Scotty McCreery hit the stage for the first time in six months for his most recent performance at the Ryman Auditorium. The American Idol alum released his new single, "You Time" — something McCreery and his wife Gabi Dugal have struggled with before the pandemic. However, in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com for our PopCulture @ Home series, McCreery opened up about the thought behind those sweet lyrics and how he and Dugal have enjoyed their time together now that they've had more "You Time" than ever.
"Oh, it's been nothing but 'you time' here recently," McCreery joked after asked if he and his wife are finally getting some time to themselves. "When we wrote this song, we were not getting any. It felt like, I mean, I was on the road constantly. She was at the hospital working as a nurse. So different times now. It's like, be careful what you ask for, you know, 'cause now it's a hundred percent 'You time.'"
McCreery debuted the new single for a limited audience at the famous Nashville music spot and explained how it simply felt good to be back performing in front of a live audience, especially with a new song in hand. Limited fans could tap into his concert via Zoom for those who felt more comfortable staying at home. "I'll take a couple of claps," he said. "I've seen so much into my computer screen in the last six months with just nobody here. So even two people clapping was great for the heart."
McCreery didn't fail to note that everyone was safe who attended the concert in person, even those who were backstage, saying, "everybody was safe, distanced and masked up." His sweet song, which is dedicated to his wife, talks about how the last decade or so, he's been so on-the-go, they haven't been able to get much time together since he became a household name in country music after winning American Idol.
"I was just talking about, you know, how much I was gone and what she was doing at the hospital," McCreery said when asked what the thought process was behind the lyrics. "And there would be so many days where I'd come home from the road and she'd be going out of the hospital and we would just be passing and we'd get a little hug and a kiss and then we'd go about our days. So that's kind of the reality of back then."
In mid-March, when the United States went into a nationwide lockdown, all of that changed for the pair. While this has been an incredibly scary and emotional time for everyone, McCreery and Dugal have tried making the best of it by catching up for lost time. "I love writing about my wife — obviously I write a lot of songs about her — so she's a champ. She's great."