Keith Urban will be hosting next week’s ACM Awards, originally scheduled for April but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the awards, the Australian country star spoke with the Sunday Telegraph‘s Stellar Magazine (via the Daily Mail), and discussed how much his marriage to Nicole Kidman has influenced not just his life’s journey, but his musical journey as well.

“I definitely married up. Isn’t that what we’re all supposed to be doing?” said Urban, 52, of Kidman, 53.

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“Nic’s definitely had a big impact on my music in the last five to six years particularly,” he continued.

“She had different musical tastes than I did when we met. It really liberated me a lot, introduced me to a lot of music I’d missed,” he explained.

“We also find huge common threads in the Aussie music we love, because we grew up at the same time,” Urban added, crediting Kidman with making him “more fearless with my artistry… She’s just very willing to try things; that’s rubbed off on me.”

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In the same interview, Urban also discussed his new single “Out the Cage”, which he said allowed him to express his feelings after months in lockdown in the couple’s Nashville estate.

“We’d been in lockdown since March. I was ready to get out and do things, I poured it into that song. I still have a little PTSD about lockdown,” he admitted.

Now that they’re back in Australia’s Byron Bay, he said, “all I can think about is Nashville not that long ago. I’m like a little caged animal timidly walking around going, ‘I don’t know about this freedom, this feels a little fishy.'”

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The 55th annual ACM Awards will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 16.