Interview: Kip Moore Bares His Soul on Honest New Album ‘Slowheart’
Kip Moore's new album Slowheart is, in many ways, a tribute to his loyal fans. The 13-track record, out Friday (Sept. 8), marks the first time that Moore has trusted his fans enough to step out of the box and record the music that has been stirring his heart.
"I’ve come to a place in my career where I see that there’s a true fanbase that’s not going anywhere," Moore tells The Boot. "The foundation of our fanbase is with us regardless of commercial success or no commercial success, and I think that’s given me a sense of ease to just trust my gut making the music I want to make and staying authentic to myself and letting the cards fall where they may."
Moore, who wrote dozens of songs for Slowheart, penned all but two of the songs in the final tracklist. Throughout the writing process, Moore found the courage to let people see all sides of him, including his struggles.
"I had to allow this record to embody where I truly was at in my life. I want my records to always dictate that," Moore explains. "There is definitely a yin and yang with this record. A lot of songs came before my travels, and a lot of songs came after. You feel the struggles of being stuck in a stubborn place and not allowing my vulnerabilities to show in the first songs that were written before I left, and then there’s an openness that happens after, to where I’m more in touch with my vulnerabilities and more hopeful."
With this newfound honesty in his music, it's fair to ask if Moore's vulnerability extends to his personal life as well. The answer? Not necessarily.
"I definitely hold my cards a lot closer in person," he admits. "In the music, I try to really shed whatever I’m feeling in its most authentic form. And I feel like that’s what resonates with the fans."
I just want to make the best music and be the best songwriter and performer I can, and that’s all I strive to do.
Moore's current single, "More Girls Like You," the first song released from Slowheart, gives an indication of just how open Moore is willing to be. With lines such as "Girls like you make guys like me / Wanna reach for the brightest star, set it on a ring / Put it on your hand, grab a piece of land / And raise a few, yeah / More girls like you," the song hints that the 37-year-old might finally be ready to settle down.
"The door had been shut for that chapter of my life for so long, and I think it’s from all my travels," Moore says. "And I think that, as I’m getting older, I’m seeking a little more balance in my life. I’m not looking to settle down, but the door’s gone from being shut to [being] cracked, and I think that’s what I was feeling the day that I wrote that song."
Plenty of artists dream of skyrocketing album sales, chart-topping singles and packed venues when they release a new record. But Moore simply wants his fans to be happy.
"I no longer hold my success on if I’m playing arenas or winning awards the way I used to, what I used to shoot for," Moore acknowledges. "My goal is to truly touch people’s soul with my music, the way the greats did with me. I want to give people an escape in my music, and I want to continue to be able to play my own music to a fanbase that wants to come hear it ... I just want to make the best music and be the best songwriter and performer I can, and that’s all I strive to do."
I think that I was where I needed to be. And now I’m where I need to be right now.
Slowheart reflects a maturity and a resilience that wasn't as evident on Moore's freshman album, Up All Night, nor on his sophomore record, Wild Ones. That growth, Moore explains, is part of his evolution and maturity as an artist, which he promises will continue through his future albums as well.
"I’ve learned to realize that the small accomplishments are success, and to not always look to the next day and to actually be thankful for the days that you’re in and where you’re at at that particular time," Moore notes. "I think that I needed to be a madman; I think that I needed to be somewhat of a maniac in my pursuit to be good at what I do to get to where I’m at.
"But I think that there’s also something that happens in the learning process that allows you to tap into another whole thing. It’s a constant evolution," Moore adds. "I think that I was where I needed to be. And now I’m where I need to be right now."
Hey, Kip Moore -- We've Got One Last Question ...