Sue: Welcome to Up N Country powered by V livecast. Our guest today is none other than Breland.

I’m your host Sue Bonzell where I’m bringing you new up and coming country artists. You can catch all of our episodes, by a little merch, and join our exclusive VIP club at,

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And now let’s meet Breland.

Hey, Breland!

Breland: What’s up? What’s up?

Sue: How are you?

Breland: I’m doing really well. I’m happy to be here with you, Sue.

Sue: Man, I’ll tell you what. You are like on fire right now. I mean, just, there’s so many things happening for you. I mean, you’ve had these amazing songs. You’re collaborating with people like Keith Urban and Sam Hunt. And I’ve seen you on stage with Chase Rice, and wow!

Sue: Tell me about, you know, how all this started with the whole country music thing.

Breland: Yeah, I mean, it really just started with my debut single “My Truck.”

Breland: I’ve always been a fan of a lot of different styles of music. Country is on that list. And I knew that the fusion of country and other genres felt really good.

And as a song writer, I’m always looking to tell a story and I think country is really good at housing that, but also I have a lot of soul influence, gospel background, and I try to add some of the stuff that I learned from my years writing in Atlanta as well. So that’s kind of where the trap influence has come from, but I’m really just trying to find a sonic melting pot of all the stuff that I really like to do.

And as a song writer, country is definitely in that mix. And I think people in Nashville and around the country and world have been really receptive to that.

Sue: Yeah. I love how you are mixing things. You’ve kind of got a little bit of that country rap going, and then you’ve got, and then you’ve got “Cross Country” that you did with Mickey Guyton. It’s just absolutely beautiful. And just so, that song to me is so empowering and just very uplifting, like kind of like you can do it.

Breland: Yeah, yeah.

I mean, it’s great when you can, when you can have stuff that has a message too. I think sometimes when you have those debut single that’s kind of tongue in cheek, and fun, and a little silly, people don’t think that you have depth. So I was, I wanted to make sure that we could put something like that out there that kind of told my story. And then also, hopefully it would inspire some people to be able to tell theirs.

Sue: I like how it’s because it’s called “Cross Country” and you’re talking about traveling across country to Nashville.

Breland: Right.

Sue: But there’s also that the idea of cross country of country music with rap and kind of crossing that together, which is brilliant and just absolutely amazing. And I love Mickey Guyton. I don’t think she gets enough airplay at all.

Breland: Yeah.

Sue: But, I love her. So, so tell her to call me. I want to talk to her.

Breland: Yeah, I was going to say, I can definitely put you guys in touch.

Sue: I would, I would love to meet her. She’s just absolutely amazing.

So your debut single “My Truck,” you ended up with an endorsement with Chevy, went platinum. I mean, that’s pretty incredible. And I understand that Kelly Clarkson was the one to present you with your platinum award or your, yeah.

Breland: Yeah.

Sue: Tell me about that.

Breland: I mean, it was a whirlwind experience overall. I mean, being on Kelly, especially, you know, I obviously knew that this song had been certified platinum, but I did not know that I was going to be receiving a plaque, or when I would be receiving the plaque. And it was also my first time performing on TV in that way. So first, like my daytime debut, and I’m a big Kelly fan.

I, like was maybe five or six-years-old when she won American Idol. Those are some of my earliest memories. So for her to bring that out, I was very emotional. I actually cried about it. But you know, the whole experience, I think of just having a viral song and having the first song that I put out be so impactful throughout the world is, I’ve had a lot of like, ‘Is this real?” type of moments? You know, a lot of pinch me moments.

I think that Kelly being, Kelly being able to bring that to me, it was a great, another great moment. And another one that I was like, this can’t be real.

Sue: Right. I see a lot of your Tik Toks and you’re like all around everywhere and you’re like, okay, is this really happening right now? You’re on billboards. I think you were at the Macy’s in New York. And they were like using your image and everything.

Breland: Yeah.

Sue: That’s crazy. I mean, how does that feel?

Breland: It feels really good. I mean, music is one of those industries that you can work really hard for years and years and years and make no money and have no identifiable footprint on the world. And then all of a sudden, all of that changes and I, I’m someone that put in a lot of work on the front end and didn’t have a whole lot to show for it.

So I think now that things are moving a lot faster, I feel like it’s a little bit more balanced, you know?

Sue: Well, I think you’re right. I think there’s a lot of people, you know, especially in country music who have been working for years and years and years and, you know, slowly, and then all of a sudden you seem like an overnight sensation and you’re like, “No, this was not overnight. This was a lot of work.”

