The 45-year-old singer and songwriter says he’s working with a variety of collaborators to expand his sound “while still remaining true to who I am.” Those collaborators include his longtime producer Dann Huff, Taylor Swift’s main co-producer Nathan Chapman as well as Jay Joyce, Mike Elizondo, Butch Walker and Zach Crowell.
"I'm just seeing what comes out of me working with those guys," Urban tells Billboard. "I love working with people who play a lot of instruments, and really, all these guys play lots of instruments and they program and play synths and they can build an entire track just on their own."
He’ll be including some of the new material, including the recently released first single “Little Bit of Everything,” on his summer “Light the Fuse Tour” that gets going July 13 in Cincinnati. It includes Southern California stops on Sept. 27 at the Hollywood Bowl and Sept. 28 at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in San Diego.
As for what may be in store on the next season of “American Idol,” with the recently announced departure of Randy Jackson from the original lineup of judges, and rumors swirling that producers may be bringing in an entirely new panel next year, Urban tells the Associated Press, "I have no official information of anything.
"I'm pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around,” he said. “It was like this before I signed on ... so it's not unusual for the 'Idol' folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together."
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2