During a keynote interview at the Billboard Country Music Summit on Tuesday, country star Tim McGraw talked with Billboard's Ray Waddell about the early days of his career and what he may do after his next album completes his deal with Curb Records.

The two had an hour-long, often funny conversation that was a highlight of the two-day conference.

-- McGraw's early Nashville years: After moving to Nashville in 1989, McGraw said, "it took a while" to find his voice and gain confidence. A few years later, he walked into Mike Borchetta's office and ended up with a record deal. Producer Byron Gallimore helped his career tremendously. "We both had nothing to lose," he said of the beginning of their success together.

-- McGraw's next studio album is the last on his Curb Records contract - and it's already recorded, but not yet mixed. He'd like to do smaller projects that are released online. He'd like to do rootsy projects, or theme albums, or cover albums (he admitted he'd love to do a '70s rock cover album). "I've had a great career," he said, "but after 13 albums, it's time for a change."

-- Even though the Internet has given him the ability to make more impressions, McGraw said he focuses on quality. The most important impressions, he told the audience, are the fans he plays to each night.

-- He'd like to see more of a symbiotic relationship between touring success and what radio is doing. Playlists are so tight, he said, that an artist with a successful tour isn't getting radio play. McGraw added that artists shouldn't feel like they have to cheapen themselves to get radio play. And he notes that "radio is fantastic to me" and he appreciates the support, but he wants more local control over radio playlists.

-- McGraw considers acting to be just another creative outlet. With "Friday Night Lights," his acting debut, McGraw identified with the character. It it was a great script and a great movie, he said. Although he wasn't sure he wanted to do another football movie, he found it tough to pass up "The Blind Side" when he found out Sandra Bullock was involved. But he didn't have a clue it would end up being such a special and successful movie. "It's a testament to great story," he said. "It's just like country music."

For exclusive video interviews with artists and top execs at the Billboard Country Music Summit, click here. For full coverage of the BCMS, click here.