Mason Ramsey launched an unexpected country music career after a video of the year-old yodeling in a Walmart went viral. Mason Ramsey stops dribbling a basketball to tell me something. He prefers video games to speaking with adults. He asks lots of questions. Mason insisted on playing full-court. Mason loves playing basketball.
I used to, yeah. I could always shoot deep. Mason looks up and takes a three-pointer, his first of the day. The first shot is way off, the next two attempts much closer. Tanner roamed the aisles of the Walmart before she came across Mason, dressed up in tight-fitting blue jeans, a red bowtie, leather boots, and a white dress shirt, doing by then what had become his well-established routine of singing Hank Williams songs in public for anyone willing to listen.
The next morning, she received a phone call from a relative in Texas. Within just two days, Tanner had received an offer to license her video to ViralHog, a viral video promotion and distribution company that scours the Internet for emerging viral videos and pitches them to a list of distribution partners. When L. Kang and Awad had no experience in country music, but one of their artists, Whethan, an up-and-coming electronic producer and DJ, was performing at Coachella in less than two weeks, and they had an idea.
The Ramseys were reluctant. The family had become inundated with requests and offers in the past week, and they were overwhelmed. It was less than two weeks after the video surfaced online and Mason had already appeared on Ellen, received a scholarship from Walmart, and been offered an opportunity to fulfill a dream he and his family had ever since he was three years old: a chance to appear on the Grand Ole Opry.
Coachella, on the other hand, meant nothing to the family. Neither Mason nor his grandparents had any idea what it was. Whethan was performing 2, miles away and the Ramseys were concerned about making it to Nashville in time. But after a three-hour phone call with Kang and Awad, the family decided to make the trip. He had that star power. The Ramseys agreed to start working with Atlantic and Big Loud Records, signing a high-profile deal with the label, with Awad and Kang as their managers. Golconda, located in Pope County, is much closer to Nashville than to Chicago, and the region has bred a slew of country artists over the years, from Nineties pop-country favorite David Lee Murphy to current A-list songwriter Kendell Marvel.
We got some incredible news today! By the time Mason could walk, he was already singing for crowds. Before he had enrolled in kindergarten, he was performing in front of paid audiences. Early last year, the first of a series of videos of Ramsey taking his Hank Sr. Those videos gave Mason enough local notoriety to earn an invitation to perform at the annual Hank Williams Tribute Festival in the birthplace of his idol in Georgiana, Alabama, in From a very young age, Mason Ramsey wanted to be a star.
Nobody ever expected it to happen this soon. But no amount of early attention and drive for big-time success could have prepared Mason and his grandparents for what was to come.
Yodeling was only a very small, highly specific part of his Hank Williams musical repertoire, but the Internet wanted Mason to yodel, more and more, and so Mason yodeled. He got on an airplane for the first time with his grandparents and traveled to Los Angeles, to New York, yodeling just about everywhere he went: in television studios, corporate media offices, on red carpets, at music festivals and radio stations. Meanwhile, back in their L. The phenomenon of Mason Ramsey in is a curious clashing of the old and the new, a mix of digital-age viral star and old-world country-music child performer.
He popped up in wildly popular social media accounts, yodeling along with Instagram influencers and eating Fruit By the Foot in sponsored posts on prominent meme accounts. All the while, Mason rapidly accumulated one of the single largest social media followings in country music, thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of his digital-savvy management team. As such, the phenomenon of Mason Ramsey in is a curious clashing of the old and the new, a mix of digital-age viral star and old-world country-music child performer.
His debut LP is tentatively slated for release later this year. As soon as Mason, who loves the modern country-pop of Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line as well as Hank Williams, heard the song, he knew he wanted to record it. Everyone in the music business is acutely aware of the dangers and pitfalls surrounding child entertainers.
In the spring, when Ramsey was traveling all across the country appearing at music festivals and daytime television shows and Nashville recording studios, his family ensured that he complied with the Illinois state law that required Ramsey to attend one in every five days of public school in order to avoid expulsion and graduate the 5th grade.
He does not yet have his own cellphone, and is given access to a phone to see select pieces of information about him, but, more often, simply to play Pokemon Go. This fall, Mason will be home-schooled by his aunt and uncle Ramsey as he embarks on an extensive national tour opening for fellow Big Loud artist Chris Lane.
Our three-game series has wrapped up, and Mason and I are shooting around. In a few minutes, he needs to head to his next scheduled appointment to film a video for another publication. The previous day, Mason was escorted through a screaming mass of fans waiting for his arrival at the MTV studios in Times Square.
Footage shows Mason wearing sunglasses nervously walking, head bent down, from his black SUV to the television studio, trying to avoid paparazzi and dozens of screaming onlookers. He is now sitting on a bench, reminiscing about his 5th grade basketball season for the Pope County Pirates the way a grizzled elder might wax nostalgic about their long-faded glory days.
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