MTSU student drops single on iTunes, hosts launch party

Middle Tennessee State University sophomore and music business major Daniel Nunnelee dropped his first single, “Put Me in the Ground,” via iTunes Friday. To celebrate the milestone, Nunnelee hosted a launch party Tuesday night at Autograph Studio in Murfreesboro, where he played a mini concert.

Defiant of fitting into just one genre, Nunnelee identifies with pop, rock and Christian music influences.

“I think Daniel’s style is (like) NEEDTOBREATHE … that kind of genre,” said MTSU sophomore, Austin Sawyer, whose vocals can also be heard in the track.

Written by Nunnelee, Sawyer and Sebastian McCarty, the track has already gained traction by locals.

“It’s wonderful,” said friend and fellow MTSU student Ashley Brooke. “I would recommend it to anyone.”

Sawyer amped up the audience with some of his original songs, including one he wrote for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, along with a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Nunnelee took the stage before a warm audience, and he played the song everyone was waiting to hear: “Put Me in the Ground.” 

The result of the single does not mirror the original version, Nunnelee explained. He claimed that it began as a happy song about leaving town with a girl, but after Sawyer experienced relationship turbulation the track transitioned into a more powerful, slightly dark meaning. And that’s how the featured lyrics “Put Me in the Ground” came about.

“It wouldn’t be “Put Me in the Ground” if Sawyer hadn’t stepped in and written with me,” Nunnelee said.  

The two songwriters don’t intend on being one-hit wonders. They actually plan to co-write an entire EP together. Until then, they’re riding a high wave into the music industry.

Although Nunnelee and Sawyer are both music business majors, they each maintain different aspirational paths into the industry. Nunnelee is treating his education of the music industry as a means of better understanding the business of it all. On the other hand, Sawyer hopes to shift more toward music publishing or music law. The two do share a love for writing and performing, though.

Nunnelee and Sawyer plan to soon release a music video for “Put Me in the Ground,” which they will shoot in November and most likely premiere in December.

To follow Daniel Nunnelee on Twitter, click here.

To follow Austin Sawyer on Twitter, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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