Jimmie Allen remembers meeting pop star Noah Cyrus at Stagecoach in 2019, but the "Make Me Want To" singer meets lots of famous people, and he doesn't collaborate with most of them.

Cyrus, a pop-rocker and daughter to country great Billy Ray Cyrus, was on Allen's radar, but that hardly foreshadowed what was to come. Few artists keep their options open like he does, and at that time he wasn't thinking duet. In fact, at that time he hadn't even heard "This Is Us," a song Cyrus, 20, wrote with Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, Jordan Schmidt, Ilsey Juber and Dernst "D’Mile" Emile II.

Allen tells Taste of Country that the song marriage was set in motion by his manager, Ash Bowers, who collaborates with Cyrus' label head on occasion. She had this song and wanted to sing with somebody on it. It found its way to Allen, who was game because it sonically fit his mix of pop, country and R&B. He doesn't view it solely as a love song, even if lyrically, that's what it is.

“I looked at it, not just a relationship, but friendships and stuff I’ve had," he says. "That lyric, ‘You were just you and I was just me …’ We were kids and we might have gotten in arguments or fights, but we were trying to figure out who we were. Through all that we remained friends."

"Cause it was just you / And that was just me / And that was just the way that it used to be / And we were just kids back then / Trying to figure out what it was," Allen and Cyrus sing at the chorus. "No, it wasn't that bad / But could've been better / If only back then we had been together / But it was just you / And that was just me / Before we found love / Now, this is us."

"This Is Us" will be promoted as Allen's next single after "Make Me Want To" reaches its peak on country airplay charts. That suits Allen just fine. It's more progressive than anything on his Mercury Lane album, but it's a song with precedent. Dan +Shay just notched a big hit with Justin Bieber ("10,000 Hours"), and prior to that Bebe Rexha broke into the format with Florida Georgia Line ("Meant to Be"). So the road is paved for layered, pop-friendly mixes that features a someone from beyond country music.

Allen says the song will be included on an EP he expects to release in the spring. In between then and now he's got his hands on several different projects, most importantly a baby (due between now and March 1) and a wedding (slated for May). Movies, television shows, comedy, publishing companies — these are all ideas Allen has floated or actively worked on in recent months, in addition to a second studio album that he says he has a whopping 48 songs for.

It's worth asking, how does he know when too much is too much?

“When I’m dead,” Allen says, laughing.

Watch Jimmie Allen's Intimate Acoustic Version of "Make Me Want To"

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