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04/03/2014 at 11:45 AM EDT
Kip Moore says relationships aren't really on his radar at the moment – he's all about his career right now.
"In the last four or five years, I've definitely had people that I've gotten close to," the country singer tells PEOPLE Country. "I've just been so focused on what I'm trying to do, that it's hindered having the chance to go further than maybe what I should have allowed."
"I can be the first to step back and be a little sad that I've let such good people go that have been in my life," says Moore, 34, who was named one of PEOPLE Country's Hottest Guys last year. "I really have been a maniac chasing after this."
But his dedication to music hasn't been in vain. The 34-year-old "Hey Pretty Girl" singer is nominated for Best New Artist at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards
"I would love to win it, yeah, but I've learned I can't focus on that stuff," he says about his nomination.
"You can't control the kind of fans you have," he says. "We lay it on the line every single night. Although my fan base isn't as big as a Luke [Bryan] or Jason [Aldean], I feel like my fan base is more passionate. They are die hard, man. We're doing something right."
The Academy of Country Music Awards airs Sunday at 8 p.m.