Breland: Right. Yeah.

Nashville is definitely a 10-year town. And I think country music is one of those genres, especially formats where people really value and appreciate the grind and the journey of it all. And you know, you go from playing small shows to playing bigger gigs, opening up for someone. And there’s a, there’s a process. I don’t feel like I’ve skipped any steps necessarily. But I do think that my path has been pretty unconventional for the format. And, you know, I think the internet has a lot to do with that.

Sue: Yeah.

Well, I like that you’re kind of, you know, you’re kind of turning it on its ear a little bit.

And so how did you end up, you know, collaborating with people like, you know, Keith Urban, I mean, wow, how does that happen?


Yeah, Keith is, he’s just one of the, one of the living legends. And he’s someone that really likes blending genres together. And I think he’s been on the really sonically, I guess, progressive side of country music.

And, and he wouldn’t even really put a label on it in terms of genre. He really just likes to make music and he blends all this stuff that he’s inspired by, which is often country, but can be anything. And I think that’s what he saw in what I was doing. And so he actually reached out to me last June, right at, you know, kind of middle of the pandemic and was like, “Hey, if you want to come over at some point, I would love to collaborate with you. I like what you’re doing. And I’ve got a song.” He’s like, I’ve got it. He’s like, “I’ve got, my album is almost done, and I have like maybe one more song to go and I would love to do it with you.”

Sue: Wow!

Breland: I was like, “Okay, well, I would love to.”

He was like, “When will you be in Nashville?”

I was like, “I’ll be there tomorrow.”

And I literally drove up. I was living in Atlanta at the time, and I literally drove up the next morning and showed up at his house.

Sue: I love that.

Breland: [inaudible 00:07:20] was like, “Let’s do it.” And “Throw it Back” was the first song that we actually did together because he just wanted to hear what I was working on and just kind of hear where my ear was at. And I had that chorus already for “Throw it Back.” And it wasn’t something that I was thinking he was going to want to get on. I was just playing him a bunch of demos and he was like, “I want to get on this.”

So I was like, “Okay, all right.”

And then later that week we did “Out the Cage” and “Soul Food,” which were both on his album The Speed of Now Part 1.

So we have a bunch of stuff in the works and I’m excited for people to hear more of it. But he’s definitely someone that I’m inspired by. He’s a large part of the reason why I ended up moving to Nashville and just one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

Sue: That’s awesome. I love it. You know, when Keith Urban calls, you’re like, “Hey, yeah, I’ll be there. Like, I’ll be there yesterday.”

Breland: Yeah, there are certain people when they hit you up, you just got to drop everything. I don’t care what else is on my calendar. Like Garth Brooks recently reached out to me and invited me to his house to hang out. That was another one. I’m like, “I’m not busy. I have absolutely nothing going on. Totally free.”

Sue: The calendar is clear, okay.

Breland: Clear. Clear for you Garth. I don’t care what I’ve got going on. I’ll be there.

Sue: I love that. That is so awesome.

So, you know, I know you’re a, you are an amazing singer and a songwriter, rapper. Do you play any instruments?

Breland: I play a little bit of piano and I’m starting to learn guitar right now, but really more of a top liner and vocalist and some of the things that I’ll be comfortable showing people right now.

Sue: Right. Well, I mean, you have the skill too, I’ve watched, you know, some of what you’re doing, you know, using your tracks and everything, and kind of laying down these different elements that are all your voice, that are amazing. I’m like, man, this guy has got so much talent.

Breland: Thank you so much. Yeah. I think a lot of times when we think of musicians, we think of people that play instruments and the voice is an instrument. So I definitely would consider myself to be a musician. And I like pushing the boundaries of what’s possible musically, picking interesting melodies and notes and things that kind of challenge the ear a little bit. That’s, I love it.

Sue: I love that. So, okay. I want to know about your worst performance ever. Like tell me about it.

Breland: My worst performance ever. I haven’t really had any as Breland that have been bad, but also I’ve only had a few performances as Breland, because COVID happened and I wasn’t able to do any of the performances I was going to do last year.

And all the ones that I’ve had so far have been really good. So knock on wood.

But when I was seven years old, I was singing, I think I was singing “My Country, TIS of Thee” at a big talent show that my town was having. And I peed my pants. I, like, while I was singing, peed my pants through the entire first stanza.

And it was just, I’m just saying candidly, that is, that is what happened. My family has yet to let me live it down. Every time I have a performance, they’re like, “Do you have a diaper?” I’m like, “I’m an adult man okay? I can handle myself.”

