Luke Bryan is filling stadiums this summer thanks in large part to his up-tempo, party anthems like his latest hit, “Kick the Dust Up.” Though he balances that lightheartedness with more serious tunes on his new album, Kill the Lights, Luke makes no apologies for recording songs that make people want to have fun.
He says, “I feel like who I am as a person is get up and smile and have a good time and do that on stage. So, my music will always lean toward that, but I do feel like it has to gradually mature in ways, too.”
While Luke always looks to grow with each new album, you shouldn’t worry that he’ll abandon his plainspoken, country roots.
“I will never sit down and do an album for, like, critical acclaim or just to be artsy,” Luke explains. “I don’t want to do start doing all these weird lyrics, because that doesn’t speak to who I want it to speak to. You know, that doesn’t speak to my fans that come to know my music.”
As he’s always done, Luke simply stayed true to himself and recorded his favorite songs for Kill the Lights. There isn’t some grand scheme at work on the album to take the country format in a radically different direction.
He says, “I think the second you try to do it, if you try to record a pop song because you’re so popular that it’s time to do that, then you sound like a country singer that tried to record a pop song.”
Since he is the reigning ACM and CMA Entertainer of the Year, Luke knows whatever songs he puts out will have an influence on where the country format goes next. He doesn’t take that responsibility lightly.
Says Luke, “I’m amazed to be in a situation where I can make music take new routes, and I’ll try my best to do it. But then you’ll hear some other new kid come along that he don’t even know he’s [changing country music]. And he’s doing it, and that’s pretty amazing to see.”
Kill the Lights goes on sale Friday, August 7. Luke’s Kick the Dust Up tour pulls into Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville this Saturday night with special guests Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch.