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Warren Zeiders

Warren Zeiders

A flinty singer who has one foot planted in outlaw country, Warren Zeiders specializes in stripped-down C&W with a slightly haunted edge. That spooky quality helped his "Ride the Lightning" become a social media sensation in 2021. His viral hit led to a contract with Warner Music, which released his debut EPs, 2022's 717 Tapes, and Pretty Little Poison, the 2023 full-length debut that reached 12 on the Billboard Country charts.

A native of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Zeiders is the son of an insurance salesman and a CFO. Music wasn't a big part of his household. He was first drawn to it through singing hymns in church. He remained anchored in Christian music even as he learned to play guitar in the sixth grade, but he also developed a taste for secular music, especially Southern rock, country, and hard rock, including Mötley Crüe and AC/DC. For a long time, Zeiders didn't consider music as much more than a hobby. He concentrated on lacrosse, playing it at the collegiate level until he suffered an injury. The marketing major with an eye on a career in medical sales didn't focus on music until the COVID-19 pandemic knocked him off course. Isolated, Zeiders headed back home to contemplate his future and wound up posting acoustic covers of popular tunes on social media. He got enough attention that he decided to head to Guitar Center and buy a "couple grand" worth of gear. The investment paid off. His bedroom recordings earned him a significant social media following and, more notably, a management contract with Underscore Works.

Zeiders moved to Nashville, where he wrote "Ride the Lightning" over Zoom at his manager's house, collaborating with Eric Paslay and Rob Crosby. "Ride the Lightning" became an unexpected hit, jumping from social media to the Billboard charts where it peaked at 30 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The song anchored his debut EP, 717 Tapes, which he self-released in October 2021. He followed it swiftly with Acoustic Covers (Deluxe), which contained his versions of songs by Jason Isbell, Afroman, and Tyler Childers, as well as a duet with Craig Campbell on the singer's "Outskirts of Heaven."

Warner signed Zeiders in January 2022. The label pushed "Ride the Lightning" to country radio and "Burn It Down" was released as a new digital single. More singles from the 717 Tapes followed, including "Wild Horse" and "Heavy Pour." A second EP, Pretty Little Poison (Sampler), arrived in April 2023, featuring the single "Coming Down High." A few months and a few singles later, Zeiders released the full-length album Pretty Little Poison, which expanded the EP into a 14-song record. The album debuted at 12 on Billboard's Country charts and reached 59 on the Top 200. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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