"At the beginning, it was so surreal," Bingham, 31, said on "Good Morning America." "When I first found out, I remember me and my wife laughed hysterically for a few hours because we couldn't really believe that that was happening to somebody like me."
"It's definitely created a lot of opportunities for me," said Bingham, who was named the Americana Music Association's 2010 Artist of the Year.
Bingham's new album, "Tomorrowland," is his follow-up to that "surreal" success. The singer/songwriter released the album on his own label, Axter Bingham Records, and expands his sound beyond country. The songs feature his same raspy vocals, but Bingham takes the guitar lead and infuses elements of rock and roll and punk rock.
When it came to songwriting for this album, Bingham stayed true to himself and drew his inspiration from personal experiences and the world around him.
"With new songs, it's always just kind of about life and the things that I go through," he said. "I've always just traveled around to, and being in a band, traveling around, and waking up in a different town every day, you're just exposed to a lot of different things, and different people, and different cultures, and different food. And it's just kind of about writing about those different experiences when you get home."
Bingham recorded the album at a makeshift studio in a friend's empty house in Malibu, Calif. that ironically turned out once to have belonged to one of his musical heroes, country music singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson.
"A friend of mine has got an older house out in Los Angeles … he was looking at some of the building permits, at some of the previous owners, and the house once belonged to Kris Kristofferson … so that was kind of interesting to find out as we were setting up to record," Bingham said. "You could feel the spirit in the room."
Bingham is currently on the first leg of a North American Tour. Despite the concerts and his serious title of Academy Award Winner, Bingham said he feels he's the same guy as he always has been.
"My personal life's still pretty much the same," he said. "I still go about my life the same way."
To learn more about Bingham, visit his website: www.binghammusic.com