Thomas Rhett Talks 'Shift' in His Music and Learning to Stop Measuring Success by 'Comparing Myself'
"This shift in me has been happening since the beginning of 2019," Thomas Rhett said on Friday's episode of Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country
Thomas Rhett is opening up about some of the changes that have taken place in his life and music.
The country star, who announced last week that part 1 of his upcoming double album Country Again will be released on April 30, addressed a personal "shift" that's been slowly taking place on Friday's episode of Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country.
"This shift in me has been happening since the beginning of 2019. There were just certain things in my life that I cared about so heavily for the last decade that I just didn't… I don't want to say I didn't care about anymore, but I cared way less about them," said Thomas Rhett, 30, specifically mentioning "ways that I measured success that just didn't matter anymore."
"It was just like I've been doing nothing but grinding and working my butt off and comparing myself, just like we all do, and then there was one day where I was just like, 'Why do I care? Why do I always chase something?' You know, with a lot of these records that I make," he added.
Once Thomas Rhett embraced that shift, the songs he was writing changed as well.
"The music just started to kind of shift into something that I was trying to do when I was younger, like as a 19-year-old who had just signed a publishing deal, but I hadn't lived enough life yet, you know?" he explained. "There are so many things that have happened in this decade that I have never really written songs about."
"I mean I've been nostalgic for sure in my music, but it's 11 songs that I feel like are just so much more back to what I was doing when I first started out in this business," he continued.
The "What's Your Country Song" singer is also learning to embrace that success doesn't necessarily have to mean being at the top of the charts.
"The day that you tease a record, I start to go into this pit of just like, 'Good Lord, is anybody going to like it? Is anybody going to like it? What are the comments going to be?'" Thomas Rhett said. "For the first time ever, I mean, I want people to like it for sure, but I know that I like it. And that's kind of what matters to me now if that makes any sense… It's very [freeing.] "
"It makes it so much more fun," he continued. "I think when you're stuck in that comparison world ... I mean, comparison is the thief of all joy. You start to put a record out, but then someone the week before you put a bigger one out, and you go, 'Well, mine doesn't matter anymore.' You know? And I think we've all been in that position where you're super excited about something, and then somebody comes out with a history-breaking single or a history-breaking record, and you're like, 'Well, maybe we should just can this.'"
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While announcing his double album last week, Thomas Rhett called the album some of his "best work."
"This is one of my favorite records I've ever gotten to make. I feel so centered as a person," Thomas Rhett said on his Instagram Stories at the time. "A lot of these songs are written just kind of about the lessons I've learned over this decade and for sure in 2020."
"I'm so excited," he added of the album. "I just can't wait for you to get your hands on the album because I do think it's some of the best work I've ever done."
Country Again: Side A will be available on April 30 while Side B is planned for release later this year.
Tune into Rhett's full conversation on Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on March 12 at 6am LA / 8am Nashville / 9am NYC on Apple Music Country.