Robyn Ross
December 08, 2015 AT 06:35 PM EST

“I will die by my own sword before I try to chase something and die by somebody else’s sword,” country artist Kip Moore says, summing up how he feels about sacrificing himself for a hit song. “If it ends tomorrow then it ends and I did things on my terms and my way.”

For the Georgia-born performer, currently on tour for his latest album Wild Ones, it hasn’t been a straight shot to success. In fact, it took Moore two decades before he even knew he had to make music his life.

“When I was around 21, 22 I bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii,” Moore shares in the video above. “I was surfing constantly and living in a little hut, writing a lot of music and I had this little beat up guitar. It was out there [where] I really discovered that I wasn’t going to be happy doing anything, but music. I was in these amazing valleys camping out and surfing these amazing waves — I had the life  — and I still was empty and searching. So I knew I had to make that a part of my life.”

Watch the interview above to find out what Moore learned from early supporter Jewel and why he credits his fans for keeping him focused. And don’t forget to check out the first five episodes of our My Journey series here

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