He may be stepping back from The Voice next year, but Blake Shelton isn't going anywhere.
As he gears up for his latest tour kicking off in February 2023, the country superstar is also figuring out his next steps when it comes to his music career.
"Walking away from music, you might as well just poison me or something. That's not something I can go without. I can't help it," he tells PEOPLE in its latest cover story.
Still, the singer — whose new game show, Barmageddon, premiered Monday on USA Network — says he's not rushing to put out an album.
"I'm really at a crossroads right now. The country music lane is changing so rapidly, and there's some really good stuff out there. These young kids coming up, it's amazing to see the music that they're making and how creative they are," says Shelton, who has released dozens of No. 1 hits throughout his career.
No stranger to mentoring the next generation of music hopefuls, Shelton, 46, says he's also still learning himself.
David McClister Blake Shelton
"I'm enjoying watching what's happening and putting a song out once in a while. That's another reason that I'm excited to get some time back away from The Voice and concentrate more on, 'What kind of record do I want to make? Is it going to fit in? Do I care? Do I not care?' I got a lot to figure out," he says.
Christopher Polk/Coachella Crossroads Blake Shelton
After wrapping his final season of NBC's hit singing competition show in the spring, Shelton says he will be focusing on spending time with wife Gwen Stefani and his stepsons.
"But I'm not getting away from music!" he insists. "[Now] I can control the timing, and I'm not on anybody else's schedule when it comes to making a record or touring. I can fit it in a way that makes more sense for us."