Atlanta-based musician Breland broke into the country music scene with the twangy track “My Truck.” The way the budding metropolitan artist intertwined rich R&B elements with country-driven lyrics is what placed him on music radars nationwide.
Now, Breland is not your typical country singer – as he was raised on gospel. However, before making his magic in the studio and solidifying a sound for himself, he embarked on a musical discovery in high school. At the time, the curious cross-over performer would educate himself on other genres, understand what makes each style unique, and see how he could carefully blend them together.
While pulling from his diverse musical palette to push the mainstream boundaries of country music, he quickly became the go-to artist for individuals in the industry looking to test their creativity. “Collaboration is really important, especially with what I am trying to do.” shared Breland to Celeb Secrets Country reporter Tiffany Goldstein ahead of his 2021 CMA performance. “I really want to be the cultural musical bridge between the different genres. That is kind of why I position myself in the way that I have.”
Once the country-rap fusionist exploded onto the scene back in 2019, he was pulled in several different directions by megastars. Hitmaker Keith Urban came knocking on his door to join forces on “Throw It Back,” breakout star Mickey Guyton on “Cross Country,” Chase Rice, and Lauren Alaina even teamed up to shine through on his up-tempo hit “In The Woulds.” While the trailblazer may be new to the honky-tonk space, he was called in by genre-bending musician Nelly to partake on his first studio album in eight years, Heartland.
“To be able to have a song with HARDY, Dierks, and also to have a song with BLANCO, Nelly and I also have a song with Keith – these different collaborations, I think gave me an opportunity to express myself in different ways. Also to bring new people into the format,” he concluded on the CMA virtual red carpet.
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Breland’s willingness to take a musical risk is slowly shifting the traditional dynamic of Nashville and proving that there is room for cross country artists in the genre. Following his self-titled EP, Breland, and Buzz-worthy collaborations – the 26-year-old newcomer found himself on stage at the 55th Annual CMA Awards with multi-platinum artist Dierks Bentley and HARDY.
Live from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, the trio performed their rowdy anthem, “Beers On Me.” The track penned by Ashley Gorley, Luke Dick, and Ross Copperman, follows Bentley’s 20th career No. One hit “Gone.”
“HARDY threw out this title, and I remember immediately thinking, ‘I wish I could buy all my fans a beer.’ After the year we’ve all had, It would be nice to get the first round and say, ‘Hey, we all got some problems, but we’re going to forget about them for a little while… the beers are on me,’” Shared Bentley in a recent statement. “I came back to Nashville to record the song and came across an article about Breland in the Nashville Scene. I got his number, and he came in the next day and wrote and sang the third verse. It was truly an organic collaboration, and I couldn’t be more proud to have him and HARDY on this song with me.”
With a Broadway-inspired backdrop, Dierks kicked off the set with an acoustic guitar in hand. However, it wasn’t long until Breland wowed the star-studded audience with his country-rap verse and intriguing stage presence. HARDY and the “Drunk On A Plane” artist ended the party-like performance by pointing to the country newcomer and sang ‘The beers on Bre’ to give the trailblazer the recognition he deserves at his CMA debut.
— Breland (@breland) November 12, 2021
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Watch our full interview with BRELAND from the 55th Annual CMA Awards red carpet now: