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Kip Moore's writing a nice ticket for himself in Nashville
Kip Moore considers himself "a writer first and foremost."
But he's not complaining about his success as an artist, either.
After establishing himself in Nashville as a songwriter -- penning tracks for Thompson Square, James Wesley and others -- the Georgia native broke out in his own right with 2012`s "Up All Night," which peaked at No. 3 on the Country Albums chart and No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and launched the Top 10 country hits "Something' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money" and "Hey Pretty Girl." They also netted Moore three American Country Awards nominations and one CMT Music Award nod.
"I always wanted to be an artist," says Moore, 33. "I moved to town to be a writer, and writing's what's been the core to me for a long time. That's what I moved to (Nashville) to be. I think I grew into a performer. I worked at it hard."
Now, Moore says, the goal is to work even harder.
He's nearly finished with his sophomore album, which he hopes to release in the spring. "I was finished, and then I just wrote two new (songs) so I'm going to go back in and change it up a little bit," Moore says with a laugh. But he's confident he results will be worth the extra effort.
"I think it's only going to be stronger," predicts Moore, who wrote more than 100 songs that will be narrowed down to 12 for the as-yet-untitled album. "It's a very, very intense record. I feel like the first one, once you got past '...Truck' and 'Beer Money,' there was a lot of nostalgia and reminiscing. It was kinda moody and ambient.
"This one is intense. There's more gritty guitar tones. It speaks more to the present, where the last one was more of a looking-back record. I feel like I cover better topics than I did on the first one, too. It's not going to be for everybody, but I think the fans of what we've been doing are gonna love it."
Moore has already given those fans a taste of the new music with "Young Love," a single that's currently climbing the country charts and leans a bit in the nostalgic vein of his debut album.
"We really wanted to capture the recklessness and the innocence of being young -- the no fear, us against the world kind of thing," Moore explains. "You get older and a little crusty about life, a little jaded and cynical, and the recklessness and openness to be with someone fades a little. But we all still desire that.
"So we tried to capture that and also write about people that stuck wtih that and actually made it to the other side. The song kind of ends up that you don't know whether they're still together or not, but they're together in that moment."
Moore is bringing his year to a close with a handful of pre-holiday shows, but he'll be back soon enough, opening for Lady Antebellum's from January through May. He's expecting a good reception, and Moore feels like the arrival of his second album will bolster his already strong status as a Nashville newcomer.
"I definitely feel a little bit more relevant now," he says. "I don't measure what's going on against other people I stuff; I measure more on the crowds that are showing up, the fans we're winning. We've been a band for a long time and been out their grinding our asses off. We can see the growth in the crowds and the excitement in the crowds.
"that's how I measure everything. We played to so many empty bars for so long, and now we're finally breaking through, so I feel like it wasn't all in vain -- and I'm grateful."
Kip Moore and Drake White perform Friday, Dec. 13, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.95-$35. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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