Rising singer-songwriter Triston Marez grew up hearing Brooks & Dunn's music on the radio and seeing their music videos on CMT, so to have Ronnie Dunn's instantly recognizable voice on his forthcoming debut album is a special moment. The Houston native is premiering their collaboration, "Where the Neon Lies," exclusively with The Boot; press play below to listen.

Marez co-wrote "Where the Neon Lies" with Chris DuBois and Lynn Hutton, about the games that a little bit of booze from a neon sign-lit bar can play with a broken heart. He says he knew right away that it was "something special."

"There's something about a neon light mixed with a buzz that gives you the feeling that the one who is truly gone may come back -- not fully convincing, yet it’s enough to get you through the night," Marez explains.

The life of a musician, too, is full of both high points and heartaches -- "good days and a whole lot of bad," the 24-year-old Marez says -- but securing Dunn for this song "really made up for some of those bad days." The artist says singing with the Brooks & Dunn member "is truly a blessing, and something I'll always be grateful for."

The only child of a construction-worker father and hairdresser mother who herself had dreams of country music stardom, Marez learned to play the guitar after receiving one as a gift for his sixth birthday. He "really fell in love with making music," however, during a six-month recovery period following a life-saving heart surgery in middle school.

In 2014, Marez made his debut at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and won the big event's talent competition. His prize: a day of studio time, during which he recorded his first two singles. Marez moved to Nashville at the age of 18 and has released two EPs, but his forthcoming self-titled record -- produced by David Dorn and Alex Torrez -- will be his first full-length project.

Marez co-wrote nine out of Triston Marez's 12 songs; one of the remaining three is a Chris Stapleton cut. In addition to Dunn, the album features the Tex-Mex band Squeezebox Bandits.

Triston Marez is due out on April 16, and "Where the Neon Lies" will be out widely on Friday (March 12). Visit TristonMarezOfficial.com for more details.

LISTEN: Triston Marez's "Where the Neon Lies" (feat. Ronnie Dunn)

PICTURES: Brooks & Dunn Through the Years

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