Musician Breland talks to us about his debut album, Cross Country

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Breland has a theory he’s trying to prove on Cross country.

“I wanted this project to be a hypothesis to which we respond as we listen. I believe country music is for everyone,” he says. “I think when people listen to this project, they’ll understand why I’m saying this and the truth in it.”

Raised in New Jersey as the son of ordained ministers, Breland was introduced to gospel music at a young age. But it wasn’t until he attended boarding school at age 14 that he heard the secular music like hip-hop, R&B and pop that gave him a genre ear and inspired the approach ” holistic” of the music for which he is known today. .

“I’ve always felt like my brand of country music would only be authentic if I incorporated elements from the other genres that I love,” Breland says. “Holistic means I have considered everything. It was an in-depth survey of all the music I love, and I try to be as inclusive of all those sounds and styles as possible. I wanted people who listened to all these different genres to be able to find something that they could relate to and that would resonate with them.

Breland has already proven this formula. Since bursting onto the country scene in 2020 with his viral hit, “My Truck,” some of country music’s biggest stars have started noticing his undeniable talent. paired with Keith Urban on “Out the Cage” and with Sam Hunt a remix of “My Truck”. The track list of Cross countryBreland’s debut EP, due out September 9, is packed with collaborations with country superstars like Urban, Thomas Rhett, Mickey Guyton, Lady A and others who are just as drawn to his eclectic sound as he is to his growing fanbase .

The essence of the album is rooted in positivity, while every sonic element speaks to Breland’s vast creativity. “Cross country is an expression I came up with to better categorize the subgenre of country music that I do. It’s not your father’s country. It’s an invention of me enjoying different genres,” he says. But the meaning goes beyond just a sample of diverse melodies. The singer aims to bridge the gap between the belief systems that exist in the vast audience of country music.

“I think cross country is more of a social movement to provide common ground for people who traditionally listen and don’t listen to country music. To make country music a little more diverse and inclusive, but also to build bridges between people on one side of an aisle and people on the other,” says Breland.

Breland bridges that gap by covering a range of relevant topics, from letting loose on the pun “Throw it Back,” to acting as a supportive friend on the uplifting “Here for It featuring Ingrid Andress, or taking responsibility for her actions in the face of a breakup on “For What It’s Worth.” The introspective ‘Growing Pains’ tackles themes of mental health and self-awareness, serving as an honest portrait of Breland’s state of mind throughout his steady rise to fame over the past two years. , acknowledging the ups and downs that come with achieving your dreams. .

“The biggest changes that have happened in my life over the past two years are my perspective and my view of the world. Gratitude has to be at the center of everything I do. That’s really what my life has been. character as a person over the past year: trying to truly appreciate and appreciate everything, whether it’s intrinsically positive or not, and recognizing that everything works together for the good, whether it’s a pure blessing or a lesson.

Breland carries that feeling of gratitude in Cross country, hoping that fans find a piece of themselves in the music where he carries his heart and soul.

“I’ve always been someone who wants to inspire and motivate, so I hope when people hear about the project, they can see my heart and my story, and then see their story in mine,” he says. “I want people to challenge some of their own notions of what country music is and what it sounds like, and hopefully introduce people to different sounds. Regardless of the perspective from which you listen to this album, you have probably never heard a project like this. I try to introduce people to a new sound and also hope to motivate them to do whatever moves them.

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