ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Brett Young is a California guy at heart.
He enjoys the ocean, the beach.
But he’s also a little bit of a country guy, too. Oh, not to mention he enjoys R&B and soul as well.
“I enjoy music,” he says with a laugh from his home in Nashville, Tenn. “I try to let all of my influences show within my music.”
Young is an up-and-coming songwriter who will be performing at the city of Albuquerque’s Freedom Fourth on Saturday, July 4. He will take the stage at 6:30 p.m.
Young recently released his EP, “Country in California.”
The EP came about as Young was writing songs while promoting his previous albums.
With a move from California to Nashville out of the way, Young decided he wanted to put them together for an EP.
“I realized that we hadn’t put anything out in awhile,” he says. “I found five songs that fit best within the theme of the album. Luckily, all the songs were recorded, so we had to send them to get mixed and mastered.”
Since moving to Nashville, Young says his writing process has changed in a good way.
What once used to be a solo effort, has evolved into co-writing.
“The first eight to nine years, I wrote completely on my own,” he says. “I learned a lot about myself. But going into a room with another writer has its perks. I am able to get immediate feedback. One thing it has helped me do is gain confidence. I couldn’t walk around feeling insecure about anything. It’s really helped me grow.”
Music wasn’t always Young’s radar.
In high school and college, he was a standout in baseball until he suffered a major elbow injury and reconstructive surgery. The injury took him off the pitcher’s mound for good.
It was then he began thinking about his future and music came into the picture.
“Everyone leaves a trail of ‘almosts’ and bittersweet memories behind on the road to ‘the one’,” he says.. “It happened to me on my journey — it happens to everyone. Now I use those moments when I write music. I guess it is fortunate for me that people most easily relate to heartbreak. I’m an over-emotional, hopeless romantic who feels everything, and that shows in my songs.”
Young’s music has been used in the TV shows, “The Real World” and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York.”
He’s also toured with Colbie Caillat to Gavin DeGraw to Katy Perry.
With three independent albums already under his belt, Young recently took his newest batch of songs into Blackberry Studios in Nashville, with David Hall at the production helm, known for his Grammy Award-winning work as an engineer, with artists of nearly every genre. And true to form, showcasing that intensity and emotion in his recordings, of songs like “Fire” and “Breathe Again.”
“I grew up with Al Green, Marvin Gaye — soul singers. I like that the emotion carries the songs, where the music is almost secondary,” he says. “Van Morrison’s ‘Crazy Love’ — that’s just timeless. They influence me; as a songwriter and a performer, I want to connect like they did. And when your audience feels like they can relate, then you have something much more special than a show, or a sale. You have a fan.”