost.

He started an indie band that played around Athens, Georgia, where his goal was to combine a rock band influence with old-school country. In 2022, King got really serious about music and moved to Nashville.

It didn’t take long for the industry insiders to notice King’s prolific acumen for songwriting. Music Row Magazine said, “The Georgia native's innate ability to pull acute emotion from a storyline and share it with others is seldom found in the genre today. It is only up from here from this promising young riser!”

The first song King released was “Just Missed You,” The song is about just missing her at the bar, and then missing her phone call.  Anyone who has experienced heartbreak can relate to the emotion of the song. Penned by King along with Lukas Scott, and McCall Chapin, the easy-going melody along with a subtle twang speaks to the push and pull of the emotional near encounter.

By the end of 2023, King was offered a publishing deal with the Boom Music Group (Rodney Clawson, Jacob Hackworth, Billy Dawson) publishing roster and signed for booking representation with the Neal Agency (Bailey Zimmerman, Morgan Wallen, Chase Rice).

Ahead of his debut EP, Wannabe Cowboy, King released the song “Anything But What Was” which is a true story of choosing a career over a relationship. He realizes that his dreams are stronger than the pull of home, but grapples with the challenges that lie ahead. It’s a story with no winners.

Released in November of 2023, “Same Song, Different Dance,” is one of his most popular songs to date. King stated, “It’s about a different kind of hurt watching her move on without you.” Many can certainly relate to that sentiment.

However, it is the title track, “Wannabe Cowboy” that caught my attention. “It was a hard song to write,” he confessed. “Being in the music industry can turn you into a drifter sometimes.”

He explains what he means with the lyrics Well, I ain't got a horse but I drive an F-150/ I stay away from fights in bars/ But I still love that late night whiskey/ The six-shooter in my holster/ Is a six-string in a case/ And my heart was born to wander/ But when I ride away, baby, I'll come back/ 'Cause you're the dream/ Of every wannabe cowboy like me.

Besides playing the CMA Fest on June 6th at Fan Fair X on the Spotlight Stage, King has been recruited to be direct support for Conner Smith’s upcoming Storyteller tour.

He recalled, “One night I stayed late in Athens Georgia to see Conner Smith play even though I had a co-write in Nashville early the next morning. I got like two hours of sleep. When I got the call to open for Conner, I still had his concert ticket stub saved in my wallet. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given me.”

King’s music has reached well over 5M global streams since October of 2023 and his fanbase is growing rapidly.

His Wannabe Cowboy EP is available everywhere now. The EP combines the influences surrounding his life and puts them into creative melodies about love and loss. “Every song is my story,” he admitted.

While Zach John King’s music has the pop-country sound that is so popular with younger set, it is his songwriting that sets him apart. With lyrics reminiscent of Zach Bryan or even a young Kris Kristofferson, I see great things in the country crooner’s future.

You can keep up with King on his website, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and all streaming platforms.

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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blogInstagram, and X.


  1. The Way I See You (Averie Bieliski, Zachary John King, Elyssee Yulo)*
  2. Same Song, Different Dance (Clara Park, Mary Kutter, Zachary John King)*
  3. Wannabe Cowboy (Zachary John King, Adam Wheeler, Scott Stepakoff)*
  4. Anything But What It Was (Ryan Wilson, Zachary John King, Tom Whall)+
  5. What Did We Have (Abram Dean, Tom Whall, Jessica Farren, Zachary John King)*
  6. Smoke On My Jacket (Adam Wheeler, Keesy Timmer, Zachary John King)*

*Produced by Zach John King & Ryan Wilson

+Produced by Zach John King, Ryan Wilson, & Tom Whall

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