Earlier this week, country rap star Breland joined Uncut with Jay Cutler at Outsider Studios to chat about his music and career. The 26-year-old New Jersey native burst onto the scene with his first hit single “My Truck” in 2019. Ever since, he’s been working with some of country music’s biggest artists.
The artist, songwriter, and producer has a unique sound influenced by country, rap, gospel, R&B, and soul music. Breland meshed them all together to create a hybrid genre of each that he made his own style. As prolific and versatile as a songwriter as Breland is, it took him years to master his craft. In fact, the musician wrote a whopping 2,000 songs between 2014 and 2020, but admits it took a long time before any of them were any good.
Breland has been working at his chosen profession for years, since he was still a teenager. But after writing around 1,500 songs, he finally started to feel like he knew what it took to make a “great song.” Host Jay Cutler dived into his songwriting and asked more about his creative process during this week’s episode.
“Do you hear the music as you write it or are you thinking about the music after you write it?” Cutler asked.
“I usually write to chords,” Breland answered. “So, whether I come up with the chords or if I’m with an instrumentalist or someone who’s building a track, that’s usually how I do it. But I’ll also sometimes build chords to whatever melody comes to mind.”
“I’m someone that if I’m not speaking, I’m probably singing something in my mind. Or at least hearing a melody. I’m often guilty of mindlessly humming, and some people love it and some people hate it,” he added with a laugh. “Definitely annoying to my sister and some of my closest friends, but I just can’t turn it off.”
Breland Talks About Mastering the Art of Songwriting
As Breland mentioned on Uncut with Jay Cutler, he didn’t immediately start writing hit song after hit song overnight. It took years of hard work and creating subpar songs to get to a point of knowing he was writing quality tracks.
It wasn’t an exaggeration when Breland shared he’d written thousands of songs. He admitted the absolute majority of them weren’t that great, but they were practice that furthered his skillset in the studio. According to Breland, he still has most of those songs saved to a hard drive, but he revealed a lot of them aren’t very good. However, he learned what it took to write a “great song” after creating around 1,500 tracks. As they say, practice makes perfect.
“I’ve got a big hard drive of a bunch of songs. And most of the songs weren’t that good,” Breland admitted. “The truth of the matter is that I learned… I had to learn how to write a great song. And it took me a good 1,500 songs before I wrote one that I’m like, ‘This is a great song.’ Straight up, everyone who listens to this agrees this is a great song. This isn’t just like a ‘there’s something there’ type of song. It’s like this has it. But then to do that consistently takes time.”