You can almost see a pattern. New artists typically self-title their first album, getting in that branding at the perfect opportunity. After that, titles often come from a song title or lyric from the album. And occasionally, they’re inspired by something personal—a hometown or favorite person. For Keith Urban, the title Graffiti U came from a feeling.
Keith explains, “The previous two albums I did – Fuse and Ripcord – denoted a kind of energy, and so those titles were chosen for that. And I had some energy-driven titles in mind for this album too, but as the record started to reveal itself to me, the word ‘graffiti’ kept coming to me out of the blue. I’ve always loved that word, loved the sound of the word, and then I loved the fact that it’s art-driven.”
He elaborates, saying, “When I think of graffiti, I think of self-expression, personal expression, absolutely personal expression whether you’re painting something on the side of a building in a city or whether you’re painting ‘Billy Bob Loves Charlene’ on the side of an overpass, it’s all graffiti and it’s all free and pure and very personal, and I thought this record feels like that to me.”
While it may seem an unconventional method, it seems to be working for the Aussie superstar. Both Fuse and Ripcord have been certified platinum, and have spawned a string of hits, including chart-toppers like “We Were Us” with Miranda Lambert and that moody groove, “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”
Graffiti U was also nominated in the Album of the Year category at the upcoming CMA Awards, while Keith received nods for Entertainer and Male Vocalists. The Aussie took to Instagram to share his thanks.
Find out who takes home the trophy when the CMA Awards air live from Nashville on Nov. 14 at 8pm ET on ABC.