I’ve been a Kip Moore fan for years. I can’t remember exactly what song or video first hooked me, but there was something inherently different about him from the other country artists I had been listening to. He is one of the most honest artists I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and our chats over the past two years remain some of my favorites.
The more I interview Kip, the more I notice his fan base. They are unlike any fans I have ever come in contact with over the years and by far the most rabid. Any time I mention I’m interviewing him on Twitter, I have several RTs and numerous questions from his fans within seconds.
It’s more than that, though. They have made some of my interviews with him into photo essays and are the first to reach out and compliment me on my chats with him. They’re a supportive group that I have watched in awe over the past two years and decided that there is definitely a story here. So, I pitched the idea to Nash Country Weekly and they loved the idea. I interviewed several of Kip’s co-writers and fans, but unfortunately the fan portion didn’t make it into the published piece so I wanted to share it on You Sing I Write since they are the ones that inspired this article. You can read my complete article in Nash Country Weekly. Below is an interview with some of Kip’s biggest fans and fan sites.
— Kip&The Slow Hearts™ (@KipNSlowHearts) April 23, 2015
“Passionate. Rabid. Loyal. Stubborn like I am. Gritty. Blue-collar.”
These are the adjectives that Kip Moore uses to describe his fans. When I ask Dan Couch, Erik Dylan and Westin Davis — three of his frequent co-writers — and four fans — Kristen Diotte, Kristin Hamlin, Linda Alberts and Twinkle Zaman — to describe him, the depiction is the same with ‘authentic’ thrown in several times.
Since releasing his debut album Up All Night in 2012, Moore has seen much radio success with “Somethin’ Bout a Truck,” “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl.” As he geared up to release his sophomore album Wild Ones however, the radio hits didn’t come as easily but that didn’t deter his fans. In fact, he says his fan base doubled in the past year without having a hit song in steady rotation.
That fan base is building as quickly online as it is the concert setting. Kristin Hamlin, the woman behind Twitter fan page Kip & the Slowhearts has steadily built a community of over 130,000 Kip Moore fans. She says she decided to start the page two years ago to showcase his character. In doing so, she’s met two of her best friends at Kip’s concerts and is constantly interacting with fans who travel out of state to see the singer live.
“They’re so loyal to him. I see so many people travel to Timbuktu for his show numerous times a year,” she says. “The people going with me to his Chicago show, it’s probably their 30th show and their 25th out of state show.”
As with any artist with celebrity status, there are some downsides to fame.
“What Kip does, he’s just got this thing where he makes people feel like they know him. He’s admitted that it’s one of his biggest Achilles’ heels. Fans get the wrong idea sometimes. He gets the crazies,” she explains as a recent Dr. Phil episode demonstrated.
“I think that’s why his fans are so loyal to him. He makes them feel like they’re a friend. He pays attention to them and you don’t hear that every day from celebrities.”
Part of the reason fans feel like they know Kip is because he makes an effort to sign autographs after nearly every concert, something he confesses he might not be able to do for much longer. But it’s this dedication that has the fans coming back for more, including Kristen Diotte from Ontario, Canada, who frequently travels to the States to see Kip.
“I actually left Lady A’s encore early to find the spot where he would be signing and there was already a line waiting for him and that line damn well went for probably two hours,” Kristen recalls of her first Kip Moore concert experience. “I’ve never met another artist with that commitment.”
Singer-songwriter Erik Dylan has a cut on Kip’s latest record called “Comeback Kid” and says the fact that he converses with, takes photos and signs autographs for fans makes that fan a lifer.
“The hour-and-a-half you’re onstage is very, very important but the time you spend after the show and before the show making sure people know that we respect them as fans too is very important,” Erik explains. “I see a lot of Kip fans who go to three and four shows in a row. You don’t see that in country music often. You see that in rock music and a lot of that too is because Kip’s show is a band that’s been together. The fans see those familiar faces every time. They’re not just hired players, they’re his guys. They’ve been through thick and thin.”
“When an artist can keep and gain fans it is a testament to who they are as a person,” she says. “If your music is good and it touches people, it doesn’t matter where it lands on the charts. It just matters that it’s good and your fans know it. Kip never gave up and we knew he was fighting for his music, so we never gave up on him.”
While Kip’s sophomore album Wild Ones was delayed, he admits he was in a dark place and had “every single fear that you could possibly imagine.” During that time, it was his fans that kept him going.
“You doubt what you’re doing because people are telling you it’s too left field. And people are telling you it’s not enough alike the first record and the first record was so successful and you’re gonna lose your fans and they’re not going to play this on the radio,” he explains. “To see the fans coming out in droves like they are and singing every single song from top to bottom, it validates everything for me for sticking to my guns. It was a hard fight.”
Kip writes every single song on his albums and this is a major reason why fans gravitate to him, because they know each lyric he sings is his truth and comes from the heart.
“He does it in a way where as you’re listening to his music you’re picturing exactly what he is saying and it just makes sense,” Twinkle Zaman, who runs Twitter fan site Bad Girls Want Moore explains. “It paints the perfect picture.”
And with that, he leaves his greatest mark on his fans. Kip’s songs are affecting their lives, some who say they depend on his music to get through each day. It’s a compliment he takes very seriously.
“It’s made me realize that there’s a lot more at stake now,” he says. “It’s made me realize I have a voice now. It’s also made me feel more responsibility in my writing.”
For my original article on Kip’s fan base, visit Nash Country Weekly.