At the 2015 CMA Awards Kane Brown spotted Luke Bryan, and like any country newcomer — especially one from Bryan's home state of Georgia — his gaze lingered. Then the craziest thing happened.

“You know you make eye contact with somebody, but you don’t want to keep staring?" Brown says, thinking back on his red carpet experience. "I broke [my] stare off and then [Bryan] made his way through the crowd to me and came and shook my hand. The nicest guy I ever met … He’s like, ‘Man you gotta stop passing me on the iTunes charts.’”

If I’m gonna compare myself it’s gonna be Chris Young’s voice on a Sam Hunt track.

Brown talked to Dave Greene of KICK-FM in Quincy, Ill., a Taste of Country radio station. His song "Used To Love You Sober" has sold over 100,000 singles at iTunes in under a month, a phenomenal achievement for an unsigned artist, especially an unsigned country artist. Fans and media have started to call him country's Justin Bieber. The two artists look and sound completely different, but Bieber also found fame by releasing cover songs to social media.

“A lot of Justin Bieber’s fans have been reaching out to me lately, they even did a poll on Twitter: ‘Who’s hotter? Kane Brown or Justin Bieber?’ It’s kinda weird.”

The 22-year-old from La Fete, Ga. started posting songs to Facebook about two years ago, he says. His cover of Lee Brice's "I Don't Dance" was an early hit, nabbing over 60,000 shares. On average a video he posted would receive 5,000 likes. Last month, starting with a cover of George Strait's "Check Yes or No" (released to his personal Facebook page on Sept. 30), he started to get over a million views per video. The views are multiplying now, with several videos passing 10 million views thanks to media buzz and continued social media sharing.

Used to Love You Sober
Kane Brown Records

That's translated into tangible success. He currently has two songs in the Top 20 on the country digital sales chart (according to Roughstock's list, released Nov. 9) and his shows are selling out. With little or no promotion he sold out a 700-seat venue in Darlington, S.C. So they added a second date, and that sold out in 30 minutes, with some fans still upset they couldn't score tickets.

Brown isn't a total unknown. He did try out for American Idol and X Factor previously, and his success has no doubt been bolstered by advice from his manager, Jay Frank, founder of digital music and digital data marketing companies DigSin and DigMark. Kane says he grew up on a farm listening to Tim McGraw, but as he moved high schools he began to pick up other influences, including many from outside the genre.

“If I’m gonna compare myself it’s gonna be Chris Young’s voice on a Sam Hunt track,” he tells Greene.

A record deal seems inevitable, and UMG Nashville seems to be the most likely choice as according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Frank is also the Senior Vice President of Global Streaming Marketing at Universal Music Group. For now Brown is staying quiet, saying only a label is talking to him about something they've never done before and he's drawn interest from other artists for a 2016 tour.

“I can’t announce this, but I got two big guys that came up to me during the CMAs and asked me if I wanted to open for them," Brown says. "They’re huge. I just can’t announce it yet, but it’s pretty awesome.”

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