Who’s New: Brett Young

Who’s New: Brett Young

Brett Young
Current Single: “Sleep Without You”
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Influences: Gavin Degraw, Jason Reeves, Tyrone Wells, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Van Morrison, Tim McGraw, Ty Herndon

In Brief
With a smooth, West Coast pop style and a knack for accessing his deepest emotions, Brett Young is one of the newest faces in country, but he almost went a different direction entirely. Brett was an ace pitcher in high school and a pre-draft selection by both the Tampa Devil Rays and Minnesota Twins, but an injury put an end to his baseball career, which was bad luck for him but great news for country fans. The handsome former athlete spent ten years honing his craft in Los Angeles and already has three independent albums under his belt. Brett’s major league—err, label—debut, a six song, self-titled EP, is out now, and his first single is the romantically mature “Sleep Without You.”

Quit It!
“I honestly started listening to country because I have a sister who’s eight years older than me, and we would alternate who got the front seat—whoever got the front seat would also get the radio. At the time she didn’t like country music, so I would turn it on just to bug her and that caused me to listen to a bunch of country, and I fell in love with it. Joke’s on me, I guess.”

Freaks and Geeks
“I was kind of a jock my whole life. That was what I intended to do and always pursued heavily, but I always had a love for music and ever since early junior high I was playing guitar and singing. . . . I think I was kind of the oddball. I was the kid who would sit at home alone at night and write journal poetry. I also had a different taste in music than everybody. When I was growing up in Southern California, it was all punk music like Blink 182 and Green Day and Offspring, and I’m listening to ‘Don’t Take the Girl’ by Tim McGraw and ‘What Mattered Most’ by Ty Herndon.”

Shattered Dreams
“They have this thing with high school students where Major League Baseball scouts can call the week leading into the draft and get a feel for whether or not they should use one of their picks on you. When I was 18, both the [Tampa] Devil Rays and the [Minnesota] Twins called, and I think both of them were talking about a sixth round pick. We felt like it should have been higher than that, and I already had a really good scholarship offer from Ole Miss, so we made the decision to tell them not to waste their pick. It felt like, being that I already had offers at 18, that if I had three good years at college it was a no brainer that it would come back around. And actually the night that I blew out my elbow, there were 30 scouts there to watch the game. So we were close, twice. It was tough, but I always say ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.’”

Cali Country
“The songs that got me into country are really great story songs. So whenever I approach my music I want the story to be out front and for people to be able to relate to it. . . . We’ve been calling it ‘California Country,’ and I think what we mean by that is just that it’s a laid back, mellow, pop-country mix.”

Sleepless Nights
“I was listening to pop radio and I heard a bunch of songs about guys trying to sleep with girls. I just thought ‘Ugh, there are so many of those.’ They work, so I get why people keep writing them, but I wanted to write a twist on that. [“Sleep Without You”] is about being in a relationship so long you become attached to that person. You become somewhat dependent, and then when its time to go to bed at night and you haven’t heard from them, you realize you can’t sleep until you get that good night phone call or text or until they get home. I went in with Justin Ebach and Kelly Archer and they liked the idea, and we wrote it. I think we all kind of knew it was special when we finished it.”

 

Photo by C. Baehler/BMLG

Daily Dose

New Albums

New Albums

New albums dropping on Nov. 16 include Montgomery Gentry’s 20 Years of Hits and Kip Moore’s Room to Spare: The Acoustic Sessions.