*EXCLUSIVE Interview* Brett Eldredge Talks New Music, Relationships, and His Legacy

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As if the last week in country music hasn’t been exciting enough, especially with CMA Fest coming, going, and rocking, NashvilleGab had the amazing opportunity to interview Warner Music Nashville recording artist, reigning CMA New Artist of the Year, and three-time Number 1 hit-maker, Brett Eldredge.

Having the chance to speak to Brett is enough to make me “Lose My Mind,” and what I learned about the brilliant artist with the magnetic personality and stellar sense of humor is that he is also incredibly profound and inspiring. When it comes to inspiration, it is that very thing that brought Brett into our lives, and we can thank two men by the names of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn for supplying the musical influence that encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

A child from a small town, Brett was surrounded by country music his entire life, but it was the booming voice of Ronnie Dunn and the lyrics of duo Brooks & Dunn that made him realize the music industry, specifically the country genre, was where he belonged.

I never looked back from there. I kind of went with it. I moved to Nashville eventually, been here nine years now, and it worked out.

It worked out, indeed, considering Brett’s debut album garnered three chart-toppers (“Don’t Ya,” “Beat of the Music,” and “Mean to Me”). The old wives’ tale leads us to believe that the sophomore album is the most indicative of an artist’s potential for longevity, but Brett doesn’t fear the mentality. Rather, he embraces it with confidence, as his second album is everything he hoped it would be when he began working on it.

I’m prepared. I’ve been writing for this album since I released the last album over two years ago because I knew it would sneak up on me if I didn’t start writing right away and didn’t start preparing for it. And, so I feel more comfortable than I ever have in the studio, with this music; I feel like we’re making the best music I’ve ever been a part of to date in the studio right now. So, I’m just, I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am and with this momentum and the success of the first album, and I’m confident that I’m going to deliver my fans the best music possible on the second album. I’m hoping they’ll love it and I feel like they probably will. Hopefully *laughs*. You never know for sure! But I feel like they’re going to! I’ve been playing it live for them at the show, so that’s been going very well.

What Brett promises from his next offering, Illinois (slated for a September 11th release), is an album that exposes more of himself to his fans than ever before. In fact, the driving factor in the creation of the project was his upbringing and the place he was raised; things he believes people should always hold near and dear.

It’s definitely a depth of who I am. That’s why I wanted to name the album “Illinois.” No matter where you think the song is about, no matter where you go, no matter where you go in life, the roots of where you come from are always right there in your heart and you carry all that along with you wherever you go, and that’s kind of who I am as a person and what I want that album to portray, and I think there’s a lot of that on this album. So, “Illinois” seemed like a fitting title. And I love the word Illinois *laughs* and the state, so it worked out alright!

The lead single off Brett’s forthcoming album, “Lose My Mind,” is insanely good (pun intended), and he chose the track to represent his new project because of how different it is from what he has released in the past.

It’s a sound I’ve yet to put out. . . . So, we wanted to not shock people, but show them what else I could do, and show ’em where I’m going. And this is a song I thought would be perfect to do that with, and it’s so infectious and it’s only two minutes and thirty-eight seconds, so it’s real quick and it makes you feel like you’re losing your mind!

Knowing that Brett is batting a thousand with his singles so far, it is important to be forward-thinking, especially considering his outlandish ways of celebrating his successes. So, what does he have on the list of possible ways to rejoice when he experiences his next Number 1?

I haven’t even thought about that yet! I’m still trying to figure out my third Number 1. I’m working on doing the Dinner in the Sky for that, but for this one, I gotta start thinking of ideas in case it does go Number 1! It’s my fastest rising single to date, by far. I mean, leaps and bounds ahead of where the other ones were at this point, so I should at least think it’s a possibility. You never know!

One of the things that keeps Brett looking toward a successful future is the list of honors he has received in the beginning of his career. Not only has he seen what the view looks like from the top of the charts three times, but he was named the 2014 Country Music Association New Artist of the Year and took home the inaugural American Country Countdown Award for the Song of the Year (“Beat of the Music”).

That means I’m really in the game now. That means I have a shot of making a long career out of this, so what do I do from here? I keep being inspired to make as good of music as I possibly can and deliver it to my fans and keep growing and keep becoming a better performer in hopes that maybe one day I can go up there and get a Male Vocalist of the Year Award or get an Entertainer of the Year Award, ’cause that’s the kind of stuff I love to do and that’s the kind of stuff I want to do forever.

While Brett is focused on his own growth as an artist, he is also taking time to work with others to achieve their musical dreams. Recently partnering with Snagajob, Brett is giving an hourly workers the opportunity show off their singing skills, submit audition videos, and have a chance at becoming his opening act at his July 24th Idaho show.

I remember what it was like for me to have the opportunity to get my voice out there and be heard. Snagajob is a company that gives people hourly jobs, and even if they have other aspirations and dreams, people gotta make ends meet, and I get that, but, they also realize people want to go out there and be singers and do all that stuff. Well, they’re having a contest that you can submit your own personal, original song on video, and those artists narrow down from twenty-five to five finalists and then one of those finalists gets to open up for me for one of my shows. And I thought this was such a cool opportunity because I was always begging somebody to let me have an opening slot on one of their shows ’cause I knew it could help me out in a big way, and I’ll never forget the first time I had one. It was with Blake Shelton and it was a big step in my career, to figure out where I wanted to go with it and open some doors for me. So, I think this is a great opportunity for performers out there, and it also inspires me that I can help them out any way I can because it’s a tough road, but it sure is fun once it starts paying off.

For Brett, his hard work has certainly paid off, and he feels blessed to be able to provide heartfelt music to his fans — the kind that touches him at the inception and moves them upon hearing it. In fact, on his next offering, Brett has a song called “I Want to Be That Song,” a track that relays his wish to be the song that causes listeners to feel certain ways and have life-changing experiences.

I want to be that song that made you fall in love, that made you want to dance, that reminded you of a time in your life, that soundtrack to a part of your life. I want to be that song that takes you back somewhere, to a special place, that people are singing for many years to come; and I want to be able to leave a legacy of helping out others through music. Whether it be through hardships that they have when they need to cry, I’ve been there, I’ve been through heartbreak. You’re not alone. Whether it be through charities or helping out sick kids and helping out people in need, that need it more than I do . . . It’s just, I have the opportunity to be in the limelight to help out others and I think the most rewarding things are different kinds of charity work and I would like to leave that as most of my legacy, as well.

Another part of who Brett is, as a person in the limelight, is one of country music’s most eligible bachelors, and he embraces that title and admits to feeling “a lot of pressure!” from it. Despite the admitted pressure, he is flattered by the sentiment and is taking his time finding the right woman who can handle the hectic troubadour lifestyle.

When the right one comes around, I’m certainly here and not going anywhere. . . . I’m totally open to it.

Alright, ladies. You heard it here first! Brett is on the market and is ready, willing, and able to commit to a very lucky girl. But, first thing’s first, and that is sharing his heart and soul with the world on September 11th with the release of Illinois. Brett promises a wild ride of ups, downs, and everything in between, all the while learning more about the Midwestern man who has won over country music fans and industry executives, alike.

If you wanna have fun, if you wanna cry, if you wanna fall in love, if you wanna dance, buy my album “Illinois” because you’re gonna get all of that!

Thank you to Brett for taking time out of a busy CMA Fest week to shoot the gab with NashvilleGab. It was an honor and privilege to spend time speaking to you and getting to know the man behind the beat of the music.

Watch the music video for Brett Eldredge’s latest single “Lose My Mind”:

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