By the time he turned 25 in February, rising country artist Jordan Rager already had a considerable career under his belt. The young singer amassed substantial popularity on YouTube with his traditional country covers, and his first single, "Southern Boy," featured backing vocals from Jason Aldean. Because he found success early, the artist says he's done a lot of growing up since coming into the spotlight -- and it shows.

"When [I first started], I was 21, 22, something like that. I had no earthly idea what I was doing with music. All I knew was, I liked singing," Rager explains. "So I think, after going through the ups and downs of the music industry that everybody goes through, I think I've got a much better grasp on who I am as an artist and what I wanna say, what I wanna sound like, what I wanna look like."

Since releasing his first songs, Rager has gone through a career evolution: He parted ways with his first label home (Broken Bow Records) and ultimately signed to Riser House Records in 2018. Through it all, the singer says that he's made it a point to hang onto the authenticity that has always connected him to his fans.

"One of the things that I've always wanted to be as an artist and as a songwriter is very open and transparent. And I think that's been my main focus with this," he goes on to say. "I want people to feel like they're getting to know me the more they listen to my music, and I feel like the new songs we've been working on really do a good job with that, both from the storytelling aspect, but also you get to hear all of my different musical influences."

While he feels most at home in country music, Rager goes on to say that fans can see elements of several different genres and styles when they listen to his new songs. "Country music is my first love and will always have my heart, but I've got a lot of different influences that range from pop to hip-hop to punk rock," he adds. "Not all the songs have elements of that, but it all kind of blends together in what comes out as my sound."