2021 has been a pretty good year for Kane Brown. Not only was he named to Time Magazines’ 2021 Time100 list of the most interesting people in the world, he recently topped the Billboard year-end Country Airplay Songs chart with his friend Chris Young, for the multi-week No. 1 hit, “Famous Friends.”
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If that wasn’t enough, Brown also released “Blessed & Free,” with Academy Award and four-time Grammy Award winner H.E.R., and collaborated on the song “Memory” with blackbear, which allowed the artist to open up about anxiety and depression. Brown sat down with Kelleigh Bannen to talk about all that and more on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country.
Tune in and listen to the episode in full anytime on-demand HERE and check out excerpts from the interview below.
Kane Brown on collaborating with H.E.R.
So I met H.E.R. at the iHeart Awards, I think in 2019. That song [“Blessed & Free”], I actually was going to shelf it and she jumped on it without me even knowing, wrote her own verse, and I listened to it, and when she came in I was like, “Oh, hell yeah, this slaps.” So I had to release it… and [my wife and I] danced to H.E.R. song, “Best Part,” with Daniel Caesar at our wedding. So, when I found it, I was like, “This is perfect. It’s a full-circle moment.” So I remember running upstairs and being like, “Babe, you’ll never guess who jumped on the song.” And I showed it to her and she just started freaking out. So then I met H.E.R. for the second time, but actually hanging out and talking to H.E.R. when we did the music video. And she’s so sweet, down to earth, super young.
On anxiety and the meaning behind “Memory” with blackbear:
I just love it because I don’t really talk about it a lot, but it’s hard for an artist to go through depression because, for us, we have to be on our A-game 24/7. If we’re out pumping gas and a fan comes up, and I’m just having one of those bad days, I have to put on a smile and there’s no off time. So it gets a little rough for us because if you have a bad day, they’re going to leave and they’re going to be like, “Oh, Kane Brown’s a dick.” So that’s why I like that song, especially just saying for everybody that goes through depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. There’s many people out there. You just got to find them and talk to them. So that was kind of me, that was my way of saying “I go through it as well. You’re not alone in the world.”
On what we can expect from his next album:
I will say I pushed it back literally the other day. I’m not going to say when, but I did push my album back. But I think I am going to release songs hopefully once every other month leading up to it. And… none of them sound the same, which is another thing that I’ve been thinking about because I tried to go the old school route, but then I got too old school… I like different music. So one of the songs that I wrote for country sounds super—I’d probably say like the ’80s maybe, for the verses, but then when you get to the chorus, it completely turns into modern-day country. It’s called “The Devil Don’t Even Bother.” And it sounds like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” until you get to the chorus. And then I have another song that I’ve been fighting with going with the demo route or going with the one that Dann Huff did, which he killed, but I made him make it Motown. So it’s a super, just super Motown, a bunch of strings. And it’s like, is that too much or do I go to a demo that’s basically straightforward Kane Brown? And I got a song called “Go Around.” So it’ll probably be my next release. And it’s very, very rock, I guess I would say rock, very heavy guitars, but a little swag to it. So it’s, I don’t know, everywhere.
Check out Kane’s full interview below.
Photo courtesy of Sony Music