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Chris Young’s Success Fuels Confidence and Creativity

Randee St. Nicholas

With a string of No. 1 singles and his first gold record for the album, ‘The Man I Want to Be,’ Chris Young is content with his current status in country music, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t set goals for the next few years.

“I’m not gonna be mad if get a gold record on ‘Neon,’” Chris tells The Boot with a big smile, referring to his recently-released third album. “But the biggest goal I have for myself is moving from the middle slot as a performer to headlining, maybe a year or two down the road. At that point we would be talking about another album as well.”

Chris saw a groundswell of momentum beginning in July, when the single ‘Tomorrow’ was on every radio station and video channel. “It all feels like it’s coming together, that I’m gaining steam, and that people are buying my records and understanding who I am as an artist, and what I do live on stage with my band. You want people to be looking for that new music when you put something out, and I felt that for the first time [with the release of 'Neon'].”

The singer says playing the middle slot on Jason Aldean‘s My Kinda Party tour was a huge move for him and that, along with ‘Tomorrow’ hitting No. 1 and his third album hitting stores, has him pinching himself to see if it’s all real. “I’d find myself going up to people in my band and saying, ‘Do you remember not so long ago we played before 100 people, and 30 left by the end of show?’ They’d say, ‘Yeah, you already said that.’ It is exciting to know where we’ve been and hopefully see where we’re headed.”

Some of the momentum is the result of his success, but Chris says there’s a confidence that comes from the experience of being on the road and in the studio that he acknowledges he couldn’t have had on those earlier recordings and tours.

“I could talk to you all day about my records,” notes the Tennessee native. “If you look, there are lot of things changed from my first record to ‘Neon.’ We changed producers from the first album to the second one, and when I recorded those projects, I was on the road doing radio tours 24/7. This third album, we were constantly on tour, and if I was home for a day I tried to book two writing appointments.

“Probably the biggest change is the confidence I have to get to go make music that I love. On that first record, I was nervous about everything, from what if the microphone is wrong to what if I’m singing it wrong or what if we edited it wrong. You relax a little bit after the first record is behind you, and after the second album and you start having hits, you can relax even more. Now I feel like I can take the time to be creative. I get to take the time to find the songs I love, and when I find a song I think is truly great, I can put my spin on it, whether I wrote it or found it. I get to be more creative because some of the pressure is off, now I’m excited to put the music out there.”

Watch Our Exclusive Day in the Life of Chris Young Video

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