When David Kent and Kirsti Manna pitched “Austin” to Blake Shelton, they were unknowns. And so was he.
But that all changed when Shelton recorded it, released it as his debut single in 2001 and took it to the top of the charts.
“They took a chance on me. I took a chance on them,” Shelton said in a new Facebook video. “When the right artist gets the right song, it can change the course of someone’s life forever. And it did for me.”
Fast forward 16 years, and Shelton is wrapping up the music on his next album — joking that it feels like his 200th album — and explains why he only wrote one song on it.
“I’ve got one song on there that I wrote, and the rest are all from other writers in Nashville because I’m always hearing something that blows me away,” he said. “I love being a songwriter, but I am more excited about making a great album. I’m gonna be honest with myself, and the only way to do that is to lean on the incredibly talented writers in Nashville.”
In the early days, when Shelton took his first real music industry job, he was a staff songwriter. But he never really considered himself a great one.
“The reason is because there are so many incredible songwriters in Nashville that I can’t even begin to compare my songs to the work that they put out and the brilliant songs that these writers come up with,” he said, “time and time and time again.”