Big Machine Tuesday, Riley Green marked a coveted milestone, celebrating his debut single, “There Was This Girl,” at a number-one party at Nashville’s Sutler saloon.

Riley recalls hearing the song on the radio for the first time, not that long ago.

“I was coming back from a hunting trip in Georgia,” he remembers, “and one of those stations in Atlanta were pretty early on playing it.”

“And it’s weird,” Riley adds. “You hear the song eight billion times when you’re in the studio, and then when you’re going to shoot the video… But hearing it on the radio’s got a different feel, for sure.”

Even though Riley had been making music before, the Alabama native couldn’t believe how things changed once he signed with Big Machine and put out his first single.

“I was really fortunate to be able to put out a lot of music before I ever signed a record deal and have a fan base kind of grow in the Southeast…” he explains. “But that was something that I couldn’t get over, was… going to all these places I never thought I’d go, and places I’ve never stepped foot, and people are singing this song just louder and louder every week.”

It’s a phenomenon Riley’s still noticing this summer, opening Brad Paisley‘s World Tour.

“It takes awhile for people to hear it, even when it was played on the radio for awhile…” he says. “Still even today, it just gets louder every show…”

“I may… be in a place where people don’t know who I am. But I get there and play that song and they know it, and that’s a pretty cool thing. It makes it a lot easier to go play in front of new crowds.”

Riley’s follow-up’s the new single, “In Love By Now.”

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