Country star Chris Young talks whisky, quarantining in Nashville and, of course, his dog
With live music on what feels like a never-ending (albeit temporary) pause, music lovers everywhere are longing for the intimacy and energy of live shows and seeing their favorite artists in concert.
Many bands and artists have been getting creative with different ways to keep fans connected to new and live music, especially through social media outlets.
One popular medium has been through the use of Instagram Lives, where fans and followers can log on to their favorite artists' Instagram accounts at a specific time and tune in to jam out.
When artists combine their lives with big brands and charitable initiatives, the result is a win-win for all - fans get to hear live music, artists get to perform and charitable organizations receive a donation to help those who need it the most during the pandemic.
Most recently, country star Chris Young teamed up with Crown Royal for an iteration of the company's popular #GenerosityHour where artists will perform a set of songs in a virtual happy hour setting.
"A lot of my friends are bartenders and in this unprecedented time, I think this is a really amazing thing that Crown Royal is doing," Young told AOL. "It gives me an easy opportunity to get out and play some music and do it for a good cause.”
Studio all day as long as my ears can take it!! Feels good being creative on a Monday #Music
A post shared by Chris Young (@chrisyoungmusic) on May 11, 2020 at 3:41pm PDT
The live show, which took place on May 22, helped Crown Royal to donate $1 to bartenders in need through the USBG Bartenders Emergency Assistance Fund (up to $450,000) for every user who posted with the hashtag #GenerosityHour on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook.
"It's kind of a crazy time and I think this is a really small way that I can bring a whole bunch of people together and support our service industry staff and bartenders," Young said. "It’s something that I’m very cognizant of ... to be able to help the bartenders that are in need makes all the difference in the world for me."
Though Young had to cancel his massive 'Town Ain't Big Enough World Tour' that was set to kick off on May 28 ("For everybody's safety, that was the best thing we could do," he explains), the country star has still been putting music at the forefront during this time.
"The thing that I've been doing more than I even expected to has just been writing songs, which probably isn’t going to surprise anybody," Young laughs. "It's something that [we're] overcoming and finding new ways to do that. Obviously I think if you talk to probably anyone around me they’ve been finding ways to virtually get a lot of work done. And that’s something that me and a lot of my friends, a lot of the guys that normally get to st down and share a room with, we’ve found ways to get creative."
Young's been taking his creative projects and new ideas into the studio, as he's been spending his quarantine recording.
"I've got a personal studio that I have that I not only record my podcast out of, but I use here in Nashville just for demos and stuff that I build ... I've kind of been pouring myself into that while I've got the ability to do it."
I’m officially working with @CrownRoyal for #GenerosityHour to support our bartenders, so join me Friday on IG Live to kick off #memorialdayweekend! I know we’re all missing live shows and our favorite bars right now, so pour yourself a drink and kick back while I play some songs. Please also comment below using #GenerosityHour #CrownRoyalDonation – for each time you do that my friends at Crown Royal will donate $1 to the @USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund, up to $450K! 🙌🏻 It feels good to do good right now! 👏 Cheers you guys! #DrinkResponsibly #Music #MDW
A post shared by Chris Young (@chrisyoungmusic) on May 20, 2020 at 9:36am PDT
Young thinks that virtual sessions like Generosity Hour are a way for fans to stay connected during the pandemic "Everyone can chill and hang out and enjoy from their homes and kick off the weekend," he says) but don't count on virtual shows being a permanent mainstay.
"I don’t think we'll never have concerts again, I don’t think that's going to happen," Young tells AOL. "We’re in an unprecedented time and we're taking it day by day and right now, this is the easiest way for me to play some music and liven everybody up a little bit … This is something that’s fun that we can do and kind of give everybody a sense of normalcy and allow everybody to come together and celebrate."
And as for the rest of the quarantine, you can find Young in Nashville playing with his dog and finally relaxing.
And of course, raising a glass of whisky or two.