Jake Owen played plenty of sports growing up and says although he was "pretty good," he still had to work hard at them. Not to mention he got bored with baseball and tennis "pretty quick." He may have pursued golfing a little more seriously, but a college injury cut that career short.
Good thing for Owen, music came along.
"It was the one thing that I never really felt like I had to work that hard at because of how much I truly loved it," Owen, 32, said during a recent visit to CBS News.
Music still comes naturally to the Vero Beach, Fla., native, who's currently on a headlining run, dubbed "Jakes Owen's Days of Gold Tour," presented by Discover Boating. The show has a laid-back beach-inspired vibe -- a perfect fit for Owen's lifestyle.
"We have palm trees onstage, tiki bars," said Owen, who now calls Nashville home. "It just provides an atmosphere for people to kind of feel that way. I enjoy that. I enjoy the fact that people come out wearing hula skirts and Hawaiian leis around their neck. It's fun to know I've become somewhat of an event for people to come out to."
Owen's wife, Lacey Buchanan, and their daughter, Olive Pearl, sometimes join the trek, too. The couple married in May 2012 (after Owen proposed onstage) and welcomed their baby girl later that year.
"They come out as often as they can," Owen said about his family. "It's hard now that my daughter's growing up to keep her confined in the bus. When she was smaller and not moving a whole lot it was easy. But now that she's running all around, it's hard...We bring her out as much as we can, as much as she wants to come out. With her getting older, making friends and going to start pre-school soon, I'm sure they'll stay home a little more."
Owen has been traversing the country behind his latest album, "Days of Gold," which features the summer hit song "Beachin'" and new single "What We Ain't Got," a more serious tune about "wanting more than what you have. And sometimes what you have right there in front of you or at the time is plenty."
Owen didn't write the track, but say he's happy to be "the messenger" on it.
"The first years I was out and made records I was pretty much writing most of my music on all my records," said Owen, who released his debut album, "Startin' with Me," in 2006. "But Nashville's filled with so many great songwriters that it's crazy not to utilize that."
"Days of Gold" comes on the heels of 2011's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," which featured four No. 1 hit country singles.
"I felt like my mind's in the right place, my gut instinct is in the right place. I'm picking songs that I love that I think my fans are enjoying as well," Owen said, adding, "I've always loved to write songs, but to me, it's about the best song. I don't want to make a record just because they're songs I wrote and I'm proud of these songs. More importantly to me, my fans are the ones that are buying this album. I just get the pleasure of making it and going out and playing it every night. But they're the ones who are going to lay down money to buy it. I feel like if I'm going to buy something I want it to be the best."
Owen says there's one other key to the song-selection puzzle: "When you record a song you better love it because you gotta sing it for the rest of your life if it's a big hit," he said. "And I'm OK with singing 'Beachin'...'Barefoot Blue Jean Night,' some of these other hits that I've had. They're song that have defined my career and I'll be singing them for quite some time."
Check out our sit-down interview with Owen above for more on his marriage, his love for boating and what's next.