“He smells like, frankincense and myrrh,” Chris Janson says of Blake Shelton.
The singers are what you would call “real friends,” so it was an easy choice to include the “God’s Country” star on Janson’s new album, Real Friends. “He’s one of my best buddies in the business,” Janson tells RADIO.COM in the exclusive interview above. “He’s one of my best friends. Kind of like a brother I never had kind of figure.”
Together the two stomp through the title track to Janson’s third album, and although one’s from the Show Me State and one’s an Okie all the way, they remain “unstuckers” till the end.
“Have you ever gotten hugged by a ten foot bear?” Janson asks, remembering his time with Shelton. “That’s what it feels like. For whatever freaking reason every time he sees me – and I always try to fight it, I’m like 'no’ – but he always tries to kiss me. He’s funny like that. He’s just a funny loving person. He’s got a great heart.”
Blake’s not the only real friend to stop by Janson’s latest LP, with the Country singer forging a new friendship with rapper Offset during the making of the album.
“I said, ‘I wanna write something between Hank Jr. ’83 and the Migos. Cause I love the Migos,” he says of the genre-busting gem “Say About Me” featuring Offset. When the label came looking for a collaboration, Janson only had one artist in mind. “I said sure I’ll do a collaboration but only with the Migos, particularly Offset,” he remembers. It worked, with the rapper dropping in for a verse on the album closer.
Producers asked if Janson had any direction he wanted to give the “Bad and Boujee” MC, but Chris wanted him to just be himself. “I want him to use his language and say what he wants,” he reacted. “And so he did, and he rapped a lot on it, and I used what I wanted. It’s a great collaborative effort.”
Real Friends is Chris Janson’s favorite album to date, created entirely with real friends. For more from Janson, check out the full interview above.