One of Big Machine Label Group’s newest signings, California native Brett Young draws from a blend of blue-eyed soul and country’s relatable lyrics for his own brand of music.
As a songwriter, Young inked a deal with Big Machine Music, and co-wrote every track on his self-titled EP, which released Feb. 12.
Young stopped by MusicRow to perform a trio of songs from his EP, including “In Case You Didn’t Know,” as well as current single “Sleep Without You,” which Young co-wrote with Justin Ebach and Kelly Archer.
“I was back visiting friends and family and I turned on pop music, just to see what was going on,” Young said. “Three songs in a row came on that were about a guy trying to sleep with a girl. I was like, ‘We get it. That song works, we get it.’ I started thinking about what a sweet twist on that would be. My mind went to this place where you are in a relationship for so long that whether you live together or not, you can’t really go to sleep without that good night phone call or text message. My parents have been together 36 years and my dad still, if my mom goes on a women’s retreat with the church, he’s restless at night because they are used to being together.”
Young shot the video for “Sleep Without You” in a beach house on the shores of Malibu, California. Shane Drake, who has worked with Kelly Clarkson, Paramore, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, directed the clip.
Young ended his acoustic preview with the intensely personal “You Ain’t Here To Kiss Me,” a song he co-wrote in the wake of a breakup with a longtime girlfriend. He penned the track with Tiffany Goss and Matt Alderman.
“I went back out to California for New Year’s Eve,” Young recalled. “I had been in Nashville for about a year at that point. And the girl I had been with for six years was still living in Los Angeles, so I went to spend the holidays with my family, but mostly to see her. I had been out there for seven days, and I still hadn’t seen her. So New Year’s Eve morning I woke up and the plan was to spend the day with her and her family, and all the excuses just kind of didn’t sit right with me.
“I called her and said, ‘Hey, I’m ring shopping. Why do I feel like we are on different pages here?’ She said, ‘No you shouldn’t be ring shopping.’ So the conversation turned to, ‘We don’t have to be in the exact same place, but after six years, shouldn’t we be there? And if we are not, why aren’t we?’ She goes, ‘Babe, can I call you back? I just pulled up for my hair appointment.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you can, but I think I’m going to change my flight and go back to Nashville tonight.’ She said, ‘Don’t be dramatic, I’ll call you back.’
“Well, she called me back, but I was boarding my flight. There was a layover in Phoenix and it got delayed, so next thing I know, I’m on a half-empty plane at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Two days later I was at a writing appointment, I brought up what I had been going through, and this song just came out.”
In an EPK, Young said that transparent style of songwriting is exactly what he aims for, both as a writer and an artist. “I think the most important thing to me with my music, and with the songs and stories, is I want it to be real and honest, and I want it to be relatable to a really wide age range.”
Young is working with producer Dann Huff on his first full-length release for BMLG.
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