So, How Was Your Decade is a series in which the decade’s most innovative musicians answer our questionnaire about the music, culture and memorable moments that shaped their decade. We’ll be rolling these pieces out throughout December.
Not to give all his answers away, but there’s no better way to sum up Matthew Ramsey and Old Dominion’s decade than how he described the craziest thing to happen to him in the 2010s: “I went from being a broke songwriter to selling out arenas.”
Old Dominion began less as a band than a place for Ramsey and his cohorts — Geoff Sprung, Whit Sellers, Brad Tursi and, later, Trevor Rosen — to showcase the songs they were peddling around Nashville. It was slow going at first, but things began to click for them individually around 2013.
The following year, Old Dominion teamed with songwriter/producer extraordinaire Shane McAnally to produce a self-titled EP. In 2014, one of those tracks, “Break Up With Him,” was Number One on the country radio charts and since then, Old Dominion have notched five more country radio Number Ones: “Song for Another Time,” “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” “Written in the Sand,” “Hotel Key” and “Make It Sweet.” They’ve also produced three commercially successful and critically acclaimed albums, 2015’s Meat and Candi, 2017’s Happy Endings and a self-titled LP that arrived in October to cap of one of country music’s most remarkable rises of the decade.
My favorite album of the 2010s was: Maroon 5’s Red Pill Blues
My favorite song of the 2010s was: John Mayer’s “Emoji of a Wave”
The artist who had the best decade was: Taylor Swift
The craziest thing that happened to me in the 2010s was: I went from being a broke songwriter to selling out arenas.
My least favorite trend in music this decade was: The inability to reach fair compensation for songwriters in the streaming world.
The TV show I couldn’t stop streaming in the 2010s was: Game of Thrones
The best new slang term of the decade was: “Fire!”
The best live show I saw in the 2010s was: I had the opportunity to see John Mayer in Amsterdam this fall. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
The most surprising encounter I had with a fellow artist this decade was: This would have to be the moment I was serenaded by Tim McGraw in the men’s room.
The misstep I learned the most from in the 2010s was: I’ll just say, if you are suspicious of the people who are handling your money … look into it.
The best book I read this decade was: 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
Something cool I did this decade that nobody noticed was: Being able to provide 82,500 meals to people in need in my hometown and the surrounding areas.
The strangest thing someone said about me in the media this decade was: Being constantly mistaken for Brothers Osborne.
The best outfit I wore this decade was: The green Gucci suit I wore to the ACM awards.
The most “2010s” moment of the 2010s was: A reality TV star becoming the president.
My biggest hope for the 2020s is: One of my biggest hopes is that environmental issues are taken more seriously on all levels.