Jennifer Nettles on Sugarland's 'Mutual' Decision to Regroup: 'It Was Something We Always Wanted to Do'
"Sugarland has a specific sound and I feel like people are really connected to that," Nettles says of the duo's upcoming new music
A little more than four years after making the decision to part ways and pursue music independently, all the country music duo wants to do is to get back to writing together for their fans. Nettles sat down with PEOPLE to discuss the highly anticipated homecoming.
“The thing is, we have each been doing so many fun and wonderful things on our own, but I also feel like from a timing perspective it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s get back together and see what we have to offer to this project now,'” she explains. “We’ll continue to float in and out of those two realms between Sugarland and in our own stuff at this point.”
Nettles and co-founder Kristian Bush, 47, officially started their journey with Sugarland in 2002, but went their separate ways to pursue solo careers in 2013, releasing individual hits like Bush’s 2014 hit “Trailer Hitch” from his album Southern Gravity and Nettles’ albums That Girl and Playing with Fire. Nettles also gave birth to a son, Magnus Hamilton, in December 2012.
“Well, you have seen on a lot of the posts that we’ve done #StillTheSame and I think the message that we are sending with that is, look, we’ve been doing all these wonderful things that have helped us grow as individuals and as artists, and yet we’re still the same Sugarland that you love,” she says. “Sugarland has a specific sound and I feel like people are really connected to that, so I’m excited about getting to provide that sound, too.”
The duo plans to remain producing music for their own careers, as well as creating new music for Sugarland, as a band — “the best of both worlds,” as Nettles refers to it.
“It was pretty mutual,” she says. “It’s something we always knew we wanted to do.”
Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
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Rumors of a reunion began to swirl in November when the country duo — who has not released new music together for more than five years — took the stage at the 2017 CMA Awards to present the prize for vocal duo of the year to Brothers Osborne.
“Well funny seeing you here,” Nettles said to Bush on stage, to which he replied, “It feels like we’ve been here before, right?”
“That’s true. In fact, we’re here to present the CMA Award we won together in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 … and well, who knows?” replied Nettles.
The “It Happens” musicians received further eager responses from their fans on Twitter after posting a photo of Nettles and Bush together at the ceremony with the simple caption, “#StillTheSame.”
“We’ve been writing and in the studio together, and we have some new music coming your way,” Nettles explained in an Instagram post just weeks after the show.
The pair performed for the first time in years Tuesday morning on The Bobby Bones Show, announcing new music later this month and a 2018 tour.