Want to Get to Know Kane Brown? Just Listen to His Debut Album
For a new artist -- even one with a combined 2.7 million social media fans and followers -- a debut album is incredibly important. Not only is it your chance for a big break, it's an opportunity to tell your fans, both old and new, what they need to know about you: where you come from, what's important to you, who's been influential in your life and what you're hoping for as your career progresses.
On his self-titled major-label debut album, Kane Brown checks every one of those boxes. Released on Dec. 2, Kane Brown offers the rising artist's fans -- all 2.7 million and counting -- a candid look into his 23 years of life. After signing with Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Nashville in late January, Brown found himself with a selection of songs that "mainly, they were pretty much about my life and how I grew up, so we decided that that's what we were gonna run with ... just kinda write, like, an autobiography."
Seven of Kane Brown's 11 total tracks were co-written by Brown himself, though two in particular stand out: First, three songs in, there's "Learning," on which Brown gets honest with listeners about his not-so-easy childhood and teenage years, some of which was spent living in a car with his mother and moving around often.
"I wanted to write a song kind of being a role model and telling people that even though you go through some stuff, you learn from it, and it makes you the person you are today," Brown tells The Boot. "You can't hold a grudge against anybody; you gotta let it go. That's just kinda what the song's about, and hopefully it touches a lot of people ... Yeah, life's too short to hold grudges."
Then there's "Granddaddy's Chair," which closes Kane Brown. It's a sweet, touching tribute to the man whom Brown calls "my best friend," a man whom the song's lyrics describe as "quick to love and slow to anger."
"I hope one day I'll be the man you used to be ... I hope one day, when you're looking down on me / I make you smile, I make you proud," Brown shares in the chorus of "Granddaddy's Chair," before admitting, "I may not be there now / But I hope one day I’ll be man enough to be sitting there, in my Granddaddy’s chair."
Rounding out Kane Brown are four songs penned by outside writers such as Josh Hoge, Chris Young, Morgan Wallen and Brown's summer tour bosses, Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Together with James McNair, the two co-wrote "Hometown," which leads off the record with a confession: "All I wanna do is make my hometown proud / Make my hometown proud / Make my hometown proud ..."
"Everybody in Chat[tanooga] knows you; it's just so small, everybody knows everybody," Brown says. "I just want my hometown talking about where i'm going -- like, 'He's killin' it right now,' and, 'I'm so glad he's doin' well,' and I want them to know I'll always come back, every chance I get. I'm not one of those people who'll just leave."
Brown isn't gonna be one of those artists to hand over his social media accounts to someone else, either: "I'm not gonna change the way I do anything," he promises. "Hopefully [the fans] stay loyal and keep that spark under them like they have right now, because they're killing it."
Brown is currently out on the road for his headlining Ain’t No Stopping Us Now Tour, and although he says he's "very pumped" about everything he's accomplished so far this year, he has something big to check off his to-do list in 2017.
"Having a hit at radio," Brown says. "That's my main goal right now."
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