Dierks Bentley Says He’s Letting ‘Different for Girls’ ‘Do Its Own Thing’
Dierks Bentley's latest album, Black, might be the boldest and most eclectic project of his career. The 13-track record includes collaborations with Maren Morris, Trombone Shorty and Elle King, the latter of whom appears with Bentley on his current single, "Different for Girls."
"It’s funny: "Different for Girls" is in the Top 20 on radio, and I haven’t even played it live yet in my shows," Bentley recently told The Boot and other reporters. "I’ve never put out a song before where I haven’t immediately jumped on it and started doing it in my live shows.
"It’s a different song, and I’m letting it do its own thing," the country star adds. "I don’t know how it fits into our live shows; it’s such a summertime, tempo-driven show."
"Different for Girls" -- which says, in part, "It's different for girls when their hearts get broke / They can't tape it back together with a whiskey and Coke / They don't take someone home and act like it's nothing / They can't just switch it off every time they feel something" -- was especially meaningful for Bentley, who is the father of two girls.
"I just feel like it’s skewed some ways not in their favor -- lots of little, minor things, and I see bigger things," Bentley says about the world in which his daughters are being raised. "I sing this song from a parent’s perspective. But also, just the biz -- I think you’ve got to be a little tougher, fight a little harder in some ways, being a female in this business, any side of it."
King, who has opened for artists such as Dashboard Confessional and Ed Sheeran, and will soon take a turn opening for the Dixie Chicks on their DCX MMXVI World Tour, has exactly the sound Bentley wanted to make "Different for Girls" a hit.
"You need to have a girl on a song for girls," says Bentley. "It’s a real honest collaboration, and I’ve never really had that in my career before ... We flew down to Austin and recorded her, and it was really a magical situation; it’s a real collaboration. It’s a cool friendship now -- I’m even good friends with her mom. Her mom sends me videos all the time of her singing "Somewhere on a Beach.""
And when Bentley decided to release "Different for Girls" as a single, he knew he wanted King to appear in the music video with him, too.
"Elle will tell you, she’s different from other girls," he says. "I think one of the things in the video, of having her in there, is seeing how the roles can be reversed ...
"We were cracking up between every take," Bentley continues. "She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life."
The Arizona native knowingly pushed boundaries with Black, because he felt like it was time to challenge himself and explore new territory with his music.
"Over the years, I’ve just tried to think one step ahead of where I usually stop thinking," explains Bentley. "It’s a song that’s open for dialogue; it makes you think about one thing, makes you think about something else ... It’s a crazy song. That’s why I put it out there, just to put out something different."
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