ABC/Mark Levine

Keith Urban will perform the smash “Old Town Road” with Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus on next month’s annual CMA Fest special on ABC.  It’s a collaboration that came together after Keith covered the song on his socials shortly after it came out.

Keith’s not only a fan of all kinds of music — he’s also a fan of the ways some artists make music these days.

“I’m most inspired by new music — of any kind — because, well, first of all, it’s new,” he says. “No one’s heard it.”

“A lot of the times it’s the form that it takes…” Keith explains. “Somebody like Nas and a lot of…artists like him, they don’t play a traditional instrument.”

“The laptop or Pro Tools or whatever they’re multi-tracking…that’s their instrument. And it’s a legitimate instrument. A laptop is a legit instrument for making music,” Keith emphasizes.

It’s a perspective some might find surprising, since Keith is a lifelong musician known as a master of his craft.

“I’ve always been a big believer in that,” he continues. “A lot of musicians frown on that, but it doesn’t have to be a traditional instrument in the sense of learning chords and knowing notes. You don’t need to know notes, you don’t need to know chords, you don’t need to know anything.”

“But if you feel and can hear how to put something together,” Keith points out, “then that becomes your instrument. You’re playing this laptop like an instrument.”

“And when people go, ‘Oh, well then, anybody could do it.’ I’m like, ‘No. They can’t.’ It’s a particular way this person plays that instrument.”

You can tune in to see Keith, Nas, and Billy Ray Sunday, August 4 at 8 p.m. ET, when the CMA Fest special premieres on ABC.

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