Keith Urban talks pushing genre boundaries: “I’ve just now been able to express more broadly what I felt inside”

Erika Goldring/Getty Images for ACM

Keith Urban’s never been a stranger to embracing different musical styles, but in a new Rolling Stone interview, the singer says he’s feeling more musically free now than he ever has before in his two decade-plus career.

“I’ve just now been able to express more broadly what I felt inside,” Keith details. “Even my ability to express myself was a bit limited for a lot of years, just for…all manner of reasons, really.”

A few of those reasons have to do with Keith’s ever-growing confidence in who he is as an artist, especially after getting sober 15 years ago. From a musical standpoint, Nashville has grown and changed over the years, allowing for a broader definition of what country music is. Often collaborating with artists like Pink and Taylor Swift, Keith’s fan base is used to hearing sounds from the fringes of mainstream country.

On his latest album, The Speed of Now Part 1, Keith furthers those sounds, duetting with up-and-comer Breland on “Out the Cage.” Keith says that when he first heard Breland’s music, he was immediately captivated.

“I just went, ‘I love this kid,’” he says, remembering a phone call that quickly turned into a co-writing session that produced multiple new songs. “Like, let’s make it happen. None of this, ‘Yeah, let’s do lunch someday,’ you know.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.