Keith Urban Discusses What Inspires His "Fearless" Approach To Expanding Country's Musical Boundaries

Taylor Swift and Nile Rodgers are among many artists impressed by Urban's ability to incorporate new sounds into the genre

Two decades into his legendary country music career, Keith Urban is finally at a place where his loves of Americana, metal icons Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and electronica legend Fatboy Slim are merging into one exciting sound palatable to the ears of country fans. In a recent interview for Rolling Stone, journalist Poppy Reid writes, "[Urban's new] records feel capacious in the way they make room for myriad genres and sounds. His music feels universal and his growing fanbase is proof."

Regarding how he's evolved his sound and how his genre-agnostic fearlessness inspires others, Taylor Swift -- an Urban collaborator for "That's When" and "We Were Happy" from her recent, re-recorded Fearless (Taylor's Version) album -- adds, "There's a palpable purity to what Keith does and there always has been. His melodies and inflections influenced me so intensely because they were so different from what I was hearing in country at that time, incorporating rock, pop, and blues into the mix. He absolutely redefined the genre for me, by making it a wider and more expansive place to create from within."

Even deeper, regarding his commitment to constantly seeking what lies beyond his expected musical edge, he adds a note regarding what he learned from a moment at the FOLD Festival in 2015 where he launched into a jam session that became a 13-minute guitar battle with disco, funk, and pop godfather Nile Rodgers (with whom he collaborates alongside BRELAND for 2021 single "Out The Cage"): "The conversation is when improvisation starts. That's when you're having a chat with each other through your instruments." In regards to his thoughts about Urban as inspired by that battle, Rodgers adds succinctly, "Keith Urban is fearless. He is so much fun."

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