Sam Hunt has been making waves in country music for a while now, but despite his nomination for New Artist of the Year at the 2015 ACM Awards, the singer says he still has a lot of work to do to prove he belongs.

“I feel like we are very new to this world," Hunt tells, "and we have a long way to go and definitely still have to prove our being worthy of belonging."

Hunt is up against Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell for New Artist of the Year, and he says that simply being nominated and making it to the final three is something worth celebrating.

“It’s such a big deal,” Hunt says. “It’s such a morale boost for the team and everyone who has been working so hard to progress this whole project and everything that we’re doing. Not that we’re down and out or anything, we’ve had so many really cool things over the last several months."

Over the last few months, Hunt has released his debut album, Montevallo, seen a successful single with "Leave the Night On" and hit the road on his first headlining tour. His newest single, "Take Your Time," showcases a tried-and-true country story in its lyrics, but Hunt's unique singing-slash-rapping style gives the tune a twist -- and the artist says that the song has helped define him for many fans.

“People who discovered us through that song say that it caught their attention and inspired them to look up who I am as an artist and dig in and find other music,” he says. “If nothing else, it sparked curiosity for people. That was part of the goal.

"A lot of times, songs can blend together on the radio because there’s so many great songs out there," Hunt adds. "I wasn’t intentionally trying to be different, but that was an element of what I naturally do that happened to be unique enough to spark a curiosity for people."

Fans can vote for New Artist of the Year once per day through 8PM ET on April 19 — the start of the 2015 ACM Awards broadcast — at The winner will be announced that night during the show.

The 2015 ACM Awards will air live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 19 at 8PM ET on CBS.

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