It seems as though everything that Kip Moore has touched in recent years has turned to gold, or -- more specifically -- platinum. The Georgia-born country artist has had a string of hit songs since 2011, such as "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money," and "Hey "Pretty Girl," all of which came from his debut album Up All Night.
Having finished his currently untitled second record -- which will feature his latest single, "Young Love" -- Moore plans to give fans a grittier and more intense listening experience than with his first album.
The nominee for the Academy of Country Music's New Artist of the Year award discussed his new disc with Up on the Sun during a recent phone interview, as well as what it's like to be on the road with Lady Antebellum on their Take Me Downtown tour, which is stopping at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Saturday, March 22.
You've been touring with Lady Antebellum and Kacey Musgraves - how have you been enjoying that so far?
[Laughs] It's been good! Lady A are really gracious hosts and they've been super kind to us. It's a very different fan base than our fan base so that's a good thing. It's been great to get in front of fans I might not get the chance to get in front of. We've had a good time, we really have. We've actually done some writing together and stuff and it's been a great tour so far.
Are these songs that we'll get to hear later or are they more for fun?
I don't know about that. Me, Charles [Kelley], and Dave [Haywood] have written some and we're going to write a little more out here so we'll see if any of them end up making it out at some point.
You have been nominated for ACM's New Artist of the Year, how does that feel?
[Laughs] It feels good, it does. It's one of those things where as long as a drive as I've been on and as hard as this road has been -- long before ["Somethin' 'Bout A Truck"] came out -- we were grinding as a band and a lot of times you just felt like nothing was ever going to happen. And what that whole award does. I don't focus on awards because it's out of my control - but it's one of those things where it's validation and it lets you know that your journey wasn't in vain.
Although you don't focus on awards, do you feel that this award will give you any kind of boost in your career on top of the success you've already had?
I have no idea. I know that I'm going on the right path, regardless. I've seen the growth of fans and I know what's happening live and I know what I have coming next with the new record and I just believe in what we're doing. So I believe there's going to be growth just from us playing our live shows.
Speaking of the new record, what can fans expect from it?
They can expect a very, very gritty - a little more in-your-face record, a bigger sounding record. This record is a more intense record than the first. That's what they can expect.
You wrote your new single, "Young Love," with Dan Couch and Westin Davis, whom you've worked with before. Are they working on the rest of the album with you as well? How have they helped you with your creative process?
Yeah, we've written a lot of songs for the new record together, either one of them or the other or all three together. We had several cuts on this new album - the record is done. So both of those guys are co-writers on several songs.
I just think that we're all super close and that the three of us understand each other. We've been writing together for a long, long time so we know what each other is thinking. And we know how to get the best out of each other so that's how that combination works.
What influences your songwriting?
Everything! Life, I mean, it's past experiences, future experiences, present experiences, everything that I'm seeing. I'm living a completely different life now than I lived, you know, four or five years ago and I'm seeing things that I never had a chance to see. So just everyday life is what influences me and not being afraid to speak the truth on those things.
Would you say that your personality really comes out in your songs?
Yeah, 100 percent. This new record is going to be even more of an insight on who I am as a person, way more than the first. I'm just trying to stick true to writing what's real to me and what's honest to me. And even if it offends people on this new record, that's fine because I know there's going to be some people that are going to love it and there's going to be some people that are going to hate it and that's just the way it is.
I'm no longer trying to please everyone. I'm just trying to write the music that's true to me and what's true to my fans. It's just something that I've experienced and I'm honest with it and other people are going to relate to it because you know other people have experienced it too.
Is there anything you're doing on this tour with Kacey [Musgraves] or Lady Antebellum to just have fun backstage?
Yeah, me and my band, every night, we jam non-stop until we go out and we usually bring back a few fans that win a contest to get you in to come back and hang with us and we all drink together and we play music together and they get to watch us do it. But I don't do anything with Kacey or Lady A, no.
Do you ever find time to visit the cities that you stop in?
I do! Last night, we went to the local bar here in Toronto and hung out with all the locals and we had a blast! We try to do that in every city and it just kind of depends on if we have time or not, but we always try to get a feel for the local community.
Is there anything that you're really looking forward to on this tour?
I'm not quite sure. It's one of those things where I just look forward to each and every night and being in front of a new crowd - that's what I look forward to. There's not, like, one single show that I'm looking forward to more than the other. Every night is a challenge to win over fans and that's how I look at it.
What is that one song that you will never get tired of performing? What song does the crowd seem to go the wildest for?
"Crazy One More Time." It's a special song to me and it makes me feel different every single night. [The crowd goes wild for] "Reckless [(Still Growin' Up)]". I think people can relate to that song. I think that song resonates with people.
Kip Moore is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 22, at Ak-Chin Pavilion with Lady Antebellum and Kacey Musgraves.
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