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Through many of life’s ups and downs in recent years, including newfound sobriety and putting an end to planning his wedding with Jana Kramer, Brantley Gilbert managed to compile a solid piece of work with his new album, Just As I Am.
The collection of songs is a continuation of Brantley wearing his heart on his sleeve and giving fans what the album title indicates.
“I don’t sing anything I don’t write," Brantley tells NASH. “That’s just my deal, and that’s the way I feel about my situation. There are singers out there who know how to pick songs. Some of them aren’t songwriters, and some of them are songwriters that find a song that they wish they had written. I will never say anything derogatory about that whatsoever. Everybody’s got their own little deal. I just don’t want anybody to get offended when I talk about writing my own stuff.
“For me to tell my story, I feel like I have to write it,” he continues. “I think if you write a song right, you relive it every time you sing it. If I can sing that situation and sing through it, I learn something from it every time. It doesn’t really sting as much after a while.”
Brantley worked with co-writers like The Peach Pickers and Brett James to craft his new songs. “Co-writing is a pretty cool thing. It took me a while to get into it. I was always a guy who wrote by myself, but it’s definitely beneficial,” says Brantley. “It helps you bend your mind a little bit, having somebody else in the room and having somebody to bounce ideas off of. And it’s really cool when you get to know some of these guys, and they know me well enough to know that I’m selfish and I’m going to make the song about me in some way, form or fashion because it’s for my story, you know?”
For more on Brantley, pick up the June 2 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.