Sugarland may not be done making music, but over the past couple of years, the duo consisting of Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles has been working on their own solo albums while remaining part of the multi-Grammy award winning band.
Star magazine caught up Kristian at the 2015 Island Hopper Songwriters Fest at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, and he updated us on the status of the Jennifer’s break, what’s going on with his solo career and new album Southern Gravity, and more.
See what Kristian had to say in Star‘s exclusive interview below!
Star: Do you have any animosity towards Jennifer Nettles for deciding to take that break from Sugarland?
Kristian: No. It was more like, “I guess I’m going to need to get a job.” I ended up writing a bunch of songs. It came to the attention of my producer who produces the Sugarland stuff with me and he said to me, “Can I put this on the radio? You can be on the radio at the same time the band is.”
Star: What’s hard about having a solo career?
Kristian: As a solo artist, one of the biggest challenges is producing, writing it, and doing it all myself. I’m having to judge myself a lot.
Star: What’s the best part about Sugarland?
Kristian: One thing that is the best about working with Jennifer is when you bounce off each other. Every time I say something, most of the time I figured they were pretty bad ideas. What’s beautiful is she’d be like, “That’s a great idea.” She accelerates the things, so I’ll dream up a thing and she’ll be like, “Oh, great, can we do it on the moon?” It’s just one of these beautiful spaces where dreamers mix.
Star: Do you stay in touch with former Sugarland band member, Kristen Hall?
Kristian: No. Kristen kind of went into her world. I know she moved up to Detroit and then that whole thing where she came back looking for whatever she wanted from the band after she left. That court case moved away and we never heard anything. I haven’t heard from her. I mean I love her. She’s a great writer and I’m really proud of the songs we all wrote together.
Star: What is the song “You Light Me Up” about on your new album Southern Gravity?
Kristian: It was a wish. I’m a single dad — I have two kids. I come with beautiful baggage. The song is a love song, and is a wish for what I want to happen. It’s [also] a thank you — I wanted to say thank you for what it feels like as a man when you’re in love.
Star: Who is one artist that you’re dying to work with and why?
Kristian: Bruce Springsteen because I have an obsession with people who have been doing this job for many years. If this wasn’t my third first record, I would be full of it. But Southern Gravity is my third first record and I get it. So if I’m looking for someone to work with, I’m looking for someone like Bruce or Dave Grohl, somebody who I can sit with and say, “How are you doing this? How are you constantly reinventing yourself every two or three years where you’re moving the light that you’re holding just a little bit so that in the distance it looks like you’re moving it a lot?” That’s what I’m interested in.
Make sure to check out Kristian’s new album, Southern Gravity.