Brett Young brings SoCal vibe to Nashville
An “incredibly blue-eyed soulful voice and fantastic sense of melody and groove” is what prompted Big Machine Label Group Executive Vice President Jimmy Harnen to sign young new talent Brett Young. The singer-songwriter from Southern California was inked to recording and publishing deals in August 2015, joining Big Machine’s roster of top recording artists that includes Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, and The Band Perry. “It’s a dream come true for me as an artist to become a part of the team at BMLG,” states the former high school baseball star in a label news release. “I can’t wait to get in the studio and share my music with the world.”
An official bio describes Young as an artist whose music “balances the sophistication of contemporary pop with the emotional palette of modern country.” The major label debut effort the singer and guitarist is sharing with the world is a six-song EP produced by Dann Huff (Reba, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, The Band Perry). The collection features lead single, ‘Sleep Without You,’ which enters the Mediabase Country airplay chart at No. 49, and peaks at No. 51 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
After growing up in Orange County, Calif., Young was poised to become a major league pitcher until he blew out his arm in college. His back-burner love of music was soon at the forefront, resulting in his moving to Nashville so that he could hone his sound and skills as a performer and songwriter. Young tells SoundsLikeNashville.com he grew up listening to pop radio, but fell in love with country music after hearing Tim McGraw’s ‘Don’t Take The Girl.’ “I went, ‘How did they just tell that whole story in three and a half minutes? I want to do that.”
Young was inspired to write ‘Sleep Without You’ after listening to a pop radio station that played three songs in a row about “a guy trying to sleep with a girl.” He explains to Sounds Like Nashville that he decided to put a twist on the “same old tale” by using his own personal experience. “I started to think about past relationships and we were in the habit of the goodnight phone call or text. And I thought, ‘I remember nights where she would work late or something and I would be trying to go to sleep, but was laying there tossing and turning because she hadn’t called to say goodnight yet.’”
Brett Young's “Caliville” sound is a cross-section of his Southern California roots and Nashville influences, while a review by Taste of Country also notes R&B in the “sincerity and warmth of his delivery, not the sonic nature of this mostly acoustic jam.” Young says he is drawn to how emotion drives songs by soul singers such as Al Green and Marvin Gaye, adding he wants to connect with his fans in the same way. Young is hoping to make that connection during an upcoming show in Las Vegas (April 29), followed by performances at the Carolina Country Music Fest in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (June 10), Chicago (June 17-18), Farmingville, N.Y. (June 22), and Columbus, Ohio (July 3).
Watch Brett Young and Miss USA Olivia Jordan in the official music video for ‘Sleep Without You,’ the debut single from the Southern California singer-songwriter’s self-titled EP on Big Machine Label Group.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Brett Young was born and raised in Orange County, Calif., where as a teenager he developed a love for music and learned to play guitar. He also pursued a passion for playing baseball, excelling as a star high school pitcher and state champion.
* Young was scouted by Major League Baseball teams until he injured his arm in college. He soon began exploring music as a career. Citing influences such as Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, and Gavin DeGraw, Young began writing songs and developing his voice.
* By 2007, Young was appearing around California and recorded his first self-titled, self-released EP. He followed up in 2011 with a second independent effort called Make Believe, which preceded 2013’s On Fire.
* In addition to playing prestigious California venues including the Troubadour, the Roxy, and the Viper Room, Young opened for Colbie Caillat, Katy Perry, and Gavin DeGraw. His music was also featured on the TV shows “The Real World” and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York.”
* As Young adopted more of a country-influenced style he left California for Nashville, releasing the EP Country in California. He eventually attracted the attention of Big Machine Label Group and was signed to record and publishing deals in 2015.