Keith Urban Hopes His ‘Name Becomes a Genre’

With every one of his albums, Keith Urban has gotten a little more experimental with his sound, bringing in elements from different genres like pop, R&B and more. Speaking to country-rap artist Breland on the latest episode of Land of the BRE Radio on Apple Music Country, Urban shared that that diversification is intentional.

"I think what I've been just slowly doing really since the first album, was trying to make my own sound and create my own sound, so that my name becomes a genre," he said. "And then if you like that sort of thing, you come to my name to find songs, you know? And you know what you're expecting."

The country star shared that one of the ways he stays creative and is able to push forward is by not looking back on his previous accomplishments. "I love what I do - love, love, love it," he said. "And I don't know how it's possible, but I completely, honestly to God forget that I've ever done anything. I don't walk around with a feeling or sense that I've done anything at all. Nothing."

Urban added that he doesn't even have any awards or plaques displayed in his home. "No awards, no accolades anywhere. It's always a blank slate," he revealed. "I love walking in the studio and it's just completely blank. And I was talking to a friend of mine about that the other day and he goes, 'Oh, you've got beginner's mind.' And I said, 'I've never heard that term before.' And he goes, 'Yeah, you've got beginner's mind.' And he goes, 'It's a great thing to have. You should hang on to that. You either have it or you don't. You've got it. You've got beginner's mind. I guarantee you can write songs for the next 50 years and you'll still be excited to write songs.'"

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Breland was one of the artists featured on Urban's new album, The Speed of Now Part 1, dueting with the singer on the fast-paced opening track "Out the Cage" along with guitarist Nile Rodgers. Urban and Breland wrote the song together in Nashville along with Sam Sumser and Sean Small, and Urban told The Boot that he and Breland "just clicked."

"I know why I'm writing it, I know the perspective I'm coming at it from in my life experience and the things I'm passionate about," he said of "Out the Cage," which combines electronic beats with a banjo. "[But also,] I know why he's writing it, and that's a different life experience, a different passion, it's a different thrust, and yet, it's all connected: It's all based in this feeling of confinement, whether it's oppression or confinement through all kinds of ways, really."