Kane Brown’s Got Sophomore Album Jitters: ‘It’s Intimidating’
Kane Brown may already have picked out a release date (Nov. 9) for his upcoming sophomore album, but, he says, the project is still very much in progress: "It's not finished yet. I'm still writing," he tells The Boot. The country star spoke to The Boot and other media outlets backstage at Nissan Stadium on Day 1 (June 7) of the 2018 CMA Music Festival, and then again at the 2018 Taste of Country Music Festival the next day (June 8), about the record.
Brown says he's working extra hard on the songs for his new album because he wants each one to be special: "I sang the songs on my debut album for over a year now," he explains. "If I'm going to be singing these next songs for [that long], I want them to be special to me, and I want them to be fun for the crowd. I'm working my tail off."
Brown's second album brings the added pressure of living up to his record-setting debut.
"It's definitely very scary, because my debut album did better than I expected, and so now for this second album, I have to top that," he goes on to say. "That's making me grow as an artist, which I love, but it's also very intimidating."
Brown's music walks a fine line between the traditional country covers that netted him his first fans and the more modern direction that his own original songs take. "When I first got into country, I was trying to do the traditional country thing, and I still have a heart for traditional country," he says. "But the songs I was writing just weren't falling into that category."
While Brown says that much of the music on his upcoming album won't fit into the mold of "traditional country," his newest single, "Lose It," includes some serious twang. Brown says he intentionally weaves back and forth between styles: "I put them [together] to kind of make my own lane," he explains.
"[The song's] got a little fiddle, which we didn't have on the debut album at all, or any of my music I've ever released," Brown points out. "We've got a different-sounding guitar. Every time I go into a country music club, I see people two-stepping to all these different kinds of music, and this song is a little different from [classic country], but I'm hoping it's something people can two-step to."
Before releasing "Lose It," Brown posted snippets of the song on his Instagram page, sometimes simply playing it in the background of the video without announcing the song as a forthcoming single. The singer explains that this social media tactic is something he often does, and that it helps give him a better sense of how fans react to new music.
"I've done it since I started," he notes. "I'll put stuff up, and before it's even out there, some fans that have listened to the songs on whatever platform I posted it on, [and] they're already singing along to the verses that they remember. It kinda shows me what'll work and what won't work."
There's no word on the title of Brown's upcoming album, and, in fact, only five of its songs have been written so far, but Brown says the final product will be different from anything he has released to date.
"It's kind of clashing old-school [country] and new-school [country] and doing something different with it," he explains. "So we'll see."
More New Albums Coming in 2018