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‘Pushing myself’: Aaron Watson constantly strives to be a better songwriter

Country singer Aaron Watson is touring in support of his latest album, “Red Bandana,” released on June 21. (Courtesy of Jimmy Fisco)

Aaron Watson never takes the easy way.

It’s not in his DNA.

“I feel like daily, I’m pushing myself to be a better writer,” the 42-year-old singer says. “I’ve always chased after the heart more than chase after a hit.”

The Texas native released the album “Red Bandana” on June 21. The album debuted at No. 7 on the country album charts and topped the U.S. indie album charts.

Watson is celebrating the 20th year since releasing his first album. During that time, he has released 15 albums, including the 2015 release “The Underdog,” and 2017’s “Vaquero,” which hit No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the Billboard country charts.

Watson will open the musical events at the New Mexico State Fair on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Over the course of his career, Watson has always made music his way and not signed to a label. He continues to strike a balance between his professional life and his family life.

As a husband and father, he makes a point to be there for the big moments in life.

“I love to hunt, fish and play golf,” he says. “Lately, those have all taken a back seat to my songwriting. That’s the kind of commitment you have to give when you want to get better. Saying that, I also flew back home recently to get to church on Sunday. One of the church members told my wife I looked tired. I was. I only had two hours of sleep. But I had to make sure to get to church with my family.”

Writing has also remained a constant for Watson.

Country singer Aaron Watson opens the entertainment at the New Mexico State Fair. (Courtesy of Joseph Llanes)

“I try to trust my gut a little more than I used to,” he says. “I’ve done my fair share of manual labor over time. Working as a custodian, working in the field and farm-ranch work. But racking your brain for hours at a time is one of the most exhausting things I’ve done. I put myself through the wringer when I write.”

Watson also strives to be unpredictable with his music.

“Red Bandana” has 20 songs, each with a different sound.

“For me, as an artist, I don’t want to be stuck in a box,” he says. “I want to write what I feel.”

With the focus on writing at the forefront of his life, Watson will head into the studio in January to record a new album.

“I feel like these songs are even better,” he says. “As I get older, I realize what’s more important in my life. It’s not fame or money; it’s making music that helps those around you.”

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