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/ Source: TODAY
By Rebekah Lowin

TODAY sat down with platinum-selling country artist Jake Owen to discuss his newest hit song, "Real Life," and his collaboration with Discover Boating, the boating awareness campaign powered by the North American recreational boating industry. Together, their goal is to inspire fans and concertgoers to explore what life is like on the water.

In “Stories of Discovery,” a documentary developed by Discover Boating, the "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" singer and a few other inspirational boaters share the reasons why the activity has been so meaningful to them.

Nick Rau for Discover

After watching your "Real Life" music video, we're wondering about yours. In reality, how down-to-earth is your life, given that you're a hugely successful country-music star?

Yeah, I'm pretty much untouchable these days. [laughs] No, I thought the only way to truly be genuine and real with a song called "Real Life" is to include my friends and family. My brother got some good face time in it, so I'm sure he's enjoying the perks of that. And my mom and I did a little dance in the video together, too, and that was really nice.

Can you point out your brother for us in the video?

He's the idiot, dancing around.

Got it.

And my buddy [NASCAR driver] Kevin Harvick is in the video, too. He's standing in the back of the truck shaking champagne. The video was full of lunatics, that's for sure.

We have to talk about your new haircut.

People are putting a lot more thought into this than I have. They ask me all the time, "What's up with the haircut?" but it was just about that time. It was needed.

Nick Rau for Discover

Tell us a little bit more about Discover Boating. What's the thinking behind their work?

I see Discover Boating as a campaign to spread awareness for nature, for the activity of boating, and for being on the water. You know? They're not necessarily out to sell boats. It's more about being on the water with your friends and family. My whole life, I've loved being out on the water, and I decided as an artist to align myself with a company that has the same ideas as me. It's a really good fit. Their team came and filmed me out on the boat and actually mixed in my story with some other folks around the country. There's one guy in the film who only has one leg, and he talks about how much being on the water and water-skiing and wakeboarding means to him. It gives him freedom.

When can we expect to hear your new album in its entirety?

I pretty much finished my record already. So, I'd assume that it'd be out around the first of the new year. That's all I can say for the moment.

Nick Rau for Discover

Besides the album ... what's next for you?

I'm hoping to have a cheeseburger today around 12 o'clock. P.J. Clarke's. That's a good idea, right? Maybe a Coke in a bottle, too. I don't know, I don't know if I feel that dangerous. But as far as actually looking down the road, I want to continue to work hard at what I do, and I want to build my brand. I want to show folks what I enjoy doing outside of music, most of all. It's helping to build my artistry. And as each year passes, the more you work hard and the more good music you put out, the more good things are to come, hopefully.