Singer-songwriter and producer Todd Carey will drop a new single, “Real Love,” on May 31 on all major digital outlets. The song is the first release since his 2016 album, Future Throwback, which was led by the viral single “Nintendo.” Upcoming tracks will be staggered out over the course of the summer and fall, culminating in an as yet untitled album dropping between fall 2019 and January 2020. “Real Love” is available now for pre-order and pre-save across streaming platforms, with fans already clamoring for the release. In an exclusive interview with Life Entertainment, Carey shared his creative process and his love for his fans– who will have ample opportunities to see him live this summer!
LIFE ENTERTAINMENT: What were some of the challenges that you faced in completing the album?
TODD CAREY: I was thinking about this today… I guess the pattern for me now– which I didn’t really realize until this album– is that I’m notoriously methodical, slow, and precious with making my albums. It’s funny because it’s very different than my personality. I’m connected with my fans in a very unique way via social media. I spend hours a day talking to these people and responding to them.
They know me as someone who’s really prolific because I’m always putting out content. I’m always putting out pictures and videos and talking to everybody– but when it comes to making music, I put out an album every three to four years. I’m slowing down when it comes to putting out music.
I think that when it comes to pop music, there’s so much of it and people think of it kind of as confectionery. They think of it as fun, but I take it super seriously. I spend all this time writing as many songs as I can– typically (for an album) between 40 and 100 songs– and then I spend those three years getting those songs recorded, playing those songs live to make sure that they feel right to me and the audience, and then putting them out.
It’s a tormented process… there are periods of time where I’m just so frustrated and my audience is like, “Where’s your music?” But it’s always worth it to me. When I get to this moment, like when I’m about to put out a new single like “Real Love” and I’m looking at the visuals, I’m so proud. I know all that sweat equity. It’s something that I can stand behind, and I think all my favorite artists do that.
LE: How would you describe the project?
TC: This coming project is a continuation of Future Throwback; it’s all the things I love about pop music. It’s first and foremost fun, energetic, and all the things about my personality that I like to express in music… mixed with what I hope to be cool, artistic elements and musical elements. I spend some time trying to let my audience know that there’s a “nerdy musician” side to me. I went to school to study jazz guitar for four or five years, and spent years transcribing John Coltrane solos. I basically grew up absorbing the history of rock and roll, and I like that to inform the music. In other words, it’s pop music and it’s fun, but I spent a lot of time making sure there’s weight behind it– making sure the songs are meticulously well-written, making sure there are these cool elements to the music, whether it’s guitar-based or beat based.
LE: I understand that your fans chose “Real Love” to be the first release, dropping on May 31.
TC: Yes! I really brought fans in on the process. About three months ago, when I had the bulk of the album done, I was trying to decide what song to lead with because that’s oftentimes the song that most people are going to listen to. I decided to do a private broadcast with about 200 of my fans and play them 10 songs. They chose “Real Love,” which I thought was the best first single. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best song; I think it’s the best first single.
LE: Why do you think that track resonated with them so much?
TC: People talk to me about “Nintendo” a lot, which was the lead track on Future Throwback. It was the track that really launched me as a pop artist and ended up going pretty viral– millions of views on YouTube and Spotify, etc. The way that song happened is the same way “Real Love” happened. I spent all this time making this album… three years, right? Knowing that probably the best, most fun, unforced, clever song was going to pop out when I wasn’t expecting it at the end. That’s what happened with “Real Love.” It kind of just goes to show that the cream rises to the top, at least that’s what I found with my work.
LE: A new song will be dropped every six weeks for how many songs in total?
TC: This album so far has 10 songs on it. Each single is going to drop between four to six weeks. Right now we’re looking at four weeks but if things do well, we’ll probably push them back to six, who knows? Then we’re looking at the album in the fall or January 2020. We’ll see how everything goes.
LE: Fans have enough time to really fall in love with each single and celebrate each release individually, and have the visual for it.
TC: Yes, that’s the idea. The point to me is I spent so much time making this album, I believe so deeply in each song that I really want to give each song its due. At the end, I’ll save maybe three or four tracks that people haven’t heard and drop them on the album so it’s fresh.
LE: I see that you’re on tour in 2020 with Train. Are you touring this year as well?
TC: Yes, I’m doing a lot of private shows. I did a house concert tour, like a house party tour last year. [It was] 40 to 45 days of basically house parties all across the U.S. and the UK, and I’m continuing to do that through the summer and some of the fall. Then I’m doing a couple of festivals, but the touring really picks up in earnest in the fall of 2019 and the top of 2020 with Train. It’s called the Sail Across the Sun Cruise and has a lot of great artists and comedians. George Lopez is going to be on it, and a great singer named Matt Nathanson. That’s going to be really special group of artists.
LE: Do you have a message for your fans?
TC: Honestly, it’s gratitude. Everyday that I get on [social media], I’m talking to them for hours at times like, “Thank you for caring. I worked really hard to try and create music that will keep you coming back.” When they are coming back, it just allows me to do what I do, and I know that I couldn’t do it without them. It’s a completely symbiotic relationship, and it’s just nothing but gratitude on my end. People ask me all the time like, “Todd, are you really this nice? Is this what you’re like?” It’s like, “Hell yes, that’s how I feel.”