When Jason Aldean began working on his ninth studio album, appropriately called 9, he knew he made it that far on much more than just his talent and drive. The Georgia native credits his fans, many who have been with him since his self-titled freshman debut, released in 2005, and who have stuck with him through all of his rule-breaking music since then.
"Ultimately, the fan, the country music fan is the one that's going to make the final decision," Aldean shared with PopCulture.com and other media. "You can try to create the illusion of an artist and build them up and do all this stuff, but if it doesn't make the connection with the guys that are ten miles outside of town, it's all for nothing.
"You look at how many artists these record companies sign that don't ever have a hit. If you compare that to the ones that do, it's a really small percentage of artists that succeed and do well," he continued. "And it's because these guys don't know any better than anybody else what's going to connect with people. You never know until it gets out there and you see."
Aldean also credits his success with always making the music he wanted to make, without worrying too much about commercial appeal.
"I think a lot of times in the music business, if you've got an artist that has a certain sound and it's working and doing well and it's the new craze, everybody tries to follow that and do their own version of whatever that is," Aldean acknowledged. "That's just one thing. I know I've just always been comfortable in what we do and the kind of music that I make. It's country and rock and little blues and some R&B. I don't know. I've always been comfortable and thought that what we did was cool and it was what made me think that it sounded good. I don't know."
"The one thing I've always tried to pay attention to is what the songs are saying," said the singer. "I feel like that's what makes it work is if it's something that I can relate to or something that's authentic. I feel like if I don't do those kind of songs that are true to me and who I am, I just feel like people can see through that. I don't know. It's just not believable to me."
Aldean built his fanbase on mixing country, rock, R&B and other styles he gravitated towards, never straying from that in the last almost 15 years.
"I think you can always tweak on it a little bit and try to make what you do a little better and change it up a little bit here and there, but I always thought the core sound of what we do and the types of songs that we cut and things like that, it's what got us here and it's because it was believable and authentic to me and where I'm from," he maintained. "I think that's why it's always connected with people."
Order 9 at JasonAldean.com.
Photo Credit: Getty / Mat Hayward