Creed Bratton's story has always been a music story, but a relentless drive for success and a stroke of luck led him down an entirely different path in Scranton, PA. Now, as he prepares to release his 10th studio album, Tao Pop, on September 27, Bratton cements his place in music history as he blissfully explores his many interpretations of pop music.

Tao Pop marks Creed’s fifth time working with multiple Grammy Award-winning producers Dave Way (Michael Jackson, Fiona Apple) and Dillon O’Brian (Keith Urban, Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr). To collaborate on four individual tracks, he brought in longtime friends Billy Harvey, Geoff Pearlman, Vance DeGeneres, and Dillon O’Brian.

There's a natural sense of humor across the record, as seen on tracks like first single "Turn The Corner Of The Universe," an infectious anthem that imagines a future where climate change is in our rearview mirror. There’s also Tao Pop's cover art, a futuristic depiction of Creed adorned with a USB outlet in his skull, inexplicably receiving an AI-baby from its AI-parents. Obviously, this is because Creed’s a funny guy––what started as a non-speaking role quickly turned him into a global star for his work as Creed Bratton on the American version of The Office, which is now one of the most streamed television shows of all time.

But many might not realize his life in the spotlight first began with music, and Tao Pop feels like a culmination of his many eclectic experiences. Raised in a small mining town between Fresno and Yosemite, Creed saw his mother and grandparents all playing music from a very young age. Later, he’d impress with his acting skills in school plays before eventually dropping out of his drama major in college to travel across the world in search of himself. He’s told this story before––busking across Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and later becoming a member of the folk-pop group the Grass Roots, Creed experienced more in his early musical lifetime than most could say they’d ever aspire to, but he always felt there was more. Bratton’s solo career technically began the moment he left the Grass Roots in 1969 but he kicked it off with his debut album in 2003, Chasin’ The Ball. Eight more full-lengths followed, each one unraveling more layers of Bratton’s extensive musical universe.

Today, in his everyday life, Bratton embraces a sense of acceptance for whatever is meant to happen next. In the same sense, Creed’s autodidactic nature shines through in his music-making process. He lets the songs come to him, allowing his subconscious to guide the way. This approach mirrors his broader philosophy: the world is here to help us, but we often get in our own way. By allowing the Tao to cruise through his life, Creed processes trauma and expresses spiritual yearning through his music.

Co-written with Vance DeGeneres, “Turn The Corner Of the Universe” stands out as a particularly uptempo moment on Tao Pop. Inspired by an article Creed thinks he read in Popular Mechanics––”something about the healing ozone hole in the Arctic Circle,” he says––the song imagines a future when humans finally get their act together and stop polluting the planet; a utopia with clean oceans and no more plastic waste. When asked further about the song’s inspiration, Bratton gleefully defended himself: "people have been blaming me for climate change and I’m just sick of this. It’s not my problem!”

The album’s artwork was inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near; after reading it, Creed envisioned the image while meditating, imagining a world where AI-bots and humans coexist seamlessly. In this dream, Creed is the last human standing, thriving in a world dominated by robots and AI—a poignant metaphor for his enduring presence in the music world.