In fact, he’s built an entire career on being authentically himself and apologizing to no one for it. While it can be a polarizing character trait, a true “love it or hate it” situation, he doesn’t give a shit and that’s exactly what resonates with his uber-dedicated fan base.
If you want an example, I’ve got a good one for ya. He told the story to ESPN NASCAR reporter Marty Smith back in 2018, and it might be the most Kip Moore thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
They covered a wide variety of topics, like Kip’s innate knack for songwriting, making it in Nashville, and the time he walked off set with a six-figure pay out for some promotional gig because it was too “cheesy”.
The story goes like this:
“A long time ago, and this is when I wasn’t high rolling in the dough but some things were poppin’, I was a hot commodity at the time, and there was a really massive brand that wanted me to come do this kinda roll out kinda thing.”
Seems innocent enough I guess.
“All I know is it got pitched to me one way, um, that sounded kinda cool. They put me up in a five-star plus resort, which is never really my thing but I enjoyed it while I was there. But I get there, and it’s a 20-25 person crew, I mean there’s a lot of people that are gettin’ paid to be there.
And I show up and it’s a pretty big, first off a pretty big six-figure deal, which I had never seen anything like that in my life.”
And most people are fully sold at this point. Six figures? Say no more…
“But I get there and it is not at all what I was told.
I could’ve just gone through with it and it would’ve been just a little cheesy for my taste. It would’ve been kinda a compromise and sellout to the integrity of what I felt I was as an artist, and what I felt the song was that they wanted to use. I knew that song meant something to people and I felt like it would be viewed differently.
It was a pressure-cooker of a situation, but the minute I got in there and I felt that little nudge at my shoulder that I always try to listen to, I said I need a second to step outside and think.”
And this is the best part right here…
“I stepped outside and sucked down a cigarette in about two seconds and went back in.
And uh, I can remember me and my manager getting into an extremely heated discussion outside. Cuz I’d already made up my mind, I wasn’t going through with it. And I said ‘Well this is just what’s about to happen.’
So I walked back inside and I said ‘Guys, I am sorry for all that you, I mean, for all the wasted time, but uh this ain’t gonna be happenin’ today. I’m about to catch a flight back to Nashville’. And that’s what I did. “
Ah, I love everything about this. It’s the audacity walk out after he just got played by all of them for me. He goes on to talk about why staying true to himself has paid off in the long run.
I think about those little moments and at the time. They might not seem like much. As far as stickin’ to my guns throughout my career, I think that the fans see it and they feel it. They feel authenticity when I’m on that stage with ‘em. I don’t have pre-rehearsed things, you know, it’s a very organic show.
We try to give our heart and soul each and every night and it’s not a fake and phony thing.”
Translation: All those people can go to Hell. Ya gotta love it.
And if you want to hear one of his most raw and real pieces of art in the form of pure songwriting and authentic storytelling, here’s Kip ripping hearts out with his incredibly raw version of “Payin’ Hard” from his In The Wild Sessions.