Noah Kahan on How ‘Stick Season’ Changed His Career & Put Him Back in ‘Creative Control’

Noah Kahan has had quite the year. Last October, the singer-songwriter released his third album Stick Season, a project that ushered in a sonic shift for the artist away from pop and into folk music — and set him on the fast-track to global acclaim.

The album debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard 200; In June, Kahan released its deluxe edition, Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), which shot the album up to a No. 3 peak on the chart. The deluxe also topped a handful of genre-based charts, including Top Rock Albums, Top Alternative Albums and Americana/Folk Albums.

“It’s been an unbelievable year-and-a-half now … a whirlwind of attention and wonderful outpouring of love from fans,” says Kahan. He recalls making Stick Season through the pandemic, saying, “There was a feeling in the studio of like, ‘Woah, this is something special.’ I felt so creatively in control … and I think, at the time, I couldn’t see that as a sign of success or relatability, it just felt so right for me that I was fine with whatever happened.”

In July, Kahan delivered yet another gift to fans with his Post Malone collaboration on standout single “Dial Drunk.” And while Kahan says he didn’t get a chance to play beer pong with the champ (“I got to watch him play, there was a big line … I was a little starstruck”) he says their first meeting was “exactly what I wanted an experience with Post Malone to be; he was sitting crossed-legged, drinking Bud Lights [and] smoking cigarettes.”

The pair bonded over their love of the comedy Walk Hard and Kahan confirms “the hang is not over.” As he says, “I would love to get in the room and write music with him [together from scratch]. What I love about [him] is he is so untethered by genre…I would love to make some weird shit.”

Looking ahead, Kahan has already completed his two biggest goals: be verified on Instagram and have a Wikipedia page. Still, he has one other major project in the works. His nonprofit the Busyhead Project, which he founded with his managers in May and is named after his 2019 debut album Busyhead, is on track to raise $1 million for mental health organizations across country and in Canada. “That is definitely a goal,” he says.

Watch the full Billboard News interview above.