Country People Exclusive

Thomas Rhett Channels a Few Famous Figures in the New Video for 'Make Me Wanna'

10/02/2014 AT 09:45 AM EDT

When it came time to shoot the video for his new song "Make Me Wanna," the follow-up to his two consecutive charttoppers off his debut album It Goes Like This, Thomas Rhett didn't want to follow the standard country blueprint dictated by the lyrics of the song.

"The typical treatment would be a guy and a girl in a truck driving down a dusty road, making out in the truck and then cut to me singing somewhere," he tells PEOPLE. "But I feel like 'Make Me Wanna' is maybe one of those songs that is different and fresh for people to hear, so we really wanted to complement that with the video too." (Check out the whole clip above.)

He describes the concept of his video as "basically me chasing this girl through all these different worlds and never being fast enough to catch her."

In order to pull all the different worlds together, the singer, 24, channeled a few unexpected figures.



"I got to dance a little bit in the video and I got to wear a tuxedo," he says. "I'm kind of guilty of watching a bunch of Michael Jackson YouTube videos. And I've always been a huge James Brown fan, so yeah, there's a couple of pieces in there that are probably a little Michael Jackson reference, but he was one of the best. And I decided to take my feet and try to move them like James Brown just a little bit in the video."

But it's his third influencer who is the most surprising.

"When I was in the tuxedo, I felt like I was James Bond," he says. "It was kind of cool trying on different versions of myself and having fun with it. I always wanted to be James Bond as a kid, so that was my moment to kind of pretend like I was. I mean, who doesn't like wearing a tuxedo and drinking scotch? "

The song itself was born from a surprising source – and if you think you detect a disco vibe, you're right.

"I had watched the movie Airplane! the night before we wrote 'Make Me Wanna,' " he says. "There's this scene in the movie where they kind of go back in time and do this Saturday Night Fever reference for 'Staying Alive' and I went in playing those chords with some of my co-writers the next day and that's kind of how the song got created. It definitely has a country/Bee Gees kind of feel. Obviously the lyrics are really country, but the whole song just makes you feel good."

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