Stell, 35, gave PEOPLE an inside look at the creative process behind his most recent single, “Everywhere But On.” The country star says the tune is actually his favorite song to perform thus far.
“We just jumped in with both feet, all three of us writing this song, because it felt like something I could really relate to,” Stell said of the song, which he penned with Lance Alan Miller and Paul Sikes. “It’s a life that I’ve lived and as soon as we got rolling, it didn’t take us long to get going.”
“When we finished, we knew we had written something that we really liked and were really proud of. The song has to do with the high price of being on the road and I know a little something about that,” he continued. “The character in this song has been on a journey that’s very similar to the one that I’ve been on. It’s been one of my favorite songs to play out live, whether it’s an acoustic setting or a full band setting.”
In the song, Stell’s character details the emotional hardships he is facing after seemingly ending a relationship, an experience very similar to the singer-songwriter’s real life. Stell recently ended a relationship of his own, his engagement.
“It’s a big ol’ world outside this little town, thought that’s all I needed to drown you out,” the song begins. “It was gonna be easy. It was supposed to be easy.”
“Put some days, put some miles in the rear view,” Stell continues singing. “A few state lines between me and you, just a little space and time and I’d be fine.”
The chorus further expresses how difficult it is to move on. “I’ve been from Savannah to Long Beach, trying to keep your memory out of reach,” Stell sings. “But there you were in the Delta nights, the Santa Fe sun, the Colorado sky. I could add another push-pin to the map, but that don’t stop me from missing you and looking back. Guess there’s just one place I haven’t gone, I’ve moved everywhere but on.”
In November, the Arkansas native revealed to PEOPLE that “unfortunately, my upcoming wedding and that relationship dissolved for the time being.” After spending weeks at a time on the road to promote his music on radio and to perform, the country star said that his time away from home may have taken a toll on his personal life.
Stell and his former girlfriend of almost six years got engaged during a trip to New Orleans in December 2018. The two had even set a wedding a date for December 2019, but things took a turn.
In keeping the privacy of his ex-fiancée, Stell previously told PEOPLE: “I try to keep private as much of that aspect of my life as I can because, not only is it my business, but it’s somebody else’s business. I don’t want to give any kind of one-sided answer on anything like that, just out of respect for all parties involved.”
Despite the hiccup in his personal life, Stell is focusing on growing his music career and creating tunes that he feels people can connect with.Speaking on the creation of his EP Everywhere But On, which shares the same name as the track, Stell said, “I just try to be as real as possible, just trying to tell some kind of truth is the hallmark of what I do.”