Nashville hotshot, Willy Cobb talks about his latest single ‘Cigarette Smell’, his knack for witty lyrics, and going on tour with The Cadillac Three.

Willy Cobb doesn’t care what other people think. He’s slick. He speaks his mind, no matter the repercussions. It’s that punk attitude that makes his music so appealing. Doubling down on his blend of hometown-pride and gutsy persona, his music is a perfect recipe for a headbang, interplaying alternative with rock to create a crash course in punchy soundscapes brimming with lyrics that read like an internal monologue.


Growing up in rural Georgia, you could often find Willy Cobb doing two things: riding dirt roads or putting his attentive hand to growing his family’s corn. If he wasn’t tearing up dirt tracks or channelling his inner farmer, he was swooning over his dad’s best friend’s array of burnt CDs. Featuring alternative veterans, such as the Pixies, Nirvana and Radiohead, listening to such trailblazers ignited his fire to start to shake up the alternative scene with his tongue-in-cheek candour.


Releasing his debut track last month, ‘Cigarette Smell’, the single sees Willy Cobb at his best. Poking fun at people who say they hate cigarettes but love to vape, the track is a feel-good story about two people who are complete opposites who come together in harmony as the track draws to a close. Blending alt-rock with country and folk tinges, the acoustic strumming of the guitar sets the spellbinding rhythm as crashing drums swoop the soundscape as the chorus plays out. Laced with edgy electric guitar solos that hold Willy’s demanding vocals, the track sees Willy kick off his artistry with a bang as he gears up to his album release sometime later this year.


As he sets off embarking on a North American tour with The Cadillac Three later this spring, we sit down with the punk rocker to talk latest single, ‘Cigarette Smell’, his knack for whipping up witty lyrics, and what’s next.

Congrats on ‘Cigarette Smell’. How does it feel to have it released to the world?

I’m so stoked to finally have it out in the world! I first wrote the song with my cousin Brent Cobb back in fall of 2021, recorded it in the fall of 2022, and now finally have it out Spring 2024!

We hear your unpretentious style come into play as you serve up intriguing imagery with interesting lyrics. What was the meaning behind the track?

I mean, it’s just poking a bit of fun at the people who say they hate cigarettes but love to vape, but it’s also a feel-good story of two people who are complete opposites coming together in harmony towards the end.

The track is a blend of alt-rock and indie with country and folk tinges woven into the track. How did you approach bringing all these different sounds together?

Really I approached with the idea of it being an alt rock thing. The country part of it is that it’s me. I was raised country and that’s something that you just can’t hide no matter how hard you try. I make alt rock music, but myself as a person is a country boy.

Tell us a bit about your creative process when crafting a track. How do you approach song writing?

I definitely like to start off with the chords and song structure first before ever putting lyrics down. I typically like to find some chords kind of freestyle and mess around with different vocal melodies, and then when I find a line that sticks, I write it down and go from there.

Talk to us about your upbringing. How did your childhood memories growing up in Georgia shape your artistry today?

I grew up in a very rural setting, my whole family lived on a homestead of about 50-100 acres that my great grandfather bought in 1933 with his backpay that he got for serving in France during WW1. I grew up riding dirtroads and growing corn just like everyone before me had, it was really a blessing to grow up in such a laidback environment. It definitely had a huge impact on my country side of things, but I remember Joel, my dad’s best friend from high school, giving me burnt CDs of albums like Doolittle by Pixies, In Utero by Nirvana, and OK Computer by Radiohead , to listen to while riding dirtroads in my 1992 jeep Cherokee,which really peaked my interest in the whole alternative scene.

You’ve produced and co-written with the likes of country singer Brent Cobb and The Cadillac Three leader Jaren Johnston, what was it like working with these artists?

It was really a huge privilege to work with some of the best in the business. My cousin Brent is the really the one that kickstarted this whole Willy Cobb project. It’s been amazing to have both of them working together on my stuff because Jaren really gets what I’m wanting to do with the heavy distant guitar tones, and Brent is a literal lyrical genius , helping me every step of the way with witty lyrics and catchy hooks.

We’re spending a day together in Nashville. What’s going down?

First off, we should definitely stop by High Class Hillbillies and Music City Vintage to check out the coolest fits. Next, we would have to stop by Dino’s and grab a classic Dino’s burger, then of course, stop by Basement East to catch a cool show, then finish up at Lakeside Lounge with a game of billiards and an ice-cold $3 Frosty beer. Definitely the whole East Nashville experience.

You’re going on tour with The Cadillac Three later this Spring around North America. How are you feeling about it?

I’m so grateful for the guys allowing me to come out and tour with them! It’s great getting to see them again, because oddly enough I used to sell merch for them for a few dates before my own tour! Not to mention Jaren produced the whole record , so its good to be able to hang and learn from the best!

What’s next for Willy Cobb? Anything you want to nail down in 2024?

The next move for 2024 is to finally get the whole album released, and to nail down some shows for the most experience I could use! Cig Smell is just the first of many ear worm songs I have coming out!

Listen to 'Cigarette Smell' now: