Skip to main content

American Song Contest's Country Rapper Ryan Charles Explains What 'New Boot Goofin'' Actually Means, Plus His Fashion Choices

American Song Contest premiered on March 21 to give viewers a taste of the U.S. take on Europe’s legendary Eurovision Song Contest, and the first episode was packed with unique singers of all walks of life. Eleven performers were featured out of the 56 states and territories in the premiere, and one standout was Ryan Charles, who combines country and rap to represent Wyoming. His performance of “New Boot Goofin’” was full of energy and all the Western fashion choices that anybody could imagine, but raised the question: what exactly does it mean to be “New Boot Goofin’” anyway? The writer and singer explained. 

Like K-pop artist AleXa (who got some good news from Snoop Dogg), Ryan Charles brought an iconic and unforgettable look to his performance, to the point that few people probably looked at him and expected him to start rapping. According to Charles, that’s actually one of his goals when it came to choosing his wardrobe to debut “New Boot Goofin’” to the world. Speaking with press after the American Song Contest premiere, he shared:

I just kind of like to bring the whole Western fashion. I mean, it's about the boots but I love wearing the buckle, I got the turquoise on, the rings, the bolo tie. You always see me in a bolo, and of course the hat brings it all together. So it's just kind of that Western style that we all wear in Wyoming. And I love to come out here with hip hop. Not a lot of people are gonna be like, 'Oh, he's gonna be dressed up like that.' You think he's gonna do a country song,' and then I start doing my hip hop/rap song. And it kind of throws them on a loop and it's been crazy.

Ryan Charles was the only one who was sporting the full “Western fashion” look with the buckle, bolo tie, and cowboy hat, but the backup dancers had boots of their own to fit the theme of the song, and the stage was lined with shelves full of boots. But what does “New Boot Goofin’” stand for, other than some catchy lyrics that could easily get stuck in the head of any listeners? The country rapper broke it down:

‘New Boot Goofin’’ is just getting a pair of boots. It doesn't have to be boots, but it is boots. It's about getting the new boots and it's feeling yourself and feeling good. You just got 'em, you're showing them off. And you're just proud of who you are, and you're just feeling yourself. You know, it's about that self confidence something gives you, like a new pair of boots. And it's just about being you and enjoying yourself. I mean, that's mostly what it's about. It's just enjoying yourself. ‘New Boot Goofin,’’ like, people have been asking me, is there a dance for ‘New Boot Goofin’’? And I'm like, whatever you go out and you hit on a regular night, that's your ‘New Boot Goofin’’ right there.

For better or worse, TikTok dances may have become all the rage over the past couple of years (and the platform is part of the American Song Contest voting process), but Ryan Charles doesn’t have a specific kind of dance in mind for his song. Still, plenty of people can probably feel the “New Boot Goofin’” vibe if there’s something that gives them a lot of confidence, whether or not that’s a new pair of boots! He seemed pretty confident following his performance, although Rhode Island’s Hueston is the only one currently guaranteed to move on. 

In case you missed the American Song Contest premiere and need to see “New Boot Goofin’” for yourself, take a look: 

The voting has closed for the first eleven performers of American Song Contest, and fans will find out the fates of the ten other than Hueston when the show returns to NBC on Monday, March 28 at 8 p.m. ET. Hosts Kelly Clarkson (who has plenty of singing competition experience thanks first to American Idol and then as a successful coach on The Voice) and Snoop Dogg (who also has The Voice experience as the Season 20 Mega Mentor joining the coaches and dropping some great one-liners) were clearly having fun in the premiere, so it should be interesting to see what happens next.

For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule. If you didn’t catch the American Song Contest premiere on March 21, you can find it streaming with a Peacock subscription.

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.