Scotty McCreery is readying his next full-length studio album! The country crooner, who spent a good portion of lockdown laying down tracks for the upcoming project, says he is now in the process of whittling those tracks down from 23 to 11 or 12.

“I’m still kind of looking through the songs and just trying to get my theme together and seeing if there’s one that sticks out that kind of wraps it all together with a nice bow,” McCreery told Music Mayhem of the not-yet-released and currently untitled forthcoming project.

Within the album, fans can expect to find the North Carolina native leaning into his country roots with storyteller lyrics that focus on topics of life, love, and the current state of the world coupled with the traditional sounds of fiddle and pedal steel. Fans have already gotten a taste of the new project with “You Time” – an uptempo song about taking some much-needed time off to spend it with the ones you love.

McCreery, who wrote “You Time” pre-pandemic with Aaron Eshuis and Frank Rogers, captures the song’s message in the accompanying video, directed by Brianna Fish. Fans can view the video below!

“[Gabi’s] has been in almost all of my videos…. I wanted to make sure she got a little cameo in there as well…” McCreery said of his wife being featured in the video for “You Time.” “But I think this story was just kinda one that we identified with when the director pitched it to us, you know, life on the road and going, going, going. You know, with the video, there’s a new band member in there, and he’s having to say goodbye to his newlywed wife, so it seemed like we were telling our story through one of the band guys, so we both loved the storyline, and went that route.”

Along with working on his upcoming project, McCreery, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of his American Idol win, has been gearing up to take the road for his 2021 You Time Tour and as an opener on Old Dominion’s We Are Old Dominion: Live at the Ballpark Tour — of course, all of that after getting in the time he needed with his loved ones throughout the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Music Mayhem caught up with McCreery to find out more about his upcoming album, touring schedule, home-life, and more. Read on to find out what McCreery has been up to in this exclusive Q&A!

You just finished recording your new album, and what could you tell us about the album?

Yeah, yeah, I’m excited. We’ve been working on this thing, we started pre-pandemic, so it feels like a lifetime. But you know, this album is kinda me going back to my roots, and I think most of, if not all, the songs were co-written by me, and they’re just songs that I believe in. I had a lot of time to sit back and reflect on life this past year, like we all did. We recorded a big part of the album before the pandemic, and then I sat there and had so much time to write songs over the last year that I told my label, I said, guys, I know we got all this, but I want to go back in and cut a lot more, so most of this record is gonna be written in the last six months, so it’s exciting. It’s definitely me at 27. You know, I think the cool thing about me in my career is that I made my first record at 17, then 20, then 23, and now I’m 27, so I’ve kind of grown up with my albums.

Did you have any collaborations on the record or is it solely you?

At the moment, it’s me, but we have a couple of songs we’re pitching out there, so we might have a couple when it’s all said and done.

Do you have a title, or know how many track that will be on the record that you are able to share?

We’re kinda going back and forth about how many tracks, because I think we cut like 23, but there’s, you know, but there’s only gonna be room for probably 11 or 12, or something like that, so we gotta whittle that down, and no title yet. I’m still kind of looking through the songs and just trying to get my theme together and seeing if there’s one that sticks out that kind of wraps it all together with a nice bow, which we’re working on all that right now.

Awesome. So how do you feel this new album will be different from your previous album, Seasons Change. If you had to describe it in maybe three words, what would they be?

For me, it’s tough to do three words, but I definitely think this is a little more, like I said earlier, back to my roots kind of country. There’s going to be plenty of pedal steel on it, there’s gonna be some fiddle on it. They’re story-telling songs, which I think is what I do best. Everybody has their thing. For me, I think it’s telling stories, so I’m gonna be singing about my wife, I’m gonna be singing about life, the country life, the state of the world right now in a couple songs, so, you know, it’s just a very real album, I think.

The lead single from the upcoming album, “You Time,” it’s been stuck in my head ever since this came out, to be honest, and it’s a great song, so can you tell us a little bit about that song, like how it came to be?

Yeah, we wrote the song back in 2019, and I loved the demo. As soon as I got the demo back, I just couldn’t stop playing it. And then when I wasn’t playing it, the song was still getting stuck in my head, so it was like, it was an ear worm for me, so after a year or two of that, I told the label, I said, guys, I think this is the song we lead with. So it’s crazy because the song is written about me wanting to spend more time with my wife because our lives were so busy before this pandemic, and then all of a sudden as soon as the song comes out, the world shuts down, and now we’re together every single day, but I still think the song rings true because we’ve gotten to spend a lot of “you time” together, but we haven’t been able to see our loved ones as much because of all the restrictions and lockdowns and stuff, and I think that’s a lot of people out there that are wanting to spend, you know, a little more “you time” with their families. So yeah, I think that same sentiment is still very true today as much as it was back in 2019.

Definitely. So in the music video for “You Time,” your wife Gabi appears. So, how did that come about in the story line for the video?

