For Scotty McCreery, who was just a teenager when he auditioned for and ultimately won American Idol in 2011, he doesn’t think that youth was on his side when it came to making country music. “I couldn’t have made this record when I was 17. I couldn’t have made this record when I was 20. I just didn’t have it in me. The craft wasn’t there,” McCreery told Billboard Country Update about his single “Five More Minutes” and his forthcoming album Seasons Change.
“This album is a much better example of who I am as an artist, but even more than that, as a person.”
He even admits that he went from a kid playing baseball and bagging groceries to making a record just a few months later. “It’s like, ‘What am I going to say?’ A lot of times, we’d be in the studio the next week, and that’s when everybody in town started pitching songs,” he says. “I would hear an awesome song but only have a week to learn this song. I didn’t have enough time to live with it.”
Fast forward about five years, and McCreery’s record label seemed to agree, and he was dropped in 2016.
“For 24 hours, I was in a low, low spot. I was having a pity party for myself, and I was finally just like, ‘Dude, get yourself together. You are 22, 23 years old. You’ve had an incredible life. You’ve gotten to travel the world, you get to sing for a living. Sure, this sucks, but you’ll figure it out. Just pick up the pieces.’
“From that moment on, I was really just chugging along,” he said.
Part of that chugging along was his hit ballad “Five More Minutes.” McCreery wrote the song with Frank Rogers and Monty Criswell shortly after his grandfather passed away.
“My first two records, I was literally having to read while I was singing,” he said, “whereas this one is just memory. I wrote (it), and I’ve lived with it, and I’ve listened to it a ton. And I wasn’t looking at the paper at all to see what the next line is. I just sang it.”