Kane Brown’s Next Album Will Be an All-Country Project, After All
"Famous Friends" was a chart-topping hit duet for Kane Brown and Chris Young in 2021, even ending the year as Billboard's most-played song on country radio. But it's possible that the song might never have even come out at all if Brown hadn't been a little quick on the draw with sharing a clip of the song on social media.
"Kane teasing 'Famous Friends' before it was out was probably one of the biggest reasons that [song] got released," Young points out in a recent conversation between the two artists and Taste of Country.
Sharing songs ahead of time is something that Brown does a lot — he'll post videos or demo clips on social media to gauge fan interest. He admits that sometimes, it backfires.
"With me, I'll show songs thinking they're gonna be on the album and then they don't ever see the light of day," Brown admits with a chuckle.
Young — who's been in the country music game a little longer than his younger superstar friend — is quick to point out that that's not a bad thing, but rather an indication of the way that album rollouts are handled these days.
"I think that's more and more the way it works now. It used to be, like, we would be super protective about playing anything for anybody. Like, 'No one needs to hear this before the album's out!' I think that's kind of gone out the window with us being able to play stuff," he notes, adding that he's gotten a sneak peek at Brown's forthcoming, much-anticipated album.
"He's played me a couple things that are awesome," Young adds, though he's hesitant to say more: Brown's new music is still very much a moving target.
"I think I have the album," Brown chimes in. "I know there's four songs I actually have to take in, produce and cut, but I think I actually have the whole album."
One thing that's for sure: A lot of work, revision and rethinking has gone into Brown's next body of work. That's even more apparent because he's been open about showing parts of the behind-the-scenes. Less secretive than some of his older contemporaries have been about album rollouts past, Brown has not only shared snippets of new songs with fans, but he's also spoken in interviews about where he is in the process.
Late last year, for example, he spoke to the musically diverse batch of songs he'd written for the project, saying that its influences ranged from "heavy rock" to '80s country to Motown.
Now, less than a month later, he's rethinking his original plan to make the album an all-genre catch-all of songs.
"I was going to originally put some of my pop songs on there, but I think I'm gonna keep those off and use those as singles and just actually release a full country album this time," he explains.
"This'll be fun. I'm excited. I got two songs back from [producer] Dann Huff two days ago, and they're just literally — when he sent me one back, I just knew off the top of my head it was my next single," he continues. "[Label head] Randy Goodman, from Sony, he heard it and he said it's definitely my next single. So we agreed there. I definitely got my next single."
Then there's the newly-released "Whiskey Sour," a traditional-leaning heartbreak ballad that's full of strings and real-life breakup stories (though not his own: The singer's a happily married father who just welcomed his second daughter, Kodi Jane, in late 2021.)
"That song just kinda fell in my lap," Brown recounts. "I had so many friends ... who have been going through heartbreak recently, and just not being able to find the special one for them ... So I can just relate to all of them just by hearing their stories. And [their stories] are all very similar. So this is just me telling their story to the world and seeing who else can relate to it."
The songs are all there, and he's narrowed his focus to country tracks for the album, but Brown says he's still working out the nuts and bolts of when the album will be in fans' hands.
"I have a timeline in my head of when I wanna release the album," he says. "I just don't know when I'll get it finished. I will say, from when the record was gonna be released, it'll probably be pushed [back] at least three months."