After putting in two and a half years of work, BRELAND has released his highly-anticipated debut album, Cross Country. The title of this collection represents the unique sound he has created in combining his country, hip-hop, R&B, gospel and pop influences.
“I want people to feel like there’s something for them on it regardless of what type of music you grew up listening to or typically listen to,” BRELAND told Forbes. “We’ve got something on here for everyone and I think being able to do that while still rooting it in country music is really powerful and lends itself to some of the songwriting that I was able to exhibit on the project.”
With this genre-bending project, the singer is working to unite fans in a new, powerful way. This way, he hopes to avoid leaving anyone out.
“The goal is that everyone has something that they can vibe to, but also I wanted it to be a joyful project and a project that feels light and hopefully energizes people and inspires them,” he added.
Cross Country features 14 tracks and BRELAND’s name is written in the songwriting credits for each one. Among the tracks, are five collaborations including “Throw It Back” feat. Keith Urban, “Praise The Lord” feat. Thomas Rhett, “Told You I Could Drink” feat. Lady A, “Cross Country” feat. Mickey Guyton and “Here For It” feat. Ingrid Andress.
Recording with various artists is what first introduced the New Jersey native to the country music scene and quickly gained him a loyal fanbase. In 2019, he released his collaborative hit, “My Truck” which features Sam Hunt, and later, earned his first CMA nomination for his feature on “Beers On Me” with Dierks Bentley and HARDY.
While collaborations are a strong suit for him, BRELAND explained that he wanted to use his debut project as an opportunity to really share his stories and express himself through his songwriting masterpieces. He also revealed that fans can expect some collaborative songs that were not included and are instead being held for a later date.
“There are a few collabs that I’ve done that did not make it onto the project, not that I don’t love those songs they just didn’t fit as cleanly with my overall sonic and creative vision for the album,” he shared. “I’m really grateful for each of the features that are on the project and all of the other features that I have coming and people whose songs I’ve featured on. … All of those songs have been great opportunities for me to tell other stories and express myself in different ways, too.”
In celebration of the release, BRELAND was honored with a special exhibit at the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville, TN. Presented by Amazon Music, the limited exhibition called “CROSS COUNTRY: A VISUAL EXPERIENCE” was unveiled on Sept. 8 and will remain open until September 15.
According to a recent press release, “the special exhibit spotlights art pieces created by 14 different visual artists – all Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Each artist painted their own depiction of one song off BRELAND’s debut, creating 14 unique pieces representing each of the 14 tracks on Cross Country. “
This weekend (Sept. 10 – Sept. 11), BRELAND will take the stage for Nashville’s Blended Festival before heading to Australia for a performance on Sept. 23.