Luke Bryan’s ‘What Makes You Country’ Is a ‘Statement Song’ Like Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’
For years, Bryan has been called out by critics for releasing bro-country anthems and not honoring a traditional country sound. But the Georgia-raised singer is ready to prove how country he is, down to his roots.
"I would be foolish to say I don't get frustrated with people picking me apart about not being country when I know I'm country," Bryan admits, explaining how he adapts to country's evolving sound. But expect this album's undeniably country tracks to head to radio.
"'What Makes You Country' is just about reassuring that I'm kind of stuck in my roots," he adds. Bryan's fans disagree with the critics. With more than a dozen hit singles and each of his studio albums reaching No. 1 or 2 on the charts, Bryan's formula is clearly hitting the mark — the thousands in attendance at his sold-out shows further the affirmation.
He takes the hate he's served in stride, saying: "I'm doing it to learn. I think it's my duty to learn. Now through that learning process, I also learn that there's a lot of people out there that just are going to hate me no matter what."
It's these haters that he's serving "What Makes You Country" to, with Bryan pointing to Taylor Swift's successful "Shake it Off" as a prime example of using music to respond to critics in an effective way.
"And I said 'Well, Taylor Swift did it in 'Shake it Off' and it kind of went well for her and it was done perfectly," he describes of his reaction to the hit song. "When I heard that I was like, 'You go, girl, that's the way you go about it.'"
Though he knows he'll always face criticism, Bryan is secure in the fact that he is country at heart and home. A quick scroll through his Instagram feed shows photos of the country star hunting and fishing and teaching his sons these same traditions — he even turned his lifestyle into a chart-topping song with "Huntin,' Fishin,' and Lovin' Every Day."
"You're never going to win. I love the song, I cannot wait to perform 'What Makes You Country' live," Bryan says, revealing it's a contender to become a radio single. "It's a statement song and I think it's a big ol' hit and I love that about it. And I think people are going to hear that and go 'Hell yeah, he's speaking to me."
What Makes You Country is set for release on Dec. 8 and includes the lead single "Light it Up."
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