Uncut with Jay Cutler returns this week with another can’t-miss episode featuring country rap artist Breland. The 26-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer stopped by Outsider Studios to chat with host Jay Cutler about his life and quickly budding music career.
Daniel Gerard Breland, simply known as Breland, grew up in New Jersey as the son of two ordained ministers. He grew up on gospel music, but was eventually exposed to secular music at the age of 14. That’s when he took on the influences of country, rap, R&B, and soul music. It’s these influences that would help him create his own hybrid style, mixing each genre into one.
During the podcast, he opens up about writing his first hit single “My Truck.” Breland shares how he released it on social media without any real plans. The song began to take off on TikTok, and eventually that’s what helped him secure his record deal. After his first single started to blow up a few years back, Breland made the leap to Nashville. He talks about his early days in Music City during the pandemic, which surprisingly treated him well from a creative standpoint.
The musician goes on to talk about Justin Bieber’s influence on his career. He shares the artists he’d love to collaborate with in the future. Breland and Jay Cutler chat about sports and the similarities and differences between their paths to stardom. He opens up about turning down music school to pursue business in college, and how that related to his music career. We even get a snippet of a country hook Breland sings in the middle of the interview, and he shares his love for “finding the hook” of a song. Breland talks about that much more on this week’s brand new episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler.
Breland Talks Whirlwind Two Years Since Dropping First Single
In 2019, Breland released his first single “My Truck,” which put him on the map. However, the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 and slowed his momentum as an artist. While all musicians suffered during the pandemic since no one could tour, up-and-coming artists like Breland felt the impact even more.
He should’ve been able to immediately tour, and build off the success of the single, but those plans were shelved. Breland instead went ahead and made the leap of faith to move to Nashville in August 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. Bands weren’t touring, but musicians in Music City don’t just stop making music. Breland connected with other musicians and songwriters and started working on more material. He called his early days in Nashville in the middle of the pandemic a “productive” period for his songwriting.
“It was pretty convenient, because everybody was still home. In terms of all the different artists in town weren’t touring for the first time ever. So I got to town and was able to write with a bunch of people really early, and catch people in a good head space. So it was pretty productive,” Breland said on Uncut with Jay Cutler about his early days in Nashville.
Last summer though, Breland was finally able to hit the road and tour for the first time. He and his band initially opened for country star Dierks Bentley during his summer 2021 tour for only two shows. Bentley featured Breland on his “Beers On Me” song and invited him to play a couple shows on tour. But that turned into an extended stay on Bentley’ s tour for around 15 appearances.
It was the perfect opportunity for Breland to get on stage finally. Now, he’ll soon head out on his own tour later this month. He’s playing festivals and fairs across the nation over the next few months. Plus, his first full-length album is on the horizon. Lots to come for the young artist.
Breland Shares How Justin Bieber Changed His Mindset About How to Break Into Music
While this may sound like an odd pairing, pop star Justin Bieber had a huge impact on Breland. While the influence may not be there so much musically, it runs deep in the way Breland approached his career.
As a young man, Breland got into musicians who were trying to make a name for themselves on YouTube. Bieber is well-known as one of the first prominent artists to utilize the platform to share his music with the masses. At the time, Bieber would upload lots of cover songs to YouTube, and that’s what Breland wanted to do as well. The country rap artist started following Justin Bieber’s career early on when he had less than 5,000 subscribers. Within the next year, Bieber started to blow up, and Breland knew he wanted to walk a similar path.
“He’s really the first one to blow up on YouTube,” Breland said of Justin Bieber. “And that changed my whole framework of… because before it was like, in order to get into music you had to know somebody. And I’m like wait, he literally just came up off the internet, and I was like, okay, well, I want to do that.”
Breland took a page from Justin Bieber’s book and started his own YouTube channel. He started making videos playing cover songs and some originals as well to see if he could gain any traction. That’s when Breland got serious about his music career and began to take things seriously. With Bieber only being a year or two older than Breland, his career path through YouTube seemed like a realistic goal for the budding musician.
“He’s like a year older than me, so it felt like really accessible,” Breland said to host Jay Cutler. “Definitely shout out JB on that. Because it felt like one of those things that I’m like, okay I can do it now.”
Breland Reveals the Current Artists He’d Love to Work With On a Song
For someone as versatile as Breland, as a songwriter and producer, the possibilities of music collaborations are basically endless. Host Jay Cutler asked the artist if there’s anyone he hasn’t created music with yet that he’d love to work with. In the country music world, Breland wants to work with country superstar Kacey Musgraves at some point in his career. Outside of country music, Breland has one megastar on his list. He wants to collaborate with Canadian rapper Drake on a country song.
“I feel like in the country space, I would love to do something with Kacey Musgraves,” Breland shared. “Feel like she’s just got a really cool crossover type sound.”
“And then in the hip-hop world, I would love to get Drake on a country song,” Breland continued. “I just think that would be fun. His dad is from Memphis, he’s got a lot of southern roots and spends a lot of time in Memphis and Kentucky… it wouldn’t be that hard. He’s done everything else. So hopefully that opportunity comes around.”
Breland speaks much more about his life and music career during this week’s podcast. 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.