It’s a sunny Monday afternoon in Nashville and Kane Brown is preparing to celebrate his seventh No.1 single, “One Mississippi,” with a rooftop party at the BMI Building on Music Row. While vendors are setting up the bar and preparing Mexican cuisine, the platinum-selling artist greets his team and co-writers before a slew of guests arrive to toast the success of the song.
It’s a big week for Brown, not only is he celebrating his latest country chart-topper (which happens to be his first with his publishing company Verse 2 Music), but he is also preparing for the release of his much-anticipated new single, and first-ever stadium show in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn.
While sipping on his wife’s just-released Allen Rose Wine, Brown joins Country Now in the BMI theater room to share a bit about “Like I Love Country Music,” the summer-ready anthem he’s dropping on Friday (May 6).
The 28-year-old settles into his chair as he recalls the day he co-wrote the song alongside Jordan Schmidt, Taylor Phillips, and Matt McGinn.
“We were doing a writer’s retreat, and we were on the road,” he remembers of the co-writing session that took place in 2019. “So, we had people writing in the back and people writing in the front. And I was in the back working on a song that I’ve already released called ‘BFE.’”
Brown said they were aiming to write something “super country” and he later left the back lounge of the bus to join Schmidt, Phillips and McGinn.
“When I went up front, they had already started the song, ‘Like I Love Country Music.’ And at first, I wasn’t really vibing with it,” he admits but says his thoughts about the song quickly changed. “Whenever it took off, it just wrote itself, and it all just…blended in so well.”
Things fell into place and a work tape was made shortly after. Brown says they even recorded and mastered the song.
“I was in love with the demo for a little while after we wrote it. I loved the song, and we mastered it. And it was going to be on my last EP that we released,” he reveals, referencing 2020’s Mixtape Vol. 1.
So what happened?
“I just fell out of love with the song. I don’t know what it was,” Brown admits.
Now, looking back, it’s all a bit serendipitous. “Like I Love Country Music” is destined to be a summertime hit and will no doubt make for an exciting moment in Brown’s live show. If he had released it in 2020, there’s a chance the song could have gotten lost because the world was shut down at the time. With no shows on the books, Brown wouldn’t have gotten the chance to showcase it at his concerts.
Luckily, he rediscovered “Like It Love Country Music” earlier this year while on tour.
“I went back and played the demo and fell in love again. So we took it back into the studio and made it hit harder. I re-sang it. Because I feel like my vocals have got a lot stronger than they used to be, and I just fell in love with it again.”
Tinged with ‘90s country elements, including a fiddle, “Like I Love Country Music” finds Brown name-dropping the likes of country greats such as Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Johnny Cash, and June Carter Cash.
“You get me high as Willie, girl/ You get me gone as Jones/ You turn me on as much as I turn on my radio/ Let’s take our time, walk the line/ Kinda like Johnny and June did/ Yeah, let’s do this/ Baby, I love you/ like I love country music,” he sings.
With its upbeat melody, listeners can’t help but dance along to the track. It’s no surprise that Brown teased the song with a video of himself and his eldest daughter, Kingsley, having a full-on kitchen dance party singing along to the tune.
Brooks & Dunn Sings On “Like I Love Country Music”
And yes – that is Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn singing on the track.
“They both jumped on it,” Brown confirms with a smile. “Ronnie does ‘Brand New Man’ and Kix sings, ‘I love country music,’ the little tag.”
While the duo isn’t credited as a feature on the track, Brown says that their participation speaks volumes about who they are as people and artists.
“That’s what’s cool about it. They came into the studio and took their time for one line apiece. It’s not even a feature, but they came in. For artists to come into a studio and do something, technically, you want to be a feature. You want to have a whole verse or a whole chorus. So not only was that awesome of them to do that, but it’s so impactful in this song. I’ve realized that those are the two lines that I sing the most out of the song, so it’s cool.”
The Cowboy Hat Makes Him Feel Like A “Damn Superstar”
The internet is already buzzing about “Like I Love Country Music” and its accompanying single art, which features the title alongside a photo of Kane Brown that’s quite different from anything fans have ever seen from the Tennessee native. In the photo, Brown sports a black cowboy hat and a black leather jacket with fringe. While it may seem like a far cry from his typical stage wear, he says it’s like returning to his roots.
“Well, I grew up going to the rodeo, and I’ve got video of me in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots,” he says. “And as I got older, just got into more of the streetwear type of stuff. And whenever I release this song, everything about the song is a throwback, the sound, the music video… So I thought, might as well just go all out.”
He confesses, “My stylist definitely made me look a lot more country than what I wanted to go for,” but admits he loved the way it all came together.
“I kept saying, ‘No wonder Jon Pardi and Kenny Chesney feel… Just powerful,’ he tells us with a laugh. “I don’t know, something with the cowboy hat. I had to put it on, I feel like a damn superstar!”
Cowboy hat or no cowboy hat, Kane Brown is a bonafide superstar. At this point in his career, he has achieved unprecedented success. With seven No.1 singles, multiple ACM and CMA Awards nominations, five American Music Awards, a three-year run as the co-host of the CMT Music Awards, several multi-platinum singles and a spot on the Time100 list of most influential people in the world, he’s a true force within the country music genre.
On Saturday, Brown kicks off the next leg of his wildly successful Blessed & Free Tour with a homecoming show at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. The show has been a long time coming.
“The last time I played [Chattanooga] was at Track 29, which is a little club, and I think maybe 800 people were there,” Brown recalls. “They’ve asked me to come back and play, I just wasn’t ready. I wanted to come back when I had a good amount of songs that a lot of people knew.”
Saturday’s show is shaping up to be one of the biggest of his career and people are coming out of the woodwork to seek out tickets.
“Everybody and their grandma has asked, not just me. Everyone. My barber, a friend from seven years ago, like, ‘You went to school with Kane? Can you get us tickets?’ It’s just been crazy, from the amount of people that’s said that they’ve been asked for tickets. But I think it is going to be amazing. I’m super excited.”
Returning to the place that shaped him into the man, father, husband, and artist he is today might have his emotions running high. Brown says, “There might be a few teary moments when I’m out there.”
The father of two is pulling out all the stops for his hometown show. “Our production, we’re going crazy. I’ve always had… Not always, but for this last tour, I’ve had fire, and cryo, and lasers. And now, for this show, our lasers are going to be three times more powerful. Our fire’s going to be twice as big and we have fireworks throughout the whole show.”
Fans attending Saturday’s concert will surely be in for a treat. Brown is set to live debut “Like I Love Country Music” and he might even wear his cowboy hat for the occasion.
“[The song] made me think about doing a whole country mashup in my set. So it’d go from “Short Skirt Weather,” “Like I Love Country Music,” maybe a Shania Twain cover, and just doing a whole thing where I actually put a cowboy hat on and get out of my Jordans,” he teases.
Following the second leg of the Blessed & Free Tour, Brown will embark on a massive international tour. Dubbed the Drunk or Dreaming Tour, the trek will make stops in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, and Europe. Click HERE for a full list of upcoming tour dates.