As the son of hit country singer/songwriter Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett says that though his father never pushed him toward it, country music “was kinda like Destiny was knocking on [my] door. [I] just never went to the door to answer it.”
Thomas would come home from school and see his dad hard at work on new songs with fellow writers. Eventually, he joined them – Thomas’ first songwriting session was a nerve-wracking one with his father and heavyweight Bobby Pinson (Toby Keith, Sugarland).
“You know, those two guys are now BMI Songwriters of the Year and have both had huge hits, and for that to be my first experience as a ‘professional songwriter’ was a pretty intimidating experience.
Thomas gained notoriety when Jason Aldean included “I Ain’t Ready to Quit,” a track he co-wrote, on Aldean’s smash album My Kinda Party.
While the apple may not fall far from the tree when it comes to songwriting, Thomas’ debut single as a performer, “Something to Do with My Hands,” leans more on rock’n’roll than his father’s straight-ahead country music.
Thomas says writing the song came easily:
“You know, as a songwriter you pray for those days where everybody clicks and everybody’s just kinda on lyrically and melodically. We wrote that song in about an hour and then we work taped it and we went and demoed it and I lived with it for a couple weeks and I still liked it after a couple weeks and that's kinda how I knew I had something cool. I think it really just opens up doors to kinda tell people about who I am a little bit and kinda show off my sense of humor and the kind of person I am.”
His sense of humor is evident in lyrics outlining all the things he could do with his hands until the sly chorus:
So maybe I could stick ‘em in your pockets
Run ‘em through your hair
And we can get to rockin’
There you are and baby, here I am
And I need something to do with my hands
Thomas Rhett may only be 22 years old but with a country music pedigree and a steadily-rising debut, the future will give him a lot more to do with his hands.