Brett Young Is Reconnecting With His Soul Influences for Second Album
While Brett Young is riding the crest of his current single, "Mercy," the country star is already looking forward to putting out new music. "We're more than halfway through the second record," Young shared with The Boot backstage at Country Jam 2018. "The next single we put out will be off the new record."
According to Young, fans can expect that new single in either August or September, followed by his full sophomore album "at the end of the year." In a recent interview with Taste of Country, Young further specified that his new album will reflect where he is in life and in his relationships. Since he and his fiancee, Taylor Mills, got engaged in February and are currently in the throes of wedding planning, that means he's taken a turn towards a feel-good, upbeat sound.
"Sonically, the feel is much more peppy and uptempo," Young explains. However, he adds that he's not planning on abandoning the heartbreak ballads that fans have come to know and love.
"I wanted to make sure there was just as much heartbreak as there were love songs on the second record," he tells Taste of Country. "Because not everybody's going through the same thing as me all the time, and I want to connect with everybody.
"I think everybody, on their way to their person, has way more heartbreak stories than they do happily-ever-afters. That's part of the journey, and I think it's important to tell those stories too," Young continues. "The second record's definitely going to have a lot more happy, peppy stuff on it, but that's part of my journey. I like reconnecting with those old memories and having a good, cathartic cry once in a while."
Young reconnected with more than just memories while creating music for his second album: The singer delved back into listening to many of the artists who influenced him growing up, hoping to bring a more soulful sound to the new album.
"I'm working with the same producer on this record as I did on the first record, Dann Huff," he shares with The Boot. "He knows that I have a huge R&B background, and that I grew up listening to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. The popular music when I was younger was Boyz II Men, and then, of course, Gavin DeGraw is the most blue-eyed-soul white boy on the planet. Dan said, 'I don't wanna change your sound too much, but I do want to incorporate a little more soul and R&B.' Because of that, I started listening to a lot of that music again."
Although he's listened to the music for decades, Young says his favorite soul artists have held up to the test of time, and that rediscovering the artists he loved as a child simply reaffirmed his love for the music. "The one thing that's blowing my mind, listening to it again, is how timeless it is," he points out. "The common threads throughout soul music are the threads that are common within all music."
Young goes on to say that there's a little bit of soul at the root of all genres of music -- especially country music. "We like to joke in country music about three chords and the truth, but that started back in soul music, you know? Great singers and stories, just like in country music, will never get old," he adds. "It's just such a timeless craft. I'm realizing that I love those songs as much as I did when I was a kid."
Watch Brett Young Perform "In Case You Didn't Know" in Nashville