Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Keith Urban is one of country music’s biggest superstars and most talented musicians. Keith released his debut self-titled album in 1999 on the label he remains on today, Capitol Records Nashville, and has since continued to entertain fans globally.
Keith Urban releases GRAFFITI U, his first new studio album in nearly two years, on April 27th. The much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s record-breaking, #1 platinum album RIPCORD, GRAFFITI U is a natural musical progression that began with FUSE, but it also marks where Urban currently resides creatively. It’s this sense of presence during his writing and recording process that gives each of Urban’s albums an unabashed honesty and authenticity.
There were no parameters or preconceived ideas,” says Urban. “I began this process with a completely blank canvas. Every initial spark is organic and then expanded upon, like the art of graffiti, so the name really fit the music. I also liked the idea of “you” the listener (or the audience), because this is an inclusive experience. And because of my last name we had a little grammatical fun and shortened it to U.”
A soaring spirit spray-painted right from the heart, Urban’s curiosity powers each moment on GRAFFITI U and the very title speaks to that personal and passionate vibrancy, vitality, and vision.
After nine full-length studio albums and millions of, songs, albums and tickets sold worldwide, of his drive to collaborate and explore his musical curiosity Urban says, “I’ve always been creatively curious and I follow that passionately. That’s why I work with different people, and on this album predominantly new people, giving me an opportunity to discover new musical sides of myself.”
GRAFFITI U, which has already seen the release of “Female” and “Coming Home,” features over thirty songwriting, producer and featured guest performance credits, including Greg Wells, Dann Huff, Mike Elizondo, Ed Sheeran, Ross Copperman, JHart, Julia Michaels, Nicolle Galyon, J.R. Rotem, Shane McAnally, Shy Carter and a signature lick for “Coming Home,” which credits Merle Haggard as one of its songwriters. Urban himself is a writer or producer on all but one of GRAFFITI U’s songs.
For more official Keith Urban news and information go to www.keithurban.net
Keith Urban took to his socials this week to reveal the track list and the album cover for his upcoming album, The Speed of Now, Part 1.
This is THE SPEED OF NOW. pic.twitter.com/YZ1eGhX0Mq
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) August 5, 2020
THE SPEED OF NOW Part 1, featuring “We Were,” “With You” and his latest hit, “God Whispered Your Name,” is available September 18th.
Check out the album trailer below:
Keith Urban teamed up with Variety to premiere the video for “Superman,” the fourth song Keith has released from his upcoming album, “The Speed of Now Part One,” available September 18th.
Keith is always looking for different and creative ways to present new music, and this particular video pairs him with an animated drawing flipbook of him singing and playing guitar. “Obviously trying to shoot a video right now is challenging, as any artist can testify,” Keith tells Variety. “So it’s about trying to come up with a way where we could do something a little different and not just be dependent upon solely green-screen type performance or a solo performance. I was talking with Ben Dalgleish, who’s this really great creative designing artist in my world who put together our whole Vegas show that we did. We were talking about the Aha “Take on Me” video, and he said, “Well, what about a flipbook video?” He hooked me up with a guy called Andymation, who has a really popular channel on YouTube, and we brought him to start work on the concept. I did some filming here in Nashville over at our warehouse. We have a warehouse where we store all our equipment and we have a big green-screen setup there, so we shot all of my performance there.”
Of writing the song, he explains, “I did a writing retreat here in Nashville, and I particularly wanted to put together people I’d written with, but hadn’t written with together. There’s this three-man collective from Los Angeles called Captain Cuts that I wrote a song with on the “Graffiti U” album, and they bring this kind of frat-house, loose, go-at-anything vibe it’s really exciting to be around. And Craig Wiseman, a Nashville writer who I really, really love, comes at things from a different vibe again. I put Captain Cuts, Craig Wiseman and myself in a room, and “Superman” was the result of that first-day collaboration.”
Keith hits the Top 10 with his latest single, “God Whispered Your Name.”
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. This year with the pandemic still raging across the country, the holiday may look a little different for most people, including musicians. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
For liners, click here.
Lauren Alaina and Chrissy Metz will be among the performers on this year’s A Capitol Fourth this weekend. They’ll be joined by a slew of other famous faces, including hosts John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, as well as Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty and Yolanda Adams among others. Chrissy is set to sing “I’m Standing With You” from last year’s film, Breakthrough, as a tribute to first responders and frontline personnel. Celebrating a special 40th anniversary presentation, A Capitol Fourth will air Saturday (July 4th) at 8pm ET/7pm CT.
Lauren will also perform on the iHeart Country 4th of July BBQ on Friday (July 3rd) at 8pm ET/7pm CT on The CW.
Adam Hambrick (Fourth of July) OC: …July. :11
“Fire up the grill and blow something up. Two things that are important for a good time on the Fourth of July – one (is) fire and meat. Those two things make a Happy Fourth of July.”
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Brandon Lay (Fourth of July) OC: …good times. :47
“I remember everybody hanging out at my grandmother’s and we would drive down the road to a fireworks stand off the side of Highway 45 out there in Jackson [Tennessee]. Just getting the bottle rockets and Black Cats and bringing ‘em back to the house, it felt like it was an eternity before it got dark. We just kept wanting to light ‘em and our parents would tell us it ain’t time, but just how exhilarating it was to see ‘em shoot up. We’re not talking big time fireworks here, but you would’ve thought that it was. It’s funny just how you remember things, but I just remember a screen door at my grandmother’s, running in and out, in and out, in and out and four wild little cousins running around. It was good times.”
Carrie Underwood (favorite Fourth of July memory) OC: …work out. :51
“I think my favorite Fourth of July memory would be going to the fireworks stand and picking out which fireworks I wanted to do. I must’ve been like 7 or 8, and I came home and made a list of what order I wanted to do them in, because I wanted to put a show on for Mom and Dad, and of course I couldn’t wait until it was dark outside (laughs). So, I made my Mom and Dad get the lawn chairs and come out to the backyard and watch some not very dramatic fireworks at like six o’clock in the evening, but I was so proud of myself, and I was so proud of the show that I put on. So, I feel like that was a little training for what I do now – putting on shows, figuring out how it’s all going to work out.”
Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
“The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know? [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Dierks Bentley (4th of July-patriotic) OC: …all the time. :17
“I’m extremely patriotic. I love this country, and I love the history of this country. I read books on this country. I spend my time on the road traveling physically throughout the country. The soldiers and their families are constantly on my mind. We work closely with the Wounded Warriors Project. We think about this stuff all the time.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jon Langston (Fourth of July) OC: …either way. :17
“The Fourth of July is usually different every year. We’re usually playing shows, or we’re out on the lake or at the beach, or sometimes I’ve said, ‘I’m staying at home,’ shooting fireworks off the back porch or something. That’s probably not the safest thing, but we have a good time either way.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”