Larry Flick, host of OutQ‘s The Morning Jolt, sat down with country star Luke Bryan this week. Read about (and listen to!) the interview:

Luke Bryan embodies all that sets country music artists apart from the pack. He has an easy going smile, a firm handshake and the kind of manners that makes you instantly think, “yep, his mama raised him right.”

When Luke and I sat down for a chat about his new album, Kill the Lights, it was hard not to notice that he had none of the affect that often comes with the kind of success he’s scored. In fact, I recall him having a bit more swagger when we first met in 2009 for his second album, Doin’ My Thing. Before I turned the mics on he took a subtle, but deep and cleansing breath; the kind that you grab when you hope no one is looking in your direction. Despite racking up 13 number one country singles (with 10 of them in a row), the dude’s hustle is hard. In short, he’s working like he’s broke and the rent is due. When I point that out to him, he smiles and says, “ya gotta. You can’t assume that anyone is waiting on you. You’ve gotta earn it every day.”

I’m convinced that attitude is what put him in my studio in the first place. Let’s face it, an LGBT radio station is not necessarily the presumed ports of call for the man whose music has sparked the notorious subgenre “bro country.” But a close scan of the songwriting credits for Kills the Lights reveals collaborations with a broad range of writers beyond that stylistic sector, including the out gay tunesmith Shane McAnally. “It’s about experimentation and keeping ahead of the curve,” Luke says, “not labels.”

From there, we sailed into a conversation that covered more than the required promotional ground. By the time we were done, Luke Bryan revealed surprising depth and a vision that will help him outlive that “bro country” tag.

Hear the entire interview:

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