"Love You Like I Used To" is the the country singer's first single since December 2018

By Brianne Tracy
February 11, 2020 01:00 PM
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Russell Dickerson has the perfect song to add to your Valentine’s Day playlist.

On Tuesday, the rising country star released his sweet new single, “Love You Like I Used to,” which was inspired by how his and wife Kailey’s love story has evolved over the years.

“With ‘Yours,’ which was my first single, it’s kind of like the newlywed song, and I wrote it six months after we got married,” Dickerson, 32, tells PEOPLE. “With ‘Love You Like I Used To,’ it’s coming out about 10 years into being with my wife. We’ve been married about six-and-a-half years now so it’s about how love grows and how you’ve got to work for it. It’s like, ‘I don’t love you like I used to — I love you more. I love you more with every single kiss.’ That’s the overarching theme of the song.”

Dickerson first wrote a version of “Love You Like I Used To” back in January 2018, but when it wasn’t love at first listen for Kailey, 29, he and his team went back into the studio to rework it.

“I played her the first version and she was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really know if you hit the mark on this one,'” Dickerson says with a laugh. “I was like, ‘What?!’ But no, she was actually right. We all kind of felt that way. So we went in, started with just the title because we knew that title was special and completely rewrote the song. We were on tour with Lady Antebellum at the time when we wrote it, and we just came out of there like, ‘There we go! This is definitely a single.'”

Russell Dickerson
| Credit: Spencer Combs

The single is just the beginning for Dickerson, who plans to release more new music this year.

“For my first three singles, each one took almost a year each to get to No. 1, which I’m grateful for because now we got three No. 1’s in a row. But I’m just chomping at the bit to get this music out there,” he says. “I know the fans are ready for it — they’ve been asking for over a year, ‘When’s the album out? When’s the new stuff coming out?’ Hopefully within six weeks after this single, we’ll put another song out and keep them rolling out.”

Then, starting on Feb. 29, Dickerson will join Kane Brown for the North American leg of his Worldwide Beautiful Tour.

“I know [Kane’s] an athletic guy and competitive so I’m stoked to play some sports, maybe a little basketball,” Dickerson says. “I’m down for whatever. Maybe I’ll write some songs out there.”

Russell Dickerson
| Credit: Spencer Combs

And luckily for Dickerson, his wife (whom he first met in Nashville when they were both enrolled in Belmont University’s prestigious vocal performance program and married in 2003) will join him on the road.

“My wife gets to travel with me all the time, so that’s the dream,” he says. “We travel so much but when we are home, that’s when we really get to cherish that time and shut down and really not do anything.”

Russell and Kailey Dickerson
| Credit: John Shearer/WireImage

Between working on new music and gearing up for tour, Dickerson and Kailey have also been trying to settle into their new house in Nashville. So when it comes to their own Valentine’s Day plans, Dickerson expects it to be a low-key night spent at home.

“We love to stay in,” he says. “We love cooking dinner at our own house, especially now that we moved into our new house. We just want to stay home and maybe cook a dinner we would get out. We like to copy other restaurants. There’s a place in Nashville called Kayne Prime, and we made their truffle mac and cheese one year. We like to copy other restaurants but definitely stay in and not go out because 99% of the days are eating out at some sort place on the road.”

Though the saying goes “new house, new baby,” Dickerson says he and Kailey haven’t started trying to expand their family yet. But since “she comes from a big family of five older brothers and I just have one sister, we may try to meet in the middle eventually when we start trying,” he says.

As for his hopes for this next year, Dickerson says he wants his album and new music to reach a “whole new demographic of people.”

” I want to keep stepping up in the country world and keep growing and keep just reaching new heights,” he says. “I want to be a pioneer in this music industry and push the boundary on everything.”