Keith Urban Talks New Music While Celebrating Latest No. 1 Hit, ‘Raise Em Up’
Keith Urban is no stranger to a No. 1 hit. "Raise 'Em Up" marked the singer's 18th chart-topping single, but this one was extra special for everyone involved, including the talented songwriters and producer.
Tom Douglas, Jeffrey Steele and Jaren Johnston (of the Cadillac Three) joined forces to create "Raise 'Em Up," with Nathan Chapman and Urban collaborating on the production. But the writers didn't originally pen the song as a duet.
“I got in there and [Keith] goes, 'Oh it’s a duet now,' and it was Eric coming in there," Johnston told a crowd of reporters and music industry executives at the No. 1 party in Nashville last week. "I was blown away. We never thought that would happen at all.”
Urban loved the song from Day 1, but it was Chapman who had the unique idea to make it a duet with Eric Church, someone he knew Urban had been yearning to collaborate with.
“I’d been looking for a song to do with Eric, I wanted to do something on the record with him but it’s really hard to find a song for two guys," Urban explains. "Then Nathan said, ‘This might be a good duet.’ It was just immediate, so as soon as he suggested it could be a good duet, I knew the guy, and thankfully, Eric loved the song, too.”
“For me, it’s about resonating with a song, and it’s really just as simple as that. I hear so many songs. Right now I’m hearing lots and lots and lots of songs. There’s just certain ones that hit me and this one was immediate," Urban furthers. "Often when you record a song, you’ve only sung it a handful of times so you got to get it out on the road and really wrap yourself around it. It’s such a beautifully written lyric, melody and every night when we play it — we’ve been ending our tour with it on this particular run — it’s the perfect song to end the evening with. Everybody, no matter their age or where they’re from, they seem to really relate to it.”
"Raise 'Em Up" writer Johnston describes the songwriting process with his fellow creative geniuses in a really interesting way: "It’s like three ninjas sitting in a room discussing how you’re gonna kill a guy. It’s pretty easy if you’ve got three ninjas in a room.”
Church wasn't able to attend the celebration of the song, but he sent along a short and sweet video message for Urban and the creative crew, thanking them for allowing him to sing on it and, for "keeping Jaren off the streets."
Although Urban was living in the moment to honor "Raise 'Em Up," he wanted to let everyone know he's working on new music. He says he's about nine months into the process and still going strong.
“I always just think of it as a photograph. For me, every album I’ve done is a snapshot, some of them are very similar to the previous record because that’s just where I was," he explains. "I was in a similar place and then the next record may be really, really different because I was in a different place. In some ways I feel making this record now that I’m working on is going to be easy because Fuse was such a process of finding new people … I got in and started making some music with Nathan back in January and I didn’t feel the way about it as I hoped I would. it was kind of in that moment I thought, ‘This is not going to be easy.’ Here we are, nine months later and Nathan and I are back in the studio still going at it. It’s a process.”
Expect Urban's forthcoming album to bring several more No. 1 singles.
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