“This is an idea that was taking up space on my iPhone!” the country star, 31, tells PEOPLE of his latest song, set to appear on his upcoming album. “If I’ve got a title or a phrase, I’ll throw it down in my notes section of my phone and bring that in.”
And although fans are just getting to hear the song, the Grammy-nominated singer actually wrote it back in December 2015, following the release of his I’m Comin’ Over album.
“This was a long time ago,” says Young, who co-wrote the song with Josh Hoge and Chris DeStafano. “But we wrote this song and just from the get go, really, really loved it. And kept loving it all the way through the process of making this album and now it’s the first single.”
Young’s album, which is set to be released later this year, is the artist’s first foray into co-writing all of the songs on his own record.
“I’ve always had at least one or two outside songs on every album,” says Young.
“And this one, just for whatever reason — maybe because we started writing for it so early, and I wrote so much in that time period — it became, ‘Man, we have enough stuff that fits different lanes,'” he explains. “All of the songs have a very specific groove, but they aren’t all the same.”
For Young, “that was a different process,” but he notes that “a lot of stuff” is still the same.
“We basically tried to keep all of the elements that people really loved from the last album, and then also do something a little bit new on this record,” he says.
In addition to releasing a new album, Young is just starting to hit the road with Jason Aldean and Kane Brown for Aldean’s “They Don’t Know” tour. “I’m loving it,” says Young. “Being on tour with both of those guys at one time is just a lot of fun.”
“I have not seen [Kane] since I found that out actually,” says Young. “We will most definitely celebrate this weekend!”
As for another reason to celebrate? Young received his first-ever CMT nomination for best collaborative video of the year.
“I was pretty excited,” Young says of finding out that his hit “Sober Saturday Night” with country legend Vince Gill was nominated.
“I’ve never been actually nominated for a CMT award before,” he says. “So to get it on this song … I love working with Vince Gill. That guy obviously has a wall full of awards at his house, but I love getting to have him on one of my songs.”
But what makes the nomination even more “special” for Young is that Gill was one of the first concerts he went to see as a kid. “I’m sure he loves me telling people that,” teases Young.
And with so much going on this year, Young says he’s trying to make sure that he carves out “a day or two here and there” so he can hang out with family and friends.
“That’s something that I’ve gotten a little bit better at, making sure I schedule at least 24 or 48 hours for myself, but it’s never been something that I’ve been really good at,” he admits.
“I’m too busy going, ‘Oh man. Well I’ve got a day off. I mean I could go write for somebody else’s project or start writing for the next record,'” he continues. “It’s just one of those things where I like to stay busy. [But] I’ll definitely make some time and will do some fun stuff this summer though.”
“Losing Sleep” is out now.