Devin Dawson released his debut album, Dark Horse, on Friday (Jan. 19) and spilled to Taste of Country Nights that the lyrics — all of them, every song — are true.

Well, mostly. Dawson wrote all 12 tracks on the album, so he's experienced every song in some way. But for whatever reason, he says fans have gravitated toward a particular line on his deeply personal title track, "Dark Horse."

"People always ask why I where black, where'd I get my style and why I never smile in pictures," Dawson sings on the opening verse of "Dark Horse." He wrote the song with friends Andy Albert and Andrew DeRoberts, and the line about smiling actually came from his co-writers.

"It's not like I came into the room with an idea of, 'Man, I want to write a song about me and I don't smile in pictures,'" he explains. "It's one of those things that you have to write that with a co-writer who knows you really well. They brought that line up and I was like, 'I guess you're right. I totally do that.' It's not that I'm not smiling, it's just that my smile is somewhat of a soft smile. That's my smile. I'm not a big, cheesy smile kind of guy. I'm just a thankful to be here and smiling kind of guy."

That line — "why I never smile in pictures" — has come up time and time again when Dawson's posing for photos with fans.

"When I do meet and greets people will go, 'Can you smile in this one please?' And I go, 'Sweetheart, this is my smile! This is how I smile.' It's always fun to joke about that."

Dawson is relieved to have his album out, and he's especially grateful for the success he's seeing with the debut single, "All on Me."

"I'm so thankful for the run that 'All on Me' has," he tells Nights host Sam Alex. "I just want people to hear it. I'm excited for it to be out and have the whole project out and the whole story out."

Taste of Country Nights is a syndicated night show which airs on more than 100 radio stations nationwide. Listen to highlights on iTunes or your Android device.

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