Kane Brown Is Writing With and Learning From Florida Georgia Line
When asked what he's learned from Florida Georgia Line, country newcomer Kane Brown lists three things that speak to where he is in his career and his life. The first is how to interact with a crowd. The second is the importance of staying humble.
The third, he says, smiling, is how to choose what's served at catering. Brown's quick start in country music overshadows that he's still very new and still learning. Like Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, he's being asked to do things at a different pace than many of his peers. That can be overwhelming and come with new fans and critics — but the Georgia-raised singer isn't complaining.
“They said that if it went that fast it went that fast for a reason," Brown tells Taste of Country when asked about his schooling on the Dig Your Roots Tour, "so you’re gonna learn at the speed you’re supposed to be learning.”
Brown hasn't notched a true radio hit, but has a gold record for his single "Used to Love You Sober." His Facebook following would make a presidential candidate jealous. In fact, the viral nature of his cover videos — and later, original songs — is what landed him a record deal and led to a string of sellout headlining dates. Many new artists wait years to headline a club. Brown did it in just a few months.
There's a downside, though — one Florida Georgia Line know well. Sudden love comes with sudden criticism. Brown is quiet, shy and covered in tattoos. He's still an untold story, and often we're afraid of what we can't explain or fit into categories defined by previous artists. He's different, but maybe not as much as you'd think. Like many newcomers his age, he's very active on social media. This means he sees everything.
“I get hurt when people talk bad about me because I’m not that person that will hurt anybody," Brown admits. "I’m not a mean person, so it kind of hurts when people are mean to me, but that’s life.”
This lesson in humble has clearly stuck, although it seems likely Kelley and Hubbard's advice didn't cause Brown to stretch much. He prefers writing in a group than by himself and nervously suggests ideas that go on to stick. That's how his current single "Thunder in the Rain" started. He saw the phrase in a magazine and suggested it, not knowing if it was worth anything. Josh Hoge and Matthew McVaney helped him turn it into his most commercially appealing song yet.
Chris Young and Corey Crowder are two of his other favorite co-writers — yes, Brown recognizes how insane it is that he's writing with these Nashville powerhouses less than a year after signing a record deal (he chalks it up to right place, right time). Add Florida Georgia Line to that list. They've written two songs together on the road this summer, and Brown says he's going to be releasing another they pitched to him soon. He expects it will be huge.
This fall, Brown will begin a 30-date Ain't No Stopping Us Now Tour. It kicks off Nov. 3 in Kalamazoo, Mich. Jordan Rager will open many of the shows.
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