How does Luke Bryan feel about his song "Fast" becoming the sixth consecutive No. 1 from his album Kill The Lights?
If a recent conversation for Billboard's Chart Beat podcast is any indication, pretty darn good. Luke and his record label chief Mike Dungan recently sat down with the publication's Jim Asker to discuss the recent accomplishment in a wide-ranging interview that sheds light on the inner workings of Nashville's most successful music groups.
"When you hear accolades and achievements like that, what it took to get to this point just immediately flashes in front of your eyes," the superstar said about the success of "Fast" and Kill The Lights. "From the point where I met Mike for the first time ... he saw something in me. It starts with moving to Nashville, but then you've got to prove that you're gonna be able to pull this career off. We just set out to make the best music we can and have fun with it."
Some have credited the variety of sounds heard on Kill The Lights for the project's success, and Luke and his label boss wouldn't likely argue with that theory. "After the last album [Crash My Party], Luke and I were fishing and I expressed my opinion that I know him to be multi-faceted and his talents run very, very wide and very deep," Dungan offered in the interview. "And when you're limited to the songs you hear on the radio, you get one or two impressions of an artist. I said, 'Maybe it's time to start throwing some of those curveballs that are in your head; I know they're in there, because I'm around you all the time.' And I think this album is exactly that."
All told, the Chart Beat episode offers a neat "inside-baseball" look at not only Luke's career, but also the process by which decisions are made at record labels. The trio talked about what goes into picking radio singles, the role the charts plays in the life of a song and the importance of songs that tell stories. Listen to the entire conversation on Billboard here.
Russ Penuell lives in Nashville with his girlfriend, three dogs and a lot of music.