Carrie Underwood's 'Cry Pretty' Co-Producer David Garcia: 'Her Passion Is Just As Intense As When She Started'


Garcia and Underwood co-produced the whole LP -- the singer's first time going behind the boards

For her newest album, Carrie Underwood wished to combine issues up. The 35-year-old has spent the final 12 years writing and recording her personal songs, however she determined it was time to step behind the boards and provides producing a attempt as effectively.

With that change in focus got here a change in collaborators: After making 5 albums underneath the steerage studio vet Mark Bright, Underwood enlisted the assistance David Garcia, who co-wrote Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha's smash crossover hit "Meant to Be."

"Our managers form attached a writing date," Garcia tells Billboard. "It simply form was her calling me and saying, 'Hey, what would you suppose if we did this file collectively?' And I used to be like, 'Uh, sure, the place do I signal?'"

Though the 2 had by no means labored collectively beforehand, they knew they have been a match as quickly as they received into the studio. They are the one credited producers on Cry Pretty, Underwood's sixth LP, and so they in the end co-wrote six the 12 songs on the album. "I believe what I'm enthusiastic about with this file is that it's simply actually numerous," he says. "There are some moments that vocally simply sound tremendous uncooked, and you actually really feel quite a bit emotion when she sings."

Ahead the album's Sept. 14 arrival, Billboard chatted with Garcia about how the 2 clicked and what Underwood is like as a producer. 

With this album, are followers going to see sides Carrie they haven't seen on earlier albums?

I believe so. I imply, Carrie is Carrie, it's at all times gonna be her -- it wasn't us doing something that was exterior what she does. But we simply allowed some the twist and turns to occur. To hear emotionally what her voice can do generally is definitely fairly highly effective, so I believe that there's gonna be some moments that her followers will actually admire.

There are even moments the place, although she might not being singing as powerfully, you continue to really feel one thing simply as a lot as when she does. There's some songs the place you're simply listening to each phrase she says as a result of the way in which she performs the tune. It’s nearly like her speaking a tune a little bit otherwise.

The approach you're describing these moments made me suppose the title monitor. Is "Cry Pretty"  indication  the album as an entire?

We wished you to really feel such as you have been simply sitting within the room together with her whereas she sang that tune. That is a bit more what we've received happening on the file. We're actually simply attempting to be sure that while you press play, you're feeling one thing. And that tune -- no matter that lyric is speaking -- it hits you the way in which it must hit you.

I can think about you have been fairly blown away watching her sing take after take within the studio.

100 p.c. And what’s wonderful about her is that she’s been doing it lengthy sufficient that she has each proper to sing issues a pair instances and be like, "Okay cool, I'm completed." But her work ethic is like she simply began singing for the primary time. She simply likes to sing, and even in recording she would simply be like, "I'm good, I wanna sing some extra." Her ardour is simply as intense as when she began. It's wonderful.

What is Carrie like as a producer?

What’s nice about this was we share the identical intuition going with what strikes you straight away, and if it's not shifting you, simply transfer on to one thing else. There have been quite a bit instances the place I'd be stressing out over one factor, and I'd have a look at her like, "What do you concentrate on this?" And we'd simply bounce f one another -- macro and micro form stuff. Other cases, I'd be like, "You like this or not?" And she'd flat out be like, "No." She's actually good with having the ability to have a look at issues from a 10,000-foot perspective, so to talk. And sure, in relation to vocals she is actually, actually, actually intense, and she or he desires to ensure it’s good and it's there.

Did you be taught something from working together with her?

It made me understand how vital sure issues are to a vocalist, like actually getting] into the small print their efficiency. And it helped me hear another way, which I believe is what you need to attempt to at all times do: have one other set ears.

When you initially went within the studio together with her, did she categorical something about what she was considering for this album?

She did know early on what Cry Pretty meant for her, so far as being the title the file. And I believe, if something, that was all her imaginative and prescient. She knew that was a extremely vital tune for her within the scope the file. And I at all times beloved that tune. I beloved what it stated, I beloved how actual and the way uncooked it was, I beloved all the pieces about it. From day one, when she received a extremely tough work tape it again, it at all times resonated together with her. I completely understood that, and we simply wished to ensure we did it justice.