Kane Brown made an immediate impression on the country music scene in 2015 when his debut single “Used To Love You Sober” entered the top 15 of the country singles charts.
It turned out to be just a teaser for what was to come, as his self-titled 2016 album and 2019 follow-up album, “Experiment,” each topped the “Billboard Magazine” Country Albums chart. And produced five of the singles that topped the ‘Billboard’ Country Singles or Country Airport charts.
Even a pandemic didn’t slow Brown’s growth – both in popularity and as a songwriter and singer – as he continued to release a constant stream of singles (some of which are collected on his 2020 EP, “Mixtape Vol. 1”) which saw him diversify musically and collaborate with major artists from the country and other genres.
The freedom Brown feels as he advances in his career is personified in “Mixtape Vol. 1.”
“I think with ‘Mixtape’ we completely took the pressure off ourselves and let it be what we creatively thought and really did what we wanted with it without having to worry about it fitting into it. idea of anyone. it had to be, ”Brown explained in an email interview in mid-July.
Only one of the seven songs from “Mixtape Vol. 1 “, the dashing” BFE “was purely country tune. Otherwise, Brown mixed elements of hip-hop, pop and soul on the easy-going” Be Like That “, which featured guest vocals from Swae Lee and Khalid. “Cool Again” was a laid back mix of beachy pop and hip-hop. Brown co-wrote “Last Time I Say Sorry” with John Legend and duet with the talented singer on this heartwarming ballad. t Know What Love “echoes Elton John’s” Benny and the Jets “before taking a moving turn for the chorus.
In this email interview, Brown discusses his music, his current live show, and his upcoming upcoming album.
Q: What kind of show are you offering for this tour? What type of visual production do you offer?
Brown: It’s the greatest show we’ve ever done visually and in terms of production.
Question: What will be your set list for this tour?
Brown: We’re going to mix it up every night, but I’m so excited to be going out on the road and playing some of the new songs and some of the songs from the last project that we haven’t played for the fans yet since we haven’t been able to shoot it. last year with everything going on. The reaction to some of the new stuff has been so great and it’s fun to hear the reactions from the fans the first time the song is performed live in front of an audience.
Question: You didn’t have a lot of gigs under your belt when you started with your 2015 EP “Closer” and the eponymous album. How have you evolved as a performer over the past five years?
Brown: I think I learned a lot and got to try more every time we went on the road … I feel like you can always learn something from other artists and I was able to be on the road and playing with so many people that I admire, it was great to see how they connect with the fans and also to find your own way with what you do on your show.
Question: What was life like during the pandemic for you, your wife Katelyn, and your baby girl Kingsley?
Brown: I think the last year was tough for everyone, but there were things I was grateful for. We missed being on the road but with Kingsley being so young I got to see so many moments I might have missed if we were on tour. Watching her grow and learn has been amazing.
Question: You’ve had an interesting lineup of guests on your songs. A lot of artists don’t want to go out of the genre they’re in, but you’ve had John Legend, Khalid, Swae Lee, Nelly, Becky G. and now blackbear, among others. How do you go about choosing the artists you want for the features of your songs?
Brown: There is no definite path. With Marshmello we connected after the American Music Awards, with John Legend we connected while filming “The Voice” when I was a mentor and musical guest and we decided to write together. I’ve always been a huge Camilla and Khalid fan and with Becky G it was great to just add a whole new level of creativity with our song.
Question: You’ve written songs that definitely don’t follow the lyrical book of country music, like “Learning,” “Worldwide Beautiful,” and “American Bad Dream.” You write a lot from your own life, which is not the life country music likes to portray. Do you see the country opening up in any way to words that tackle sensitive topics or show an education or a way of life that does not correspond to the usual “grew up in a small town loving Jesus and riding in vans? “
Brown: Country has always been about storytelling and writing. And these are just my stories. I think a lot of people identify with my story and are surprised by it, but also identify with parts of it.
Question: What kind of ideas do you have for your next album? Do you have any idea what kind of songs or topics you want to explore?
Brown: I think it has evolved. When we were working on it before the pandemic, it kind of went in one direction, but now it’s sort of evolved into something new. I don’t want to give too much away just yet since it continues, but I love listening to music samples for my fans – it’s just something I’ve always done – and I love hearing their comments. And with the Blessed and Free tour, I’m excited to play some of the new music live.
Question: Do you have a different idea of what kind of songs are more like you today than when you started making albums? In other words, has your definition of what a Kane Brown song is changed?
Brown: This is an excellent question. I think I have grown a lot. When I wrote my first album, I wasn’t married yet, I wasn’t yet a father, and there was also a lot that I had to say that I hadn’t been able to tell people yet. , as with songs like “Learning”. I’ve grown and learned since then, but I still feel, deep down, that I’m still the same person and that I want to connect people.
Kane Brown at BJC
When: 7 p.m. November 6
Or: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park