Trae Patton, NBC
"Being a part of 'The Voice' ... everything I know about every other genre, I've learned in the last two years," Blake told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses, Van Halen, I was pretty much lost when it came to other genres. Now I know a lot about what's going on out there because I'm a part of it, I'm living it on that show. You learn a lot about songs and the form of them and I don't think there's any way around it. If you take in music and you make music, eventually some of that stuff is going to leak into it."
One of the songs on the upcoming project is "Boys Round Here," which incorporates a sort of rap Blake believes another contemporary country artist does much better than he can. He also notes that his style of rap is reminiscent of the hits of certain classic country star.
"Jason Aldean is actually probably a really good rapper," says the singer. "He sounds like it to me. I kind of do more of the Jerry Reed-type of rapping, where that type of character is what I was trying to bring out."
Although he's getting used to the amount of time required to be in L.A. for "The Voice," Blake, who recorded much of the new album -- as well as his 2012 Christmas album -- in his California home, knows it was probably more of an adjustment for his producer, Scott Hendricks.
"I have fun when I'm out there," says the Oklahoma native, "and I have a lot of good friends now and people that I'll be friends with and close to until the day I die probably. But that doesn't mean that I like being in that particular area because it's just too big for me, it's too crowded and I am always wondering what everyone else at home is doing right now. We built the same studio there that I did all the vocals for my Christmas album, and all the guest artists came there and sang on it. I love that because after we'd get done after a long day on the set of 'The Voice' or something ... poor Scott, he just had to uproot and come and live with me for about a month. He'd just sit around and stare at me until he could tell that I was ready to go sing or not. But I didn't feel like I was racing against the clock or we only have the studio for these two days and we need to get out. I was kind of able to take my time and approach every song, rested and ready and drunk."
Based on a True Story ... is due March 26. "The Voice" season four, with Blake joined by Adam Levine and new judges Shakira and Usher, premieres Monday, March 25 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.