Sue: Oh, well, you’ve come a long way because I saw you come off the stage in one of your videos from the CMT awards and you’re running through and you’re doing flips and things. I’m like, yeah, this guy, he’s good.

Breland: You know, I mean like the Kelly Clarkson show is, was a TV look, but it was prerecorded and this was my first live TV performance.

And you know, there’s just a lot of energy around it. I was performing with Mickey who’s great. And Gladys Knight, who is a true legend. And I just thought just the adrenaline of it. I was like, I’m going to do a front flip now. So. . .

Sue: And you did. [crosstalk 00:11:14] I was like, Wow, that came out of nowhere. I’m like this guy is really, really good.

Breland: Yeah. Yeah. I try, I try to bring, try to bring good energy to my performances and my shows for sure.

Sue: Nice.

So what are the collaborate, any new collaborations coming up that you might want to let us in on?

Breland: Yeah, Well tell me this. When does this air?

Sue: So this is going to air in August.

Breland: Okay. August when?

Sue: Probably mid, mid-August.

Breland: Okay. Well I can say that July 23rd, me, Dierks Bentley and Hardy on Dierks Bentley’s newest single “Beers on Me.” Been really, really fun to work with those guys and hopefully, you know, get out on the road with, with both of them at some point and be able to play it live.

And then Nelly’s song, “High Horse” features me and Blanco Brown, and that’s August 6th.

So both of those songs are, are a lot of fun. And I love collaborating. I think that I bring a different energy to songs than a lot of other artists. So pretty much anytime I’m on a song with a different person, we end up complimenting each other really well because I’m bringing something different than what they’re bringing. And I think that’s part of what makes this whole cross country sub genre so much fun because there’s a lot of wiggle room to try out different things and use my voice in different ways.

Sue: I’m just so excited for you. I mean, you’re, you’re saying all these names and I’m like, yes, yes, yes. This is incredible. I’m so excited for you and excited to hear, to hear the music. So would you be willing to sing a little for us?

Breland: Yeah, would love to.

Sue: Okay, great. I’ll let you do whatever you want.

Breland: What do you want to hear?

Sue: I’ll let you do whatever you want to do.

Breland: Okay. I’ll hit you with a little bit of a couple of things. I’ll hit you with a little bit of Cross Country, just the pre-chorus and chorus.

Breland: I tried to fit in.

Let me do it like.

I tried to fit in but didn’t I’m different, yeah, I know (Know) The houses I stayed in were great But they never felt like home (So).

I’m goin’ cross country I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong. I’m goin’ cross country know they might judge me, I ain’t gotta prove ’em wrong. ‘Cause I know it’s okay to be in my own lane When I’m doing what they say can’t be done. I’m goin’ cross country I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong (Where I belong)

Sue: Oh, I love it. That is so amazing. I love your voice. I’m so excited to meet you today. I want to thank you so much for your time and you know, giving us some inside scoop on some things. And so we get, we get to see you at Stagecoach. You’re coming out to California, which is awesome.

Breland: I am. I’m really excited as it would be you know, one of my first festivals. I haven’t performed any. And by the time Stagecoach coach runs around, I’ll hopefully be feeling very comfortable and competent on stage.

Sue: Oh, you’re going to kill it. You’re going to absolutely kill it. I already know. I already know. And now you’re coming to California. We got a lot of wine out here. I’m in the wine country. Do you drink any, do you drink any wine?

Breland: Yeah, I drink a little wine. I’ve been known to have a little Vino. What’s your favorite?

Sue: My favorite? I’m, what I call myself is an equal opportunity offender. If you have wine, I’m drinking it.

Breland: So that’s very fair.

I like, I like red wines, but I also like free wine. So as you said, you know, if someone, if someone is providing it, I definitely won’t hesitate.

Sue: Sometimes it tastes a little better when it’s, you know, somebody’s just serving it to you, right?

Breland: Oh definitely, definitely, definitely.

Sue: Awesome. Well, again, thank you so much Breland. We’re excited to see you out here in California, wish you all the best and we’re definitely going to be following you and your career.

Breland: Thank you so much. I can’t wait.

Sue: Thanks for tuning in to Up N Country, where we have new episodes every Tuesday. And be sure to visit for all of the episodes and information about our VIP club, where you’re going to get exclusive backstage access. And if you’re on Instagram or Tik TOK, make sure to follow me. Sue Bonzel I’ll see you next week.