Young had the foresight to bring along two filmmakers to document the hit song’s 2015 writing session

By Nancy Kruh
July 21, 2017 09:00 PM

Its platinum sales already prove Brett Young’s heart-tugging “In Case You Didn’t Know” is a piece of music magic. But here’s even more magic: Young had the foresight to bring along two filmmakers to document the hit song’s 2015 writing session – and now PEOPLE has the video exclusively.

The seven-minute video, which debuted at the song’s No. 1 party in Nashville this week, shows snippets of Young and his three co-writers hammering out the lyrics, as well as the very first time Young put his expressive voice to the chorus that everyone now knows by heart.

The session occurred during a songwriting getaway at a resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – a destination Young used to woo several top Nashville songwriters into collaboration. Hoping history might be made, the singer-songwriter also invited along producer Rutherford (Ruddy) Polhill and director Chase Lauer to capture the moments.

Brett Young and his girlfriend watch the video // Nancy Kruh

Back in Nashville, the filmmakers then followed Young into the final recording session, where he was caught on camera predicting, “If we do this right, it could end up being a lot of people’s wedding song for a long time.”

No one can argue this one was done right. The song has proven to be one of the biggest hits of 2017, soaring to the top of the charts in just 19 weeks.

That makes two for two for Young, whose debut single, “Sleep Without You,” topped the charts last fall. The 36-year-old crooner celebrated that one by adding a tattoo – a guitar headstock that features “SWOY” and the number “1” – to his left arm’s work-in-progress sleeve. But don’t expect him to follow suit with his second No. 1.

“I think I’m a ‘power of positive thinking’ guy,” he says, adding he hopes one day “there are going to be too many [hits] to fit” on his dermal canvas.

“But also, the first one is a special one,” he says. “I put this [tattoo] on here to commemorate the fact that 14 years of really hard work and believing in something can actually work out if you stick with it.”

Brett Young // Nancy Kruh

That’s just one of the things Young has learned about his life as an artist during this breakout year. Another is just how much he’s “been blessed beyond what I ever thought.”

“There’s a handful of things that you’ll do in your life that feel like a pipe dream, and that’s okay, because that’s why you call it a dream,” he says. “You don’t ever think about whether or not it ever happens. It’s just, that’s your dream and that’s what you want, and you stay focused on today because you know it’s very unlikely.”

He persisted over the years, he says, for his love of making music, but he never knew how much he loved it until success came along. “This,” he says, “is everything to me.”

Brett Young and Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta // Nancy Kruh

Young is continuing his roll with a recently wrapped video shoot for his new single, “Like I Love You,” and he’s now on the Lady Antebellum tour with Kelsea Ballerini. These days, he says, he’s actually sleeping better over the rumbling wheels of his tour bus than he is at his Nashville home.

“I just had this for the first time last night,” he said before his No. 1 party. “I was trying to go to sleep in my own bed, and I closed my eyes and I got motion sick.”