Yeah, you know, she’s been in almost all of my videos yet. She’s missed a couple of my music videos, but she’s in a lot of them. So I wanted to make sure she got a little cameo in there as well. You know, I think she was kind of like, oh, I don’t need to be in this one. I was like yeah, but she crushed it. But I think this story was just kinda one that we identified with when the director pitched it to us, you know, life on the road and going, going, going. You know, with the video, there’s a new band member in there, and he’s having to say goodbye to his newly wed wife, so it seemed like we were telling our story through one of the band guys, so we both loved the story line, and went that route.

Yeah, that’s pretty awesome that was how it came to life, just your real life love story, basically.

Yeah, exactly. It really felt like we were telling our story through somebody else, so we definitely identified with it, really.

How have you and Gabi been keeping busy during your time off the road right now? I see you guys have been traveling a lot?

Yeah, we’re kind of traveling, we took one big trip down to the Caribbean or whatever, and it was, they convinced us it was safe with all the Covid protocols and stuff, so I was like, right, let’s do it. But mainly, we’ve been just kinda keeping close to North Carolina. We drive down to the beach, or drive up to the mountains. We’re just staying home, but we found for the first few months just staying home, we were kinda going stir crazy, so we had to get out and do something, so been doing that and trying to get outdoors, walk a little bit. I’ve been playing a lot of golf because that was like the only thing open through the bulk of the pandemic, so just trying to keep moving, you know?

Yeah, It seems like a lot of country stars picked up on the whole “let’s go golfing” thing during their time off.

Right. Yeah, I’ve been seeing a lot of guys do that, and it’s a cool thing that you can kind of, you know, rally around and be outdoors and safe, and I’ve told people, I mean for me, that’s probably the safest thing I can do because I can be socially distanced from everybody because my golf balls are in the woods all day, so it’s a good thing.

You and your wife will actually be celebrating your third wedding anniversary next month. Do you have any special plans for the occasion or any trips planned?

Not yet, not yet. I know down the road we’re talking about getting the family back together for like our five-year, kind of almost redoing our, not redoing, but kind of having a reunion at the wedding weekend. But for year three, we’ll probably stay close to home, you know. Again, maybe go to the beach or the mountains or something, you know, just kind of have a little, you know, “you time” together, so yeah.

Well, coming up later this year, you’re actually gonna have some normalcy coming back, with hitting the road for the first time in quite some time, on not only your You Time tour, but also out with Old Dominion. Like, what can fans expect from these upcoming shows, and what do you think will be going through your mind when you first hit the stage back on a tour?

Oh man, it’s gonna be a lot of pent-up energy, and I really cannot wait as probably every artist out there. And the fans hopefully. Yeah, I mean, live music is such an important part of my life, and it was even before I was, you know, an artist. I was going to concerts and loving it, so you know, I can’t wait. We’re gonna have a big old time with Old Dominion again. We were out with them in 2019, and had a blast, so I can’t wait to do some more shows with them, and then the You Time tour. You know, we’re going into rehearsals next week, and we’re gonna totally blow up the show we’ve been doing. We’ve kinda been riffing off the same show for the last few years, so we’re gonna go in there and blow it up and redo the whole thing, so it’s gonna be a brand new show, and I can’t wait.

Will Gabi and your dog Moose be joining you out there on the road?

I hope so, as much as possible. They were gonna be out there, we’re were supposed to be on tour with Chris Young in all of 2020, and I know they were gonna be out there for basically every show of that tour, so we haven’t quite got our plans together yet with what that’s gonna look like this year, but I would imagine a lot of them, they’ll be out there with us.

For sure. If you and Gabi could go on a double date with any other country couple, who would it be, and where would you guys go?

We would probably go out with my buddy Chris Lane and his wife Lauren, and you know, I think me and him are buds and love to golf together, both from North Carolina, and Lauren and Gabi have talked some, and they’ve hit it off, so they’re just good people. I don’t know, we’d probably go out for some Mexican food and margaritas if I had to guess, do something like that.

Yeah, I mean Lauren’s pretty much ready to have a baby any day now.

It sure looks that way. That’s exciting.

Have you ever taken Moose on a doggie date with any other country singers and their pups?

I don’t know that we have. You know, it’s tough, our main residence is still in Raleigh, we just love North Carolina, and our roots are so deep here that, you know, he hasn’t been to Nashville but a couple of times, once when he was a puppy and once more recently, but we definitely should set that up.

If you could choose one, who would you choose to go out and hang out with? I mean, Chris Lane has a few dogs. 

Yeah, him and Cooper together, that’d be fun. For a while there, me and Brett Eldredge were living in the same building, and I’d see Edgar a lot on the elevator and stuff, so I haven’t seen Edgar there in a while, so I don’t know if Moose and him would run into each other, but that would have been two peas in a pod.

I mean Edgar is pretty much a celebrity himself, all over the internet, at least he was. I know Brett said he was pulling him from the spotlight for a little bit.

Yeah, I know, Edgar was everywhere there for a little bit.

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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