Corey Kent’s debut single, “Wild As Her,” is impacting radio after months of successful streaming.
Released earlier this year, (March 4), this song reached nearly 70 million streams in just four months and landed Kent a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in his career.
“It’s pretty crazy. I mean, thinking back just as little as like 12 months ago, 18 months ago, I was working at a pavement company because music playing wasn’t a viable way for me to provide for my wife and my kids,” Kent recalled to Country Now.
Once live music resurged in the world, Kent quit his job and made a great effort to get himself back into the industry. That hard work paid off when he landed a record deal Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Nashville imprint and felt a new level of “gratitude” towards being able to play music again. Seeing “Wild As Her” go to radio is another product of his success.
“I’m super excited to see how people react to the song. We know that people like to stream it, so hopefully, they like to hear it on the radio.”
As soon as the song was brought to him, he and his team had a feeling that it was meant to be recorded by him.
“They played this song for me and everybody on my team was going, ‘this is you. You’ve gotta sing this song.’ And so I really trusted my team and went in and recorded the song.”
Compared to Kent’s full repertoire, “Wild As Her” proved to be something special with its spirited vocals and independent storyline. He was hopeful fans would love it just as much as he did, but never imagined it would get the reaction that it did.
“We thought it was gonna be a great thing and a huge step forward in our career, but I don’t think you ever anticipate putting a song out that’s gonna change your life,” he admitted. “The craziest part is, we’re like four plus months in, and the song is still having like days where it has more streams than any other day ever four months in.”
When it came time to cut an acoustic version of the song, Kent felt like something was missing. At the time, there was already talk of recording a duet with Carter Faith so it was only natural to add her vocals to the song.
“So first off Carter, I’m a huge fan of Carter Faith, and I don’t say that lightly. Especially if you’re in the music industry, I feel like you just view things through a different lens and it takes a lot to impress you, not in a jaded sort of way, but you just see so much great talent all the time that the pool of people who really just put your jaw on the floor is much smaller. That’s exactly what happened with Carter,” he explained.
While on the road, Kent heard Carter Faith’s song, “Joy Ride,” and instantly became a fan of hers. This is where the idea formed to bring her on for a collaboration. Instead of recording a traditional duet though, they decided to do an acoustic one-take. Both artists fell in love with the idea of recording the song live with “no edits, no redos.”
“It’s just pure, raw, whatever you get in the moment. And she was so great to work with, she’s such a great vocalist,” he complimented. “There are very few people that I think I could have called to do that, who would’ve had the confidence to stand by what they could do that one time in that moment. And it just speaks to how talented Carter is.”
As he continues to thrive in this chapter of his career, Corey Kent makes sure never to forget how he got to this point. While most kids were playing sports at 11 years old, he was the lead singer of band. They played together for five years straight while touring all over the country and even opening for artists like the Oak Ridge boys and Roy Clark.
He got “discovered,” as some would say, while singing at a small state fair.
“They were like, ‘Hey, you’re pretty good. Would you like to make money doing this?’”
As a young kid who was just playing music for fun, he had no idea what this meant or even that it was possible to make money play music. This was what led him to play in a western swing band.
“It’s like 1930s dust, era, country, jazz music,” he explained.
Once this experience fizzled out and he eventually went to college, Kent started another band while also studying to earn his business degree. When it came time to choose his career path, music once again shined through.
“It happened at a pretty young age, I think, of just realizing that there was some potential there and acknowledging that my mom was the dreamer and my dad was the pragmatic, realistic guy that was like, ‘Hey, that’s great, but you need to go get an education because the odds are not in your favor.’ And that was not in a discouraging way. My dad wanted what was best for his son and didn’t want him to not have anything to fall back on.”
In response to his dad’s concerns, Kent said, “I know the odds aren’t in my favorite, but somebody has to beat the odds. Otherwise, there’d be no odds.”
The final push to enter the music world came after getting called up from the crowd to sing with Willie Nelson on stage.
“It was just one of the most iconic moments in my life because the band that I was in had ended, I was the youngest member and everybody went to college and it broke up. I was at this crossroads of like, I’m just gonna go back to being a normal kid and go back to wrestling practice and playing football and go to college and just live this normal life and music might be a thing that I just did when I was a kid.”
“To that night, knowing that there was something bigger that was drawing me towards music, that moment just really solidified, like, this is what I want to do.”
With that in mind, seeing everything fall into place this year gives Kent the confidence that he made the right decision.
On August 15, Corey Kent’s single, “Wild As Her” will impact country radio. One month later, he will join Cody Johnson for a run of shows.
A full list of his upcoming tour dates can be seen HERE.