After having solid success as a pop songwriter/producer, Steven Battey (born in Savannah, GA) moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 2014 to pursue his love for country music. One would think with the credits he had under his belt, which includes winning a Grammy Award for his contributions on Madonna's "Revolver" record, the transition would be easy. Always proving to be an innovator with his talent and vision, his mix of urban influences and country roots were not as well received in the beginning.
During this time, while Steven was making his way in Music City, Cole Burkett was a 16-year-old high school student residing in Smyrna, TN. Cole had extremely advanced, raw musical talent for his age, but his sights were set on playing college baseball and continuing his education. The future of these two collaborating would seem highly unlikely.
Cole graduated high school in 2017 and turned down a baseball scholarship to put his energy into songwriting. By the time he was 19, he already had a strong catalog of songs and began getting some attention, eventually working with some of Nashville's top writers and producers. People were starting to notice the gift he had, not only as a natural songwriter but as a premier vocalist and player.
In 2016 Steven began working with a relatively new and unknown artist named Luke Combs. They would eventually write and produce the song "One Number Away" together. "The industry folks really weren't feeling that song at first. It was a little outside of the box for Country." Steven said.
"One Number Away" was released as the 3rd single from Lukes major-label debut album "This One's for You" and was certainly well received, garnering Battey his first #1 song on the Billboard Country charts and eventually winning the ASCAP Song of the Year Award in 2019. He also made history as one of the most relevant and influential African American contributors to current country music.
Always evolving, Steven finally decided he wanted to be an artist, but his goal was to do something a little different. He had the idea of creating a duo that could incorporate and deliver a natural urban/country sound, without straying away from what country music listeners gravitate towards.
Steven began the search in January 2020 for a duo partner and was introduced to Cole. After a few songwriting sessions together, the strength of the music was undeniable. This improbable pair became a reality, birthing Exit 216.
The summer release of their first single "Brother" speaks for itself. Exit 216 is more than a duo hoping to impact the music industry....They hope to unify and inspire listeners to also create change.
Management: Shawn Carnes, Shawn Davis and Elizabeth Brahan.
Click for more details
Christy Walker-Watkins - AristoPR