As Brett Young celebrated his third No. 1 with "Like I Loved You," a single off of his self-titled debut studio album, in mid-February he recalled a piece of advice given to him by his idol, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw: "He said, 'Your responsibility to your fans is to not change so much to lose the fans that you have, but your responsibility is also to change enough that you can hopefully go out and grab some new ones,'" Young remembers.

That sentiment seems particularly relevant now, during a time in Young's career when he is looking towards creating a second album that can stand up to his wildly successful debut.

"With the first album, I had no frame of reference," Young says. "I had no idea the songs were going to do as well as I did. That's why I'm maybe even more nervous about the second album, although the nerves are there for a different reason.

"We've had such a good experience with country fans," he adds, "and I don't want to let them down."

What will Young do this time around to follow DeGraw's advice? The country singer says that one small change he plans to make is adding an additional dash of soul to his songs.

"I grew up listening to soul music," Young explains, "and it won't be melodic or lyrical [on the record], but you'll hear some production stuff where you can hear a little throwback thing."

One thing Young plans not to change, however, is the authenticity that shone through on his first record: "I'm going to write about my life every single time," he adds. "That's the kind of music that I like to listen to, when people are being genuine as artists, and so I've always wanted to be transparent."

Feb. 12 of this year marked the one-year anniversary of the release Young's self-titled debut album.

"I can't believe it's been a year," the singer says. "When you move to [Nashville], you hope that you're going to do well enough that you walk into a restaurant and people recognize you. I mean, that's a byproduct, it's not the goal. So when that does start happening, that's when you realize, 'Wait a minute! This song we wrote, people are connecting to it.'

"Something I was doing for 14 years before I moved to town is being played on a bigger platform now," Young adds, "and I think the fact that people care about my music is the most flattering and humbling thing."

Watch Brett Young Perform "In Case You Didn't Know" in Nashville