Over the summer, Chris Young unleashed a single that vibrantly blends his traditional country sound with a nod to classic pop-rock icon David Bowie, incorporating a nostalgic reference to the mid-1970s anthem “Rebel Rebel.” Young’s electrifying hit, perfect for cranking up the volume as it plays through listeners’ radio speakers, is one of the first impressions fans got of the country hitmaker’s next album. He's been keeping busy as he readies his next chapter of music.
Young knew hat “Young Love & Saturday Nights” was a “brilliant” song from the moment it was pitched to him. Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and Josh Thompson (and the late Bowie, of course, for the guitar lick) wrote it, which Young co-produced with Corey Crowder and Chris DeStefano. It was one of the songs throughout his nearly two-decade-long career as a singer-songwriter that he reacted, “‘God, I wish I wrote that. I gotta cut this.’ …I’m so glad to have it out there and I got to put my voice on that.
“It’s definitely not the first time someone’s reimagined or sampled something and made it into a new song, but just the way that they handled it and the way that they treated this and brought the energy from that, I thought was so cool,” Young continued. “It’s just one of those where the very first time I listened to it, I was like, ‘this is a big ‘ol hit.’ I was glad I got to cut it, and it’s really, really fun playing it live.”
Young recently caught up with iHeartCountry in Nashville, talking about “Young Love & Saturday Nights,” the energetic music video, what to expect from his upcoming record, his impressive health and fitness transformation (he revealed in August that he’d dropped 60 pounds), and more.
Shortly after releasing “Young Love & Saturday Nights,” Young premiered a music video filmed on a Nashville-area lakeshore, capturing the spirit and freedom of young, whirlwind romance. It was his latest single to release since “Looking For You” and “All Dogs Go To Heaven” (a tribute to his dog, a German Shepard named Porter) in early 2023.
“She loves his southern drawl from north of Atlanta/ That Silverado he got parked outside/ Loves a cranking ‘89 Alabama/ Kissing for an hour in the parking lot light/ Here’s to good girls that can’t keep from falling/ For bad boys that their daddies don’t like/ Small towns that keep staying small/ Here’s to old trucks, young love, and Saturday nights”
“There’s so much work that goes in behind the scenes for every single person that’s out there making the record,” Young said. “…The moment that it’s out there is sort of – you have a little bit of trepidation because you want everyone to love it as much as you (did) when you first heard it or first came up with the idea for the song, or the production. …It’s amazing to see people lean into my music.
“I’ve been doing this for a while,” he continued with a laugh. “It’s not something that ever gets old. It’s definitely something that I’ve got a healthy amount of respect for it because there’s so many different things that are vying for everybody’s attention constantly on a day-to-day basis. The fact that my music reaches out (and) touches some people – whether it’s a party song or a breakup song or something that’s more serious or whatever it is – it’s really, really special.”
Young is working on his next full-length album — following Famous Friends in 2021, with a deluxe edition that made its debut last year — as he makes notable changes to his health and fitness. The country star recently sparked conversation after he posted a shirtless selfie on Instagram and shared in his caption: “This year has been dedicated to a lot of work on myself. Music wise AND in the gym. Still not done, but down 60 pounds so yeah… Gonna leave this here.” The Instagram post quickly garnered encouraging comments from followers and other artists, including “Think of You” duet partner Cassadee Pope.
“Everybody’s asking” about Young's health and fitness plans now because of that photo, one that he admitted he wouldn’t normally post, though he made an exception after working hard all year. The “Aw Naw” artist said he “completely overhauled” his diet and has “been in the gym constantly” to achieve his results. Now, “I just feel better than I have in a long time.”
Young has made “really small adjustments over time” to shift to a healthier lifestyle. He said the most important thing is that “people find something that works for them,” if they’re looking to make a healthier change in their lives. Meal prepping has been a big priority for Young, who relies on that much more now when he’s getting on a tour bus. Looking ahead, he’s keeping up with his time in the gym while working on his next collection of music to take on the road.
“It’s something that is sort of at the tail end of the process, and stuff’s in mastering,” Young told iHeartCountry of his new album. “I’ve been living with it for so long, I’m so excited for people to actually be able to dig into it and hear all of it as a whole as opposed to one or two teaser clips. It’s always fun to post that stuff, but I want people to really dive into this album and enjoy the work that we’ve put into it.
“I know it’s gonna sound cliché, but this is one of my favorite projects I’ve ever made,” he continued. “If there was actually any inspiration for me being fired up and working on myself, it would probably be that the music is so good. I’m really, really proud of this project. I want people to hear it.”