Colt Ford chatted with Taste of Country about what's going on in his busy life -- from his (very unexpected) ACM nomination to his upcoming new album, 'Every Chance I Get' -- and how his looks help to put him on the map.

Ford's new single, 'Country Thang,' dropped on iTunes Tuesday, and the full-length 'Chance' album will follow in the coming months. As for what he is anticipates from the new record, the country-rap singer says that he hopes he'll set himself apart and continue to grow as an artist. "I keep adding little extras as we go along, to show people that I can do some different things, but I'm still trying to maintain who I am," Ford tells us. "I'm just steady fighting for the chance to be heard more, and be given more chances to be on the radio and things like that."

He adds, laughing: "And for people to quit being so afraid of me. Llike something bad is going to happen if you buy a Colt Ford record." Ford says that while he realizes that he's not everyone's taste, "there's room for everything."

"Of course not everybody is going to like it, but not everybody likes Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, either. That's what makes music great, you know?," he says. "There's room for everything. I mean, we need George Strait, but we need Jamey Johnson too. We need Taylor Swift -- hopefully we need a little Colt Ford," he continues, tossing in, "There ain't been too many 300-pound boys in cowboy hats up there being a country artist, so that separates me pretty good."

In addition to the debut of Colt Ford's third studio album, 2011 is set to be a big year for the Georgia native -- he received his first ACM nomination for his work with Jamey Johnson on a song called 'Cold Beer,' which is up for Vocal Event of the Year. Surprisingly, Ford says he had no idea he even was nominated. "You know, it's funny -- I had no idea, because I just assumed that I wouldn't be in it anyway," Ford reveals modestly. "I didn't even know. My bus driver had brought me home to Georgia and his shoulder was hurting, so I'm taking him to my chiropractor -- and he's sitting in there and I was in the office talking to my publicist, who was like 'I need a quote from you about this nomination,' and I was like 'What are you talking about?'"

"I mean I had no idea, so it was pretty exciting," Ford says enthusiastically. "I never thought I'd get nominated for anything, I was just trying to make the best possible song I could make with a buddy of mine. So, I'm excited to be nominated, certainly, with somebody that's as critically acclaimed as Jamey is."

Ford may be humbled by all of his success, but there's no hiding that the "300-pound boy in a cowboy hat" has a good thing going. "Jason Aldean has got one of my songs that's gonna be his next single coming out pretty soon, and as a songwriter it's pretty exciting to have an artist as hot as he is recording something that you've written," Ford shared with us. "That's my first big artist to record anything that I've ever written."

But at the end of the day, it's getting to do what he loves that greases this guy's wheels. "You know, shoot, I get excited every day I wake up, to be honest with you -- because I get to play music for a living and that's a gift -- and I look at it that way," Ford says, adding, "I'm just thankful every day."

Watch the Colt Ford 'Hip Hop in a Honky Tonk' Video

"Hip Hop In A Honky Tonk" - Colt Ford featuring Kevin Fowler from Colt Ford on Vimeo.