Uncut with Jay Cutler: Breland Talks Turning Down Music School to Attend Business School at Georgetown

by Chris Haney

On the new episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler, country-rap singer, producer, and songwriter Breland joined the podcast. The 26-year-old is one of Nashville‘s youngest and brightest stars as he continues to make his mark on Music Row. Breland stopped by Outsider Studios to talk about his career in music, and his unique path into the industry.

As just a teenager growing up in New Jersey, Breland began to sing and write songs. He initially performed cover songs and a handful of originals that he posted on his YouTube channel. A couple of his YouTube clips even took off as they racked up half a million views. He started to gain some followers and attention for his music, which started to open up some doors.

In fact, at the end of high school, he got an offer from New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Host Jay Cutler was surprised to hear that Breland turned down the offer though. Instead, Breland opted to attend business school at Georgetown University, and with good reason. He was thinking about the bigger picture, not just the music.

“I knew that music was going to be part of my longterm goals…,” Breland said on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “I applied to a couple different music programs because I thought maybe that would be the path. But the more I thought about it, and the more I read on how people got into music, it rarely had anything to do with where they went to school.”

“So I’m like, I want to understand business,” Breland continued. “There’s only a few, a lot of people in music never went to college at all. You don’t need higher education to write a story and to have an experience. I think it’s one of the few professions that there isn’t, it’s not like your chances of succeeding in it go up the more education you have… But I definitely felt like if I had an understanding of how business worked in general, that I would be able to plug music into it.”

There Is No Blueprint for a Music Career Breland Explains on ‘Uncut with Jay Cutler’

While most professions have a clear path to a career in your chosen field, the music industry is very different. It continues to evolve, but there is no blueprint to success. It’s a tough career, and one that you can spend a lifetime on without getting noticed by the right people. According to Breland, he thought a business degree would benefit him more in the long-run than anything music school could provide. Things worked out for the young man, but not without hard work and a borderline obsession with songwriting and recording.

“I think that’s why I was so focused on trying to understand how to do it,” Breland shared. “Because every other career path it’s like, okay, you go to college. And then you go to med school or you go to law school, you get these certifications. With music you just don’t have it. It’s like, someone has to discover what you’re doing. And now the whole blueprint of what people were doing the previous 30 years now because of the internet is totally different… I tend to believe that if you work really hard and put yourself out there, those types of opportunities become more likely.”

Breland speaks much more about his life and music career in the new episode. Make sure to check out his full conversation with host Jay Cutler in the video above, or tune in and listen to Uncut with Jay Cutler on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.