The Grammy nominated Chris Young played a set at this year’s C2C Festival full of quality and warmth. We were lucky enough to catch up with him in the press room beforehand.
What do you expect from the audience today and what’s the difference between American & European crowds?
I think it’s going to be awesome, I’m really looking forward to it. Over here when people get an album they consume all of the tracks, it’s not a ‘single’ based as it is in the USA. The last time I was here doing my own shows people were like, ‘Can you play this?’ and it was some random album cut from two albums ago. It’s an amazing feeling, to have people really respect all of the music on each album is pretty special.
When you heard ‘Think of You’ did you realise you had such a bit hit on your hands? It’s kept going and going.
It’s the fastest number one I’ve had in the States, it only took 15 weeks. When I wrote it we thought it was going to be something really cool but didn’t ever think it was going to be this big, it’s been nominated for everything! It’s the song that keeps on giving. It’s been played and loved by everyone everywhere, it’s just gone platinum as a single. Having Cassadee on it was awesome, she was my first choice and her voice is pretty special. It’s been a special ride for both of us.
Tell us about your current Number 1 single, ‘Sober Saturday Night’.
Having Vince on there is kinda mind-blowing. I basically cold called him, I’ve never called him before but I spoke to him and he said, “Just call me at my house.” And I was like, ‘excuse me?’ So I ended up at Vince Gill’s house!!! He was one of the first people I got to see live, as a kid, I’m sure he loves me saying that. This one was the slowest number 1 I ever heard, it took a long time but had a real life of its own.
What is it like to have the number 1 Country song in America?
It never gets old, I can tell you that. It’s awesome. It always a tough thing to have the right timing and the right song. It’s an incredible feeling. My first three singles as an artist got to 37, 52 and 37 respectively, so, you know, to break the 30’s was pretty special but this is amazing.
Who would your dream collaboration be with, and why?
If you took out the two we’ve just spoke about I’d have to think about it. It would have to be somebody who’s voice fit the song. I’ve never really had a duet released as a single before, these two, even though they were back to back, it was because their voices fit the songs. I guess it would have to be something I wrote or something I found that I thought, ‘This is ideal for….this person.’
Did you have to prove yourself twice after being on the reality TV show, ‘Beginnings’?
I think it really helped me because as I’ve said, my first few singles, well, they tanked! I had some many people watch me on that show that went out and bought the record and the label agreed to have one more shot at it, make one more album and I don’t think that would have been the case without the show. So, I think i was lucky to have a fan base invested in what I was doing whilst I managed to find my feet with Country radio.
Do you have an update for us on a new album, new music?
Yeah, I actually sent mix notes back to my producer, Corey, when I landed yesterday on the new album so we are getting closer and closer to having something ready. The next single will almost certainly be off the new record.
Your Christmas album was a big success. How on earth did you get Boyz II Men on there and are you tempted to do more outside of Country?
When I open my mouth I’ve got quite an accent and pretty much anything I sing on sounds Country! It was fun, on the Christmas album, to work with people like Brad and Alan Jackson and then Boyz II Men, it was fun for me. Getting them on there was pretty fun. It took a lot of work, they recorded their bits whilst they were in Japan and I was on the West Coast of the USA, so it went right down to the wire, sending each other the tracks and co-ordinating the time zones.
Are you excited by the momentum you’ve built up going into your next project or daunted by what’s come before?
I’m really excited. Being able to have an album like this is amazing. James Stroud produced the three albums before but we really stepped out and did some different with Corey. I was like ‘What if people hate it?’ and was really nervous but everybody liked the three singles and it has made me able to grow as an artist and I can hopefully make more music people will love.
When did you realise you loved music and what was the very first song you wrote?
The very first song I wrote I co-wrote with someone in Nashville because I had no idea how to do it. It was called ‘She’s the One’ and it was about a car. The play on words was it appeared to be about a girl till the end, I was about 15. My love of music came from when I was younger. I would never shut up as a kid, my parents used to just tune me out – I would sing everything, even the theme songs to commercials in the supermarket aisles! From a very young age I loved music. Once i got to about 13 and went to high school I knew that it was pretty much what I wanted to do.
So there it is y’all. A sneak peak into the press room at C2C. Tweet us YOUR favourite act at C2C this year. We wanna know @LYRICmagazine