Chris Stapleton Reveals Why It Took Him So Long to Record “Higher” and How He Found His Voice on ‘Today’

Chris Stapleton’s new album is less than two weeks away. Recently, he sat down to talk about Higher, how he found his voice and more.

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Over the weekend, Stapleton appeared on Today’s Sunday Sitdown to talk about career and his new album with Willie Geist. The Grammy winner invited Geist to his rehearsal space for the chat. During the conversation, Stapleton discussed the title track from his upcoming album.

[Related: Chris Stapleton Shares New Track “It Takes a Woman” from Forthcoming Album ‘Higher’ Out in November]

“The title track, ‘Higher’ is what year is it? 22 years old, 23 years old,” Stapleton revealed.  “That song was on the first demo session I ever did when I moved to [Nashville] as a songwriter. I wrote that song by myself and it’s been hanging around ever since.”

Stapleton moved to Nashville from Eastern Kentucky in 2001. Back then, he hoped to make his way as a songwriter before joining The Steeldrivers and The Jompson Brothers and eventually striking out on his own.

[RELATED: WATCH: Chris Stapleton Pays Tribute to Fellow SteelDriver Mike Henderson with Encore Performance of “Where Rainbows Never Die”]

He revealed why it took him so long to record the song. “I think I was probably afraid of it for a long time,” he said. In fact, fans may have never heard the song if not for his wife, Morgane Stapleton. “My wife would always push for that song. She was like, ‘You should try that’ and I would be like, ‘I don’t know if I have it right now. I don’t know if I have it anymore.’”

The video below features a clip of the song. It sees Stapleton going into the highest end of his impressive vocal range. The long, sustained, high note he sings may explain his apprehension. “That’s me on a good day,” he said.

Additionally, Stapleton revealed that he found his instantly recognizable voice after years of imitation. “I spent a lot of time trying to be other people,” he said. “Like, I love Vince Gill. I tried so hard to be Vince Gill and sound like him. There’s lots of demo recordings of me wishing I was Vince Gill,” he added.

Finally, Stapleton realized that he needed to find his own sound. “But I’m not any of those people. Eventually, hopefully, through all those influences, and also focusing on what it is that you do you find out what that is, and then you put that out there. If that’s something people think is special, that’s great.”

Higher hits streaming services and record store shelves on November 10.

(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMA

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