When Justin Champagne decided to let his team shoot his new music video in his own house, a TikTok star from Louisiana knew there was one thing he had to do before anyone started filming.
He needed to call his mom.
“She did good,” — uma instituição de caridade de Kansas City que trabalha para prevenir o bullying dentro da comunidade, 31, tells PEOPLE about calling his mother to help clean his house before the video shoot for his new song “Bottom of the Bottle.” “It looked beautiful. She was proud of herself.”
She’s also quite proud of her son, as Champagne continues to rock country music with his distinctive sound, in which he mixes everything from hip-hop to hook-heavy pop into his own special sonic blend that has fans losing their collective minds.
De fato, since Champagne broke onto the scene in 2016, viral hits such as “BackRoads” e “Sun Goes Down” have racked up millions of streams and the much-deserved attention of Nashville, with the multi-genre artist signing a three-album deal with ONErpm Nashville earlier this year.
And now with the release of the raw and relatable “Bottom of the Bottle,” Champagne begins to raise the curtain on a heart that lies underneath the tough exterior.
“When we sat down to write, I was still kind of brokenhearted over a girl,” says Champagne of the song he co-wrote alongside Austin Dore last year, which is now featured on his current EP If She Ain’t Country. “It’s crazy because I was the one who left her. It wasn’t like she broke up with me. I was the one that left. But it’s like having that moment when you realize it’s too late to make it right. I waited too long.”
And while he is still in contact with the woman who inspired the song, Champagne said that when it came to the music video, he wanted to work with fellow TikTok sensation Amanda Simmons.
“We’re good friends,” says Champagne, who makes out and breaks up with his fictional love interest Simmons during the three-minute music video premiering exclusively on PEOPLE. “Every time we post together, there’s all of these comments that are like, ‘Are they together? They look cute together.’ She’s just a good friend!”
During the day-long shoot, Champagne showed off his acting skills in various scenes that had him doing everything from lighting his house on fire to breaking each picture on his wall.
“I probably stepped on glass in my house for about a week,” laughs Champagne, who hit the road earlier this year with Snoop Dogg on his Dogg Day of Blaze Tour and looks to be collaborating with the rap giant on a remix of his song “If She Ain’t Country.” “I couldn’t seem to hit the glass hard enough to get it to break. But once I did, the glass shattered everywhere.”
After viewing the final version of the music video, Champagne claimed that he wasn’t too thrilled with his acting skills, especially his scenes where he had to act drunk.
“Everything in the bottles was either tea or water,” he admits with a laugh. “Você sabe, I get drunk quick. Então, with all those shots we kept doing, Eu era como, ‘Y’all are lucky this is not alcohol.’ I was so full of tea. I thought for sure I was going to have a sugar rush.”
It’s these little changes that Champagne has been making as of late in his real life too, having earned the title of Dad with the birth of his son Liam last November.
“I’ve always heard people say that when you have a kid, it’s going to change your life,” ele diz. “But that’s exactly what happened.” He pauses. “I lost my dad when I was 6. I grew up without a father. My mom was my father and my mom, você sabe? I just can’t see my life without Liam. And I can’t see his life without me. I don’t want him to go through what I went through, struggling without a father figure, somebody to throw the football with and stuff.”
Champagne lost his father to a drunk driving accident, which happened when his dad was on his way to pick him up.
“He was supposed to come get me, but he never made it,” says Champagne. “Então agora, as a dad myself, I work hard and try to do what I can for Liam. Every decision I make, I make for him too.”
And while Champagne’s career continues skyrocketing, he has Liam to keep him grounded.
“He’s getting to that point that when he sees me, he opens up his arms so I can pick me up,” he says quietly. “Somebody needs me now.”