Fancy Hagood‘s “Mr. Atlanta” is a jangly piece of alt-pop all about past — and, hopefully, future — loves. The new track from one of The Boot’s 2021 Artists to Watch arrived on Friday (Jan. 29).

A building, hopeful melody and gang vocal-backed choruses set the tone in Hagood’s new song, which he wrote with Ben Mark and which was co-produced by Jon Green and Tofer Brown. The relationships that were, Hagood sings, taught him lessons about rejection, commitment and chemistry — lessons that have led him to this person nicknamed “Mr. Atlanta.”

“I kept on falling for the wrong kind of love / I kept on pullin’, but it just wasn’t enough,” Hagood sings in the bridge, professing in each refrain, “So, Mr. Atlanta from South Alabama / It’s true that we’ve only just met / No, I don’t know if I love you / But I know that I want to.”

An Arkansas native, Hagood grew up singing in church and taught himself to play the piano as a teenager. In his sports- and religion-focused hometown, he often felt like an outsider, so he left for Nashville after high school graduation. Hagood’s given name is Jake; Fancy is a nickname bestowed on him by co-workers at a retail job he worked after dropping out of college.

About a decade ago, Hagood, who is gay, says he “hung up my shame and started speaking my truth.” He began performing in Music City, but relocated to Los Angeles after signing a management and record deal. As Who Is Fancy, Hagood’s 2015 single “Goodbye” hit the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, but his second single failed to chart, and he parted ways with the pop-focused team to come back to Nashville and try something different.

“With time comes perspective. Now I think about how young and naive I was,” Hagood says of the experience. “My artistry suffered, but I’m also incredibly thankful for the opportunities I was given. I consider that whole run my pop music boot camp. It was a whirlwind, and it really hurt when it ended, but now my new music is my therapy from all that.”

Hagood is a co-writer on Little Big Town‘s “Nightfall,” the title track of their most recent album. His own album, Southern Curiosity, is due out this year.

Meet Fancy Hagood + More of The Boot’s 2021 Artists to Watch:

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