The singer's wife of 10 years and a Caribbean cruise serve as inspiration for his latest tune

By Danielle Anderson
Updated April 21, 2015 06:00 PM
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

You could say that JT Hodges‘s brand new single was inspired by two great loves in his life – his wife and his sunglasses.

Let him explain.

“I always wear sunglasses and I’ve always been a Ray-Ban guy,” Hodges, 35, tells PEOPLE. “Last year, I was on a cruise with my wife [Kasey] and we were in Cozumel at a beach bar and the sun was starting to set just before we had to head back to the boat … My wife was just feeling the music and took my Ray-Bans and went off on the dance floor with them on. I just remember watching her and thinking, ‘Wow, what a cool image.’ ”

In fact, the thought of his wife of 10 years dancing in his sunglasses was still vivid in his mind even when he was back home and in a writing session with the tune’s co-authors Bart Butler and Aaron Goodvin.

“I’d had a new pair of sunglasses because I actually lost that pair on that cruise,” he explains. “They were commenting about how they liked them, so I told the story. They were like, ‘Wow, if she was the girl that got away, at least she’d have those Ray-Bans to remember you by.’ We loved that idea and so we wrote the song.”

Listen to the exclusive stream of Hodges’ new single “Ray Bans” here.