By RACHAEL LONG
A Brentwood Academy senior is on the rise in his music career, having opened for country artists Sam Hunt, Kane Brown and Kip Moore. Now, 18-year-old Conner Smith has the chance to perform for one of his hometown’s biggest events of the year.
Smith will perform the opening set at the City of Brentwood’s free community festival “Brentfest” honoring its 50th birthday on June 15 at 3 p.m., joining other musicians at the festival such as Tim Akers and the Smoking Section, the Guilty Pleasures Band and Cruizin Keys.
Smith grew up in Brentwood, playing baseball, soccer and football on the fields at Crockett Park. Eddy Arnold Amphitheater is a familiar place where the Brentwood native has spent many summer days at the city’s concert series in the park.
Before attending Brentwood Academy, Smith was a student at Kenrose Elementary School in Brentwood.
“I couldn’t be more excited to add a hometown stop to the summer tour. To get to do a full band show ten minutes from my house during a crazy summer ahead is going to be awesome,” Smith said in a City of Brentwood press release. “It’s been such a blessing to grow up here, and I’m really thankful to have been asked to take part.”
While most high school seniors are taking tests, preparing for college and dreaming about the freedom of summer, Smith has been recording his debut solo album with Grammy Award-winning writer and producer Zach Crowell. He’s also preparing for a summer spent touring on the road for music festivals like The Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, the Windy Cindy Smokeout in Chicago, and the Country Boom Music Festival in Wisconsin.
Brentwood Community Relations Director Deanna Lambert said Smith will be leaving for his tour days after his graduation.
Smith recently signed his first major publishing deal with Nashville-based music publishers, Tape Room Music, according to information from the management group that represents Smith, Red Light Management.
Brentwood Community Relations Director Deanna Lambert sits on the city’s 50th Anniversary Steering Committee which was created to organize and plan the city’s 50th birthday celebrations. Lambert said the group wanted to include some local musicians in the community festival.
Because of his local origins, Lambert said many members on the steering committee already knew about Smith. She says this will be his only local performance this summer.
“I think Conner Smith is going to be one of those people that the community hopefully will be like, ‘I remember seeing him at Brentfest,’” Lambert said Thursday. “Because I really think he, in a few years, could become a big name musician that we all may know one day.”
As for Smith, he’s ready to perform in a place he knows well.
“I’m pumped to get up there and play for everyone,” Smith said. “My friends and teachers at Brentwood Academy have been so supportive this entire school year, so I know they will be excited to hear that a hometown show has been added to my summer touring schedule.”