LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Keith Urban is in the middle of his Get Closer 2011 World Tour, but that didn't stop him from taking a most unusual step for a country singer -- launching a new fragrance for men, Phoenix by Keith Urban.
The singer took some time to talk to Reuters about the cologne, his two kids with wife Nicole Kidman -- Sunday and Faith -- and why you'll likely never see him act in movies.
Q: What made you decide to create a cologne?
A: "I grew up with a father that had a real appreciation for specific things -- certain leathers and fabrics and the way they felt, the way they smelled. It's inherent in what I do musically because I'm very particular about the way I write songs and put a tune together. So the cologne was an organic extension of that creativity. I loved the process of creating it because it was almost like a self-discovery thing."
Q: How so?
A: "I'm a romantic at heart and there's certain woods and leathers and fragrances I love because they make me feel a certain way. I'd never really stopped to think about the way something made me feel. I started thinking about why I choose one smell over another. The process opened me up a lot."
Q: Why did you call it Phoenix?
A: "I have a tattoo on my forearm which is technically a thunderbird but most people think it's a phoenix. When I was thinking of a logo for the bottle, the name Phoenix seemed to be a right sounding name. I wanted something that was easy for people to say and especially comfortable for most men to say."
Q: Why not just use your own name?
A: "That was brought up and I said, 'no way.' Some poor guy is going to have a girl say, 'Oh you smell great, what are you wearing?' And the guy has to say 'I'm wearing Keith Urban.' (laughs) Phoenix is a nice name he can say instead."
Q: Did you enlist your wife's help in creating it?
A: "Oh yeah. Nic was very much involved. Even though I'm making a men's cologne, it's predominantly so that women would enjoy it. I wanted a female take on what this cologne was like, so of course I asked my wife. Good luck finding a guy that doesn't listen to his wife at the end of the day!" (laughs)
Q: Speaking of family, you welcomed a second daughter on December 28 last year. How is Faith doing and how is Sunday enjoying being a big sister?
A: "Faith is doing great and Sunday is as normal as it gets with regard to recognizing that there is this new entity in the house. We keep reminding Sunday she's got a very important job as a big sister. She's been taking to that and realizing that Faith really needs her to be her big sister."
Q: Was having more than one child always part of the plan?
A: "It felt very complete with Sunday and had she been the only girl we'd be thrilled. But it's nice that Sunday's got a sibling. Nic grew up with a sister and I grew up with a brother. There's something comforting for both Nic and I to know they've got each other."
Q: How do you balance work and family?
A: "I go out for three or four days and then come home for two or three days. It makes for an enormous amount of travel, but it means that I'm not gone for weeks at a time. It also means I don't have to have my family out on the road because it's not the ideal environment for a family. I prefer being able to go home to be with them."
Q: With mom and dad being performers, do you see any of those traits in the kids?
A: "Sunday sings all the time in the car. Her pitch is really good. She sings better than I did at 3-years-old! So whether that's a sign of someone that's got a good ear and loves singing or something deeper. I hope it is because we'd be thrilled if that's the path she wanted to take."
Q: Country stars like Tim McGraw also work in film, and you're married to a pretty good actress. Any plans for you to try your hand at acting?
A: "If I thought I would be good at it, I'd love to do it. But if I think I might suck at something, then I'm terrified to even attempt it. So that's the real answer. What I love about my job is I get to follow my creative vision all the way to the end. With actors, they can do some amazing scenes that never get used in the final film. That would drive me nuts as a creative person -- to not be able to follow through all the way to the end."
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte