Keith Urban Recalls The Moment He First Heard ‘Brown Eyes Baby,’ Talks New Album, Taking His Family On The Road, and More
This year, Keith Urban has proved once again that he is more than just a performer, he’s an entertainer who…
Keith Urban; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Music Mayhem
This year, Keith Urban has proved once again that he is more than just a performer, he’s an entertainer who takes great pride in his artistry and fatherhood.
Catching up with Country Now, Urban took a deep dive into what life is really like on and off the road. Plus, he gave some insight into what his next album will look like.
Upon first listen to his latest radio single “Brown Eyes Baby,” Urban said that he instantly “fell in love.” Everything from the lyrics to the melody and even the way it was written made him feel connected to it.
“It was just one of those visceral reactions to a song that sometimes, it’s more about the way I feel hearing it than anything else. I’m not really analyzing why I like the song. I just loved it. “
Knowing who the songwriters are tends to be insignificant to Urban when choosing a song to cut, but in this case, he was certainly impressed to learn Josh Thompson, Morgan Wallen, Rodney Clawson and Will Bundy are responsible for this triumph.
“If I’m looking for a song that I haven’t written, it’s gonna be just having a reaction to it that I feel, I know this song, I know this person, I know this scene, this song feels like me. Boom. That’s it,” he explained.
As he sings the final line of each chorus, “I can take the blue out of your brown eyes baby,” Urban is making a promise to the female character that he will bring some happiness back into her broken heart.
“Brown Eyes Baby” is the second single off Urban’s upcoming album, following “Wild Hearts.” The Australian singer found that these singles and other recordings were coming to a “thematic creative context” and leading down the same path towards a full project. The tremendous amount of talent in Music City has allowed him to find the best-suited tracks to complete the collection.
“Nashville is an incredibly creative community and I’ve had the opportunity to travel everywhere and write with all kinds of people and work with different people, really all over the world. I’ve been so heartened to remember how much insane talent is here in Nashville, writers, engineers, players, producers, etc. So there was a concerted effort on my part to look and find these songs that all came together with all of that criteria. That’s somewhat of the common thread that’s coming in this next album.”
Juggling the production of a full record with his elaborate on-stage production can be a challenge and this record proved to be no different.
“The hard part is just time for me in getting songs the way I hear them in my head. That’s the harder part,” Urban told Country Now and other outlets.
Regardless, he always seems to find a way to create the most unique and elaborate space for people to come together and listen to music.
“As fun and celebratory as I try and make the experience, I also take my job really seriously. My job is to create almost a utopian existence for everybody that’s come so that they can shut out everything in their life and live in this alternate reality for a good few hours and feel amazing, energized, inspired, connected, and to belong to something and be a part of something. That’s really it. That’s my job.”
In April, the “One Too Many” singer finally got the chance to hit the road for his The Speed Of Now World Tour. The anticipation for this stint of shows has been building for four years now after multiple rounds of rescheduling.
Ingrid Andress served as a special guest for the first leg of the tour and Tyler Hubbard will be joining them in the fall. Urban described Andress as “the real deal” and revealed he was first drawn to her music when he saw her talent in action as she opened for his Vegas residency at the start of the year.
“She completely floored me because she’s such a great storyteller on stage and the way she told stories in between the songs and the way she connected with the audience. I stood side stage and I was just floored at how good she was and how much the audience loved her.”
He and Hubbard have had the pleasure of getting to know each other on a more personal level during a writing session a few months back. Not only is he a fan of Hubbard as a person, but he also admires his musical talents. So asking him to join them on the road was a pretty easy decision.
“I just love this vibe and I said, listen, ‘Ingrid Andress and I are hitting the road, we’re gonna keep going through the fall, would you want to come out and join us? It would be kind of fun to have the three of us out there.’ And it was just one of those great timings where he was able to do it, and he was gonna have a lot of music ready to go. So I’m thrilled he said yes.”
When all is said and done, Urban is also a proud father to his daughters Sunday and Faith, with his wife Nicole Kidman. Just like most families, they enjoy having breakfast together and taking turns dropping off and picking up their kids from school. The only difference is, his kids also get to experience the side of his rockstar life when they join him on the road.
“It’s been great to have ’em out there on the bus. They love the bus. I mean, I would too, particularly at that age. Just the idea of traveling, sleeping in the bunks and just everything about it they just love.”
He added, “I’m also very lucky that I get to tour the way I do where I play a few shows and I come home, play few shows come home. So it’s not like I’m out for weeks and weeks at a time. So they don’t need to come out as much as they would if I was playing, you know, for weeks.”
The Australian leg of the world tour is quickly approaching, but there are still a few US shows left to play before December. Keith Urban is scheduled to take the stage next on August 18 in Rogers, AR.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.