Country Stardom Wasn’t Brett Young’s First Career Choice
In February, Brett Young released his eponymous debut EP with Big Machine Label Group. While the "Sleep Without You" singer is making a name for himself in country music now, he admits that the job title of "country singer" is not the career path he originally planned.
"I always loved music, I just never thought of it as a career," Young -- who grew up singing in church -- tells The Boot. "Baseball was always my thing."
When Young accepted a baseball scholarship at Ole Miss, he "left my guitar at home and just figured, if I’m going to do this, I need to focus on it."
"So I focused on baseball, transferred around a little bit, hurt my elbow my junior year and had surgery," Young continues. "I needed an outlet. I didn’t have sports anymore, so I picked up my guitar."
Six months or so later, Young heard Gavin DeGraw's Chariot album and decided he wanted to try his hand at songwriting in addition to playing.
"I did that for about eight years in Los Angeles, and made a living doing it, but kind of always felt I had reached the ceiling of what was going to happen," Young recalls. "At the time, I didn’t even realize I was making country music, because it was just music."
Then, a couple of years ago, Young "realized the only difference between what I’m writing and what’s on country radio is the production." So, he headed to Nashville, "and it all started happening really fast."
"Happening really fast" is really an understatement: Young caught the attention of Big Machine almost as soon as his feet hit the Music City pavement.
"I feel very, very lucky," Young admits. "When I moved here, it was to pursue the writing side, not the artist side. I knew I would always be an artist, but when you move to Nashville, this is a writer’s town. I moved here to focus on that and started pitching demos and immediately was asked to be an artist.
"I always say, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans," Young adds. "I couldn’t be happier with where I ended up and how it worked out."
Truth be told, Young didn't even plan on releasing an EP before an album, but after the release of "Sleep Without You," the California native knew that he needed to get his music into the hands of his fans as quickly as possible.
"We weren’t going to, but about seven stations started playing the single way before we even shipped it. And then [SiriusXM's] the Highway [station] wanted to start playing it, but they need your songs to be for sale; that’s part of how they gauge how well it’s doing," Young explains. "We wanted to take them up on letting them play the song, so we hurried up and just took the first six we had done and put it out."
Young hopes to have his debut full-length record completed this fall. "Sleep Without You" is available for download on iTunes.
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