Whiskey Riff Exclusive: Brett Young Talks Debut Album & Melts Our Hearts With His Valentine’s Plans

In case you weren’t already in love with Brett Young, he just proved he’s the total package.

Brett’s been taking the nation by storm these last few months with the release of his single “Sleep Without You,” and he’s continuing to make waves with his debut album that was released on Friday.

Between stops on his satellite radio tour in LA yesterday, the country cutie and I had the chance to chat and I’m officially convinced he doesn’t just have incredible talent, but a huge heart to match.

I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback on your album since the release, how does it feel to finally have your first album out?

It’s like giving birth. *laughs* I feel like I’ve been sitting on a lot of the songs for almost three years and I know everyone that’s been coming out to shows since the EP came out in April was excited to hear new music so I’m excited to finally be sharing it with everybody.

How are you feeling after making your national television debut this weekend?

The Today show was another one of those bucket list items that came up and it was like a really good experience and the first time I’ve felt that nervous in a really long time.

Do you remember the first show you ever played?

The first show that I ever played and I’m not even going to remember the name of it, it’s not on the air anymore was a local TV station in Orange County and it was the same type thing but it was only aired locally… I only had one EP out at the time so I played all three of the three songs I had ever written… It was quite a bit different.

I know you wrote 11 of the 12 tracks on the album, do you have a personal favorite?

The one that really stands out to me is a song called Mercy. It’s the last song and I think the reason for that is because it feels the most relatable to me, it feels like that thing that everybody’s gone through in their life, that past relationship where you feel like for one reason or another that person just wont let you go. Every time I listen to it I feel really connected to it.

What’s your all-time favorite song or one you wish you’d written?

Probably an old Motown record, I love “Dock Of The Bay” or Sam Cooke has a song called “Nothing Can Change This Love,” I think that’s such a great song, it’s probably one of those.

What song would we catch you singing in the shower?

Probably something super embarrassing like “Sweet Caroline” or “Party In The U.S.A.” or something ridiculous like that.

You’re hitting the road this year with names like Luke Bryan, Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, what are you most looking forward to about that?

There are a couple cool venues that we’re playing which are bucket list venues for me, so that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to. We play Madison Square Garden with Luke and we play Hollywood Bowl and Bridgestone with Lady A and those are going to be incredible experiences. But I think also for me one of the coolest things is being such a big fan of these artist and performers and getting the opportunity every night to learn from them and take things from their live performance that I need to figure out how to incorporate and also just to get to know them better. I’ve gotten to meet everybody and everybody seems like such good people so I’m excited to get on the road and get to know everybody.

What’s one thing you absolutely need to have with you on the road?      

Netflix so I can watch Friends, no joke I have to fall asleep to it every night.

When you’re not on the road what could we expect you to be doing?

I like to catch up on sleep… I’m a gym rat, I miss playing sports so when I can get on the basketball court and shoot around or get out and throw a baseball that’s the kind of stuff I like to do.

What’s your favorite spot in Nashville?

There’s a barbeque joint, it’s a little bit hidden so not everybody knows about it but it’s called the Peg Leg Porker. They’ve got AMAZING barbeque but also they’ve got a nice little bar with a big ole TV always playing sports and they make their own whiskey and it’s one of my favorite joints.

Drink of choice?

I’m a whiskey guy so it’s bourbon or Tennessee whiskey. It’s either Jack or Kentucky Bourbon.

I’m sure you have a super tough time picking up girls when you’re out or on the road… 

Oh we don’t do that. We literally have a no girl policy on the bus when we’re on the road.

Wow, I’m actually surprised by that.

There’s no reason to. There’s enough distractions in what we do to start letting that get out of hand.

Well that’s impressive, I admire that.

*laughs* Yeah, well, it’s all the young bucks in my band I’m trying to keep out of trouble.

What’s your worst habit? We need something to make you seem a little less perfect.


That’s not a bad habit Brett.

It is when you can’t resist it ever. If I see pizza, I have to have pizza.

That’s still not a bad thing. You know food is the way to a girl’s heart.

*Laughs* I know right, It’s the way to a guy’s heart too.

So I follow you on Instagram and I notice you post a lot of deep, romantic quotes, is it safe to assume you’re a pretty romantic guy?

I am. I’m a hopeless romantic. But also a lot of the reason I find quotes is because I’m trolling for song ideas. I’ve found that an inspirational quote or some sort of poetry will touch on a concept that seems like a good song idea for me.

Well with tomorrow being Valentine’s day, I know all the ladies are wondering if you have big plans.

I am working pretty much all day, but I’m going to get to spend the morning with my mom. So that’s gonna be fun. I’m playing on television in Los Angeles and it’s the local news station that she’s watched for as long as I can remember. So she thinks I’m driving down to Orange County to have breakfast with her but instead a car is gonna pick her up and bring her up so she can come to the show and meet everybody and see me perform and spend a little time.

Ugh, you’re too sweet. If you were going to go on a Valentine’s day date, who would be the dream date?

I guess if we’re being completely unrealistic, I would have to go back to my first big celebrity crush which was way back in the Dawson’s Creek days, I had a huge crush on Katie Holmes.

Tell me something we don’t know about you.

Even though I’m a big dude, I’m 6’6, I have a little Pomeranian Chihuahua mix that I can on numerous occasions be seen walking around Nashville with this little puff ball.  The problem is he’s like sweet but only to me. He hates other people and other dogs. For the most part he just kind of sucks. But I love him, he’s my boy.

Is there anything else you want your fans to know?

When you listen to the record, just know that I put a lot of me and my heart and my life experience in to it. So if you feel like you’re connecting to a song or a lyric, it’s because we’ve been through something similar because I wrote it from life experience. So I want people, if they come out to a show and they know the music for them to also feel like they kind of know me.

He’s single ladies.

Get his debut album here.

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