Kane Brown Says His Race ‘Does Matter’ as a Country Artist
It's hard to deny that Kane Brown is at the top of his game right now. With simultaneous No. 1s on all five of Billboard's country music charts (he's the first artist to achieve that), he's made an indelible mark on the country scene.
Still, the singer admits there are people who are surprised by his success—and he believes it's because he is a biracial artist.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Brown relates a story: "There was a woman the other day saying that it’s awesome to see someone bringing back ’90s country, but she was not expecting me to be the guy to do it,” he recalls. “And my first question was, ‘Why?’ I’m doing the same thing as everyone else in country music. So why am I the one you don’t expect?”
Brown says he doesn't like to call up "the race card," as he puts it, but he can't deny it is significant. “Right now, [my race] does matter,” he says.
“People always say, ‘There are plenty of black country artists out there! There is Charley Pride! Darius Rucker!’ That’s all they can name. They don’t understand what we go through, and a lot of people who are fans of traditional country music, as they call it, look at us and aren’t going to say, ‘Y’all like country music.’”
Brown is frank but also a bit guarded in the interview, noting, "Everyone should have equal opportunities and equal rights, but you can’t even have an opinion without somebody going off on you...That’s what’s wrong with this world today.”
To that end, he chooses not to discuss specific political viewpoints. "There’s still half of the world that doesn’t believe what you believe in, even if you say the smartest thing," he says.
Brown's eagerly awaited sophomore album, Experiment, is out Nov. 9, and explores a variety of genres ranging from traditional country to pop.
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