Interview with Brett Eldredge
With his third album, Brett Edlredge shows country fans what he does best.
Written By: Chris Parton
Photographers: Cameron Powell
Surrounded by strangers and with all eyes on him, Brett Eldredge stands poised in a Berry Hill photography studio, legs bent and hands sandwiched as if in prayer. Then, without warning, he launches into the air with a wall-shaking, “Hi-yah!” and unleashes a flying karate kick, turning his face to the camera just as the shutter clicks.
Landing with a crash, he surveys the room—which went from awkward silence to howling in laughter—and gets back into position.
“Hold on! I can do that better,” he yells.
With five No. 1s, four Platinum and Gold singles, and a CMA New Artist of the Year award under his belt, this is the wild and unpredictable Brett Eldredge country fans are beginning to recognize—although, not necessarily because of his music.
So far, his hits have all been love songs, from his lusty breakout “Don’t Ya” to 2016’s tender “Wanna Be That Song,” while Eldredge’s other side was relegated to social media or the occasional Zaxby commercial. But, with his self-titled third album coming out later this summer, plus a growing TV presence, he aims to let his freak flag fly.
“Now, it’s like I want to push a little bit,” Eldredge says, cooling off after his acrobatic photo shoot. “I want to pull back the curtain a little more and give people a peek into what’s going on in my brain. They don’t always get to see the crazy side of me.”
Eldredge’s crazy side is on full display in the project’s first single, “Something I’m Good At,” a clever uptempo the 31-year-old Illinois native co-wrote with Tom Douglas. With lyrics that paint him as haplessly inept in almost every way, save one, Eldredge’s sense of humor is finally coming out in song, giving fans a fuller picture of the goofball behind the music.
“I’m kind of a shy guy in a way,” he says with a knowing tone that not many might believe in his “shy” side. “But it’s freeing to let yourself run wild with your imagination and what your soul is, who you are as a person.”
Along with his free-and-easy point of view, the new album will also shine a light on the deeper corners of Eldredge’s heart. Currently single (but searching Nashville’s dog parks for “Mrs. Eldredge” with his weimaraner mix, Edgar), Eldredge will release tracks, such as “Long Way,” that reveal a yearning for true love, while others, such as “Love Somebody,” highlight what he expects it to feel like when he finds it.
>>> Exclusive with Brett Eldredge at his first album debut
Saying he’s completely incapable of hiding his emotions, the mix of honesty and slapstick will be in full view as Eldredge surrounds his album release, due out later this summer, with a slew of big TV spots. He’ll be matching wits with the equally unhinged prankster, Ellen DeGeneres, on her show June 9 and then chatting and singing on the Today show for three full hours in August. That same month, he’ll appear on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and who knows what kind of antics he could get in to there? Unexpected karate kicks might end up looking tame.
Going forward, Eldredge would like to do more on-camera work, and, based on the day’s photo shoot, that might be a good idea. He’s more than a promising country singer: He’s a natural entertainer.
“Something that might be uncomfortable to other people, that’s what makes my heart pound and my blood flow,” he says, eyes flashing. “There’s a lot of things I’m bad at, but I feel like this will be a good experience.”