Singer-songwriter Johnny Dailey, an Alabama native who spent 10 years in Charleston before moving to Nashville in 2018, just dropped a music video for his recent single, “24,” with scenes interweaving Holy City-scapes of downtown and Folly Beach.
After being on the local music grind here, Dailey realized a chance of scenery was due, and so the family moved to Nashville. He ended up signing a publishing deal with global giant Warner Chappell Music and began scoring co-writes. Now he’s beginning to release his own music, including the country ballad “24,” with a music video that doubles as an ode to his wife as well as Charleston.
“I wrote that song about three years ago with Daniel Roth and Vicki Davis,” Dailey said of the sessions with Nashville songwriters. “We just got together and were talking about life. Daniel had just had a baby, and I just had a baby. A lot of life events just happened. We started talking about how if you only had a certain amount of time, who would you give it to? If we knew that tomorrow was our last day, who would be that one person that we would want to spend our time with?”
It’s potentially tricky territory for a song given its unabashed sentimentality, but the song moves well thanks to the classic country wordplay around the “24 hours” concept and Dailey’s easygoing delivery. As a performer, he’s been well-seasoned by his years gigging in Charleston.
“I was playing gigs around [the city] — on Folly Beach, in Mount Pleasant, downtown — trying to play any cover gig I could get,” he said. “I was mostly writing alone, just trying to come up with good ideas and hone my craft and learn how to write a song.”
With the video for “24,” Dailey worked with the local Thomas Brothers production company to capture the local spirit and character he encounters when he visits with his wife, playing up the romanticism of the lyrics with sweeping footage of the city and the beach interspersed with his own home videos.
“Me and my wife love Charleston, and she grew up going there on family vacation,” he said. “It’s the first little vacation we took while we were dating as well, so we’ve got a lot of good memories there.”
Dailey, whose previous single, “Burns Like Whiskey,” has already earned him some buzz, hopes to follow up these records with an EP early next year.