Though Some Country Fans ‘Can’t Stand’ Him, Kane Brown Forges His Own Path
There’s no denying that Kane Brown has carved his own path in country music. A true trailblazer, Brown began his…
Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
There’s no denying that Kane Brown has carved his own path in country music. A true trailblazer, Brown began his career by sharing covers of popular country songs on Facebook. He built a solid following on Facebook and eventually scored a record deal after taking an independently released song to the top of the iTunes charts.
After finding a home at Sony Music Nashville’s RCA imprint, Brown has gone on to release hit after hit and continue his rise to superstardom with a sound that’s all his own through his unique mix of country, pop and R&B.
While his fan base continues to grow, Brown admits he knows some country fans won’t approve of what he does. And he’s okay with that.
“There are people who are, you know, ‘red dirt country’, who are still on Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, and they can’t stand me,” the superstar recently acknowledged during an interview with London’s Evening Standard. “My fans love all genres of music.”
Although he’s comfortable in his own skin now, that was necessarily the case in 2015 when he released his first single. Making his debut as a biracial country singer didn’t come without its challenges.
“I was a nervous wreck coming into the country music scene, and I did feel like I had to dress a certain way and do certain things,” he explained. “Now I’m at a point where I can do my own thing. I don’t push too hard to break no boundaries, but I do break boundaries.”
His latest boundary-breaking moment comes with the release of Mixtape Vol. 1, a seven-song EP featuring a variety of sounds like “Be Like That (feat. Swae Lee and Khalid)” and the ’90s inspired “BFE.” Although this project, which also includes his collab with John Legend, blurs genres, Brown says his forthcoming album will stick more within the country realm.
“The full album will have a lot more country songs on there. I’ll never betray country music because they’re the ones that got me started. I’ll always have a heart for them,” he promised.
Whether traditional country music fans support his music or not, Kane Brown’s fans will and to Brown, that’s all that matters.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.