‘My Truck’ Is the Next Country-Trap Hit, But Who Is Breland?
No one had actually seen country-trap artist Breland until the music video for his song "My Truck" debuted last week. The Atlanta-based artist dropped the official video for his catchy new song on YouTube, months after it started to catch fire on TikTok.
One year ago, Lil Nas X was beginning his ascent to stardom (including several Grammy wins) with "Old Town Road," a song that caught fire on TikTok first. Nobody knew who Lil Nas X (real name Montero Hill) was at the time, but quickly his backstory came into focus.
Their backgrounds diverge there, however. Whereas Hill was sleeping on couches at the time of his career explosion, Breland has been training for this his entire life.
With a little digging, Taste of Country learned more about Breland, including his real name and what he did before writing and recording "My Truck" last September, per his Instagram:
"Wanted to challenge myself writing in a different genre," he writes. "I feel like we could stand to see a couple more of our faces on that country chart. My country trap game going crazy ... @blancobrown let's show them."
Breland is 24-year-old Daniel Breland of Burlington, N.J., although he now calls Atlanta home. After high school he was one of 48 students accepted to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, but instead chose Georgetown University, a decision that would steer his music career. An article in the Hoya notes that by 2014 he was already writing songs for Atlantic Records, the label he is now signed to as an artist.
In an interview with the Tab, Breland shared how his family was musical. His parents are both singers, as is his older sister. He grew up singing in the church and performed in musicals in middle school and high school before finding the confidence to expand his own melodies. A boarding school roommate named Nathan Tempro was experimenting with different beats, and together they started posting music to YouTube. Twelve of his songs with producer Austin Schindler can still be found on Soundcloud.
"One of goals has always been to be nominated for a Grammy in college, and as it turns out it’s not actually that hard to do," he once told the Tab.
Justin Bieber was a big influence on Breland, as both got their start on YouTube. He’s written songs for many A-level artists, but it’s not clear how many of his tracks have been recorded. While at Georgetown he was part of the Georgetown Phantoms, a coed a cappella group. During his interview with the Hoya he said he wants to keep his own music clean.
“I think that there are some little kids that could one day look up to me, and I don’t want to be feeding them information or lyrics that are negative or inappropriate,” the “My Truck” singer says. “I think there are too many artists out there doing that, and, granted, they are just expressing themselves and I respect that, but I think for me, I’m just going to stick true to being clean.”
The last and most recent bits of information about Breland come from his Sound Better profile, where he shares that he’s the Curtis Mayfield Award winner through BMI. This scholarship is given to very promising songwriters.
“I specialize in urban and pop music, though I have made a lot of country and gospel music,” he explains.
An article in Rolling Stone summarizes Breland's viral success. Since about December, more than 250,000 user-generated videos have featured his song. In early February, he hit No. 1 on Spotify's Viral 50 chart. As of this article, the song boasts nearly seven million streams on Spotify and another 700K on YouTube.
Those who've followed Lil Nas X's success and the path of country-trap artists will no doubt note his inclusion on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. That's the chart that would not include "Old Town Road," creating a major controversy last spring.
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