Behind the scenes: The making of 'Titan Up'

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 19:58:42-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Titans are the No. 1 seed in the AFC after winning their most games in a regular season since 2008, and it seems all of Nashville and Tennessee is getting behind the team.

What better way to show the type of buzz this Titans have crated in Music City than with a song? So last week NewsChannel 5 called up a pair of country music stars to see if they could come up with an anthem the team and all its fans can rally around.

“This is Music City, the songwriter capital of the world. You’ve got the best studios, the best singers, the best pickers literally falling out of trees around here in Nashville,” said John Rich, star of the country duo Big and Rich. “So when you called and said, ‘hey, do you think in one week [you] could have a song written, recorded and ready to go put out there?' I said, ‘that’s going to be tough, but I think we can do it.’ I called Troy and said, ‘you think we can do it?” He said, ‘let’s get after it, man.’”

Rich is the singer-songwriter behind numerous country hits. Troy is Cowboy Troy, known for his ability to rap to country music in not one, but three different languages. The two met back in Texas in 1993 and became fast friends.

Years later Cowboy Troy became a feature on the first very song on the first album released by Big and Rich titled The Ballad of Big and Rich featuring Cowboy Troy, and they’ve been collaborating on music ever since.

They also share a love of football and the Titans.

“My kids love the Titans, I love the Titans, and this was an awesome opportunity for me and Troy to show the team that we’re behind them,” Rich said.

“It makes perfect sense,” Troy added on why the Titans only made since in Music City. “That’s why we have all different kinds of instrumentation in the song, because it’s not just about country music. It’s also about rock and roll, too, and a little bit of rap as well.”

Well known to football fans from their hit "Comin’ to your City" which has served as the theme song to ESPN’s College Gameday for the past 17 years, the two set out to write the definitive Titans’ theme song.

They collaborated with local musicians and engineers to put everything together in short order, sending and mixing tracks back and forth from Nashville to Murfreesboro to Cowboy Troy’s home in Texas.

Everything was coming together, but they had to get resourceful when it came time for Troy to record his lyrics.

“I don’t have a studio in my house and I had too much ambient sound when I tried to record the track the first time,” Troy said. “I had to figure out a way to dampen the sound in the room. My sons have their room here, so I went into their room and took the mattresses off their beds, stood them up end to end, then draped their blankets over the top, set up the microphone in there and my laptop outside for recording. And that’s how I configured this mobile rig for recording, and that’s how I made a vocal booth.”

With all the tracks complete, the mixing project began. The song, which is titled "Titan Up," will be premiered next Friday on NewsChannel 5’s Road to the Championship special at 6:30 p.m. with the official music video that will be shot at Rich’s Broadway bar Redneck Riviera on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The recording will be open to the public and includes an open call for fans to put on their Titans gear and show up and be a part of the action.

The timeline was ambitious, trying to turn around a broadcast worth song in just over a week, but Rich, Cowboy Troy and friends managed to pull it off in the hopes of giving the Titans just a little extra boost in the playoffs.

“When Channel 5 calls and says you’ve got one week to come up with a theme song for the Titans going to the playoffs, there’s literally nothing we’re not willing to do, right Troy?” Rich jokingly asked. “We will rip the sheets off of our beds, pull the mattresses off and we will do whatever it takes to get this thing done. And I think we pulled it off, man.”