May 8, 2016
'Ripcord' Musician Keith Urban Opens Up About Music And Love

Having just released his eighth studio album, Ripcord, Keith Urban discloses his deepest thoughts on creating that new album. The early release of singles from Ripcord, including "Wasted Time," have already seen debuts on the top country charts, proving that Urban still has what it takes to produce relevant and popular country music.

Nicole Kidman Proves To Be A Hands-On Muse For Keith Urban's Ripcord

The release of Ripcord is to be followed up by a tour, and much like many of Urban's previous tours, he's fully prepared for every contingency with an array of almost 24 guitars on hand and a set of songs that spans Keith's successful years as a country artist. Mentioning that set list, Urban says he doesn't feel weighed down by fans' clamoring to hear classic Keith Urban hits, and the singer/songwriter says he absolutely loves to play the hits for his audiences. Keith says he's grateful the crowds still want to hear those songs.

Urban's concerts aren't lacking new music either. In fact, Urban's wife, actress Nicole Kidman, says that Keith's songwriting plays a big part in their daily lives, just as her own acting does on her side of the relationship.

"He will have worked all day and he'll come home and go, 'I haven't got the song,' and then suddenly the song will come together," Kidman said. "And he'll be writing, and music is so much a part of our family now. The great thing about being artists and being -- I'm an actor, and he's a musician/songwriter...that you have an innate understanding of what it takes to do the work, especially if you want it to be authentic and true."

Keith Urban Expands On His Thoughts Behind Some Of His Newest Hits

Ripcord is unique for the fact that three singles had already been released before the album was even released, and those songs are already enjoying steady positions on the top country music charts. The first of those songs, "Wasted Time," points toward living life to its fullest and not taking the precious moments of life for granted. Keith Urban wrote "Wasted Time" together with Greg Wells and James Abrahart, and as the three men compared notes, they realized that even though they had each grown up in different parts of the world, their lives had been more similar than they had been different. It was that concept that Urban and the others hoped to capture in "Wasted Time."
"When the three of us were talking about growing up in our little towns, we were really struck that it was more the same than it was different -- even in different parts of the world," said Mr. Urban. "We were all trying to find a buddy that has got a car on Friday night, piling into it with nowhere to go -- just hanging around town, drinking, smoking and hanging around the river. We all were experiencing the same kind of things."

Another hit, "The Fighter," features Carrie Underwood on supporting vocals, and Keith reveals that getting her to record her part was difficult, due to Ms. Underwood being on a concert tour of her own. Urban reveals that Carrie recorded her share of the song from a St. Louis studio while Keith joined her via the Face Time app. Urban admits it was one of the stranger recording sessions he's experienced, but he says he was very happy with the end result.

Finally, "Sun Don't Let Me Down" is unique in its own way, combining the sounds of rapper Pitbull with the special twanging of a banjo, along with Urban's own distinctive voice. In truth, Keith reveals that adding Pitbull to the song was a last minute decision and that it was only Pitbull that he wanted for the song.

"The song itself was finished and one day I heard Pitbull singing and I was just struck by how much I thought his voice would fit this particular song," says Mr. Urban. "It was really specific to him. Someone had asked me if it had been my goal to have a rap on the song. I said 'No, I wanted Pitbull on it.' If he wasn't interested in the track, there wouldn't have been anybody on it. I was just really taken with his style and his sound."

[Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]