Austin Webb on New Music: ‘I’m Able to Focus in on Who I Really Am’
Austin Webb has new music coming soon -- his debut record on Streamsound Records -- but don't expect him to rush it. He's intent on putting his best foot forward, so to speak, and that takes time.
"Working on the album has been pretty crazy," the Greenville, S.C., native tells The Boot. "A debut album, I feel like, has to be something you spend a lot of time on."
Though he's had two Top 40 singles already, Webb explains that an album is normally released once an artist hits the Top 20 on country radio, so he's had his head down and guitar out.
"I've definitely been working on it," the singer-songwriter says. "I've already cut like 20 songs, so it's always in the works."
Many country fans know about the evolution of Kip Moore's sophomore album: The artist unintentionally scrapped his first effort and wrote a second, completely different project when its release date was postponed. Webb is in somewhat of the same boat.
"I think it could be a whole different album ... a whole different sound," he admits. "I think, right now, I'm able to focus in on who I really am as an artist."
Webb has been working on his career since he was a teenager and has put in long hours on the road as well as toward developing his sound.
"When I first got into country radio and the label wanted a certain sound, I knew who I was, but certain things work on the radio but some things don't," he explains. "Now I'm just at the point where I'm going to sing whatever I want to sing. If it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't. I think the album will showcase some of that."
One thing's for sure: Don't expect any bro-country to be featured on Webb's new record. He feels that the sub-genre just isn't the "heart and soul" of who he is as an artist, and although he admits that his most recent single, "All Country on You," sounded similar to some bro-country tunes, Webb notes, "It doesn't really represent me as an artist. It's just a song."
Webb describes his style as "singer-songwriter rock 'n' roll" and "James Taylor meets Motown." He cites artists such as Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Bright Eyes, Wilco, Bruce Springsteen and more as acts who have influenced him and says that his record will reflect those influences more than it will bro-country.
In the meantime, while he's working on his album (and also planning his wedding), Webb will also be hitting the road.
"We've been working our asses off," he admits. "I've been on the road for 12 years, and this past year has been the busiest year ever: 15-20 shows every month and traveling in between.
"I want  to be a year I define myself as an artist for commercial radio in general," Webb adds. "I can't for people to hear my songs again."