After releasing his single and first on Droptine Recordings, “Looking Back Now,” rising country artist Cody Hibbard is sharing the accompanying music video with readers of Country Now first in this brand new exclusive premiere.
Bringing the song to life, this clip captures the story of a romantic couple who seem to be going through a rocky phase of their relationship. The man in the relationship plays the role of a baseball player, who tends to make promises to his significant other that he can’t keep. Instead of following through on his commitments, he puts his team and friends first. In time and in hindsight, he realizes he should have prioritized his love life while also making room for the world outside of his romance.
Throughout the video, Hibbard can be seen putting the characters’ visual storyline into words with various performance scenes shown in the clip.
“Lookin’ back now / I’m the reason that the fire burned out / If anybody let anybody down, it was me / And now I see why she walked out / Lookin’ back now / It’s comin’ in clear and loud / Through the silence of this empty house / I bet she’s kickin’ up goodbye gravel on her way outta town / And she ain’t lookin’ back now,” Hibbard sings throughout the chorus of the song.
Hibbard, who hails from Adair, Oklahoma, spent years working on the pipeline before he began his career in country music. The talented singer/songwriter found that “Looking Back Now” connected to his personal life in a special way.
Opening up about his latest “Looking Back Now” track, Hibbard tells Country Now, “I did not actually write this one. A good friend of mine – we were looking around and shopping for music. He happened to be like, ‘Hey man. I think your voice could fit well on this song.’ I said, ‘Let me check it out.’ In the pipeline industry, you know, we travel so much to go to work, and to try to provide for a living. Whether you call it work or a dream, to just be successful, you know, the music industry is not any different, and that’s how I took this song.”
“The looking back now part was where we tend to go and chase dreams and do stuff like this, and sometimes we tend to forget other relationships,” he continued. “That song hits home for myself and other people that I know. And, just the power behind the song, I was like, ‘I’ve got to cut this song.’ So that’s how it came about.”
Country Now spent some time with Hibbard to learn more about his backstory and journey in country music. Read on to learn more about Hibbard in this Q&A below.
How did you begin a career in country music?
I began this career by stopping off at a Tex-Mex restaurant. I used to be on the pipeline. And, I stopped off at a Tex-Mex restaurant, and a guy happened to go, ‘Man. You don’t sound how you look.’ And, my buddy who I was sitting there eating with goes, ‘Man. You think that’s weird? Wait until you hear him sing.’ I only knew three songs, and they asked me to break the guitar out. I did, and I played. Then, they asked me to come back and play a show, like, a bar gig. And then I started writing music. That’s kind of how this all came together.
When did you first pick up the guitar?
I’ve had a guitar ever since I was probably eight years old. I never really picked it up until after high school. So, I never really got invested in it until probably three or four years ago.
When did you officially decide to quit working the pipeline to pursue country music full-time?
It came in phases, a couple of stages, I guess. We played our first full-band show after I dropped my first single, and I heard people singing pretty much every word back, and to me, that was one of those things where I was like, ‘Wow. This is a feeling that you don’t get anywhere else.’ I still was a little hesitant because I had such a good job, and finally, I guess, whenever I started dropping more music, I started receiving more messages from people saying, ‘Hey, man. Your music got me through the death of a relative,’ or ‘got me through heartbreak,’ or ‘Your drinking songs are what I jam to out there on the lake,’ and those kinds of messages made it to where it was bigger than myself. Music has always been bigger than me, and that’s where it kind of, in my mind, I don’t really have a time frame, but more or less, that’s when I decided it’s like, ‘Alright, I need to pursue this. I need to get it going.’
When did you begin songwriting?
After the initial bar gig, I met a guy. He had said, ‘Hey man. You have a good voice. Do you write music?’ I said, ‘No. I never have.’ So he said to give it a shot and see what happens. I thought, well, I have a lot of time on the road. I started piecing songs together here and there, and that’s how I got into songwriting.
When did you begin networking in Nashville, Tenn.?
I started coming to Nashville in 2020. That’s when I started co-writing with other people. I wouldn’t say I had to adjust because I only like to write about things I know and do, stories I know, or elaborate on stories people tell me. I would say, more or less, the songwriting process was learning how other writers write, piecing together, and honing my craft through writing with more experienced writers, so I guess, to an extent, I did have to grow in that aspect. I like to be diverse. I can write pretty much any style. It just depends on what day I’m feeling. Two cuts as a songwriter that I didn’t cut are honky tonk songs. Then I’ve got everything in my catalog, from rock to traditional to pop country. So I’ve written all over the place. I enjoy the writing process.
It’s funny how you mention people have pointed out that you don’t look how you sound. As a country artist with Asian roots, is it important to you to be a trailblazer in the genre?
Well. I don’t get on any of the race stuff that happens in the news. I’ve always said that, for me, I don’t know what other people went through. I only know what I went through, and I feel like that’s the best lane for me to always stay in. I grew up on a big farm. I’m a redneck at heart, and all I know is me, myself, and how I grew up in the country. If it happens to help that I don’t look the norm, I embrace it. I enjoy it. I think that’s why the show The Voice is so cool because the judges will hear a voice and hit their buzzer and be like, ‘Oh. Wow!’ You can call it a shock factor or call it whatever, but I embrace it. I’m proud of who I am and what I look like. I hope to inspire other Asian Americans or whoever. It doesn’t matter to me. It could be a Caucasian that doesn’t feel confident. I want to build confidence in people.
Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton are some country artists from Oklahoma. Did stars like them lay a foundation for you and show that it’s possible to make a career in country music?
My parents, my mom especially, put music into my life. I started on the piano at a very young age. It wasn’t anything I saw myself doing because it was one of those things where in a small town, you don’t expect to really do anything with it besides stay in that small town and work. I expected to weld for the rest of my life. With Reba [McEnite], Garth Brooks, and many of the Oklahoma artists, it was more or less a presentation for our state. It was cool to see. I grew up on a lot of the red dirt scene too. So it was one of those things where it was cool to grow up on. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t know I was good enough or it wasn’t in the books, you know, when I was a kid, music and sports turned into the last thing on my mind. It became more like, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ I went into the United States Naval Academy after graduating from high school. I thought a career in the military was going to be it. And, to me, I didn’t grow up ever thinking I was going to be a country music artist. It never crossed my mind, one time. I just enjoyed what country music was and what our state was, and I did more or less that.
What advice would you give other artists trying to make it in the music business?
The best advice I got when I started playing music was advice that I gave myself. It helped that I had a really good career going into this thing. I told myself that if I’m going to do this, then I’m going to go all in. The second piece of advice I told myself was I’m not going to change who I am. I think, many times, artists tend to forget they are an artist for a reason. They are supposed to be the creator for a reason. Keeping that advice to me has allowed me to do many cool things in a short time period.
What are three goals you want to accomplish in 2023?
The next three goals would be to continue putting in the hard work and time, and continue to do it because I do it for the fans. I would love to do bigger shows and keep dropping music this year.
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