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OUR POST-GRAMMY CHEW TAKES LESS THAN FOUR HOURS TO READ
We'll let you get back to your day ASAP. (2/7a)
HITS LIST WINNERS
Here's who's lighting up the scoreboard before and after the Grammys. (2/3a)
GRAMMY-WEEK ALBUM: PICS TO CLICK
Including shots of several luminaries entrapped by a HITS nerd. (2/8a)
GRAMMY RATINGS SOAR
The emphasis on star power seems to have worked. (2/7a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JIM ROPPO
Building blocks of a singular career (2/8a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Music City
NASHVILLE OUTSIDE IN:
MARTHA EARLS
7/14/16

EFG Management

Kane Brown found his success by bringing a strong urban/soul take to his country—and then going straight to the fans, no label. Talk about outside in.

People identify with him because of the way he looks—he’s beautiful, but he’s not perfect. He’s tatted up, he’s bi-racial, he’s got screws in his ears. But he’s who he is with no apologies. He’s real and doesn’t apologize for it.

Do you think the fact that he’s bi-racial is a factor?

You look at Kane’s fanbase, they’re all 19, 20 years old. In their lives, those kids have known a bi-racial President. It might be an issue for a 50-year-old white male radio programmer in Raleigh. But his fans? They didn’t go to college, they went to work. He knows that, and is hypersensitive to where they are in life. Our agent hates me ’cause I’m always banging about ticket price, trying to keep it around $20. That’s the beauty of Kane—he will never stick it to the fans. He will never put his hand in their pocket twice, even with the music. He’ll says, “My song’s on iTunes or Spotify.” He’s not so precious that they can only hear it if they buy it.

You had impressive success before Sony Music Nashville got involved. How does working with a major work for you guys with all you’ve had going? I mean, a million hits in three hours is pretty unstoppable.

Anyone who has momentum on their own wants to have the label feel invested. We want a partner, but the blueprint is for artists being built from the ground up. We need Sony to build us from where we are to the next level. Randy Goodman’s been a great partner. If Kane says, “That doesn’t feel right,” Randy will say, “Then forget about it.”

What’s been the hardest part?

Slowing down the release of music—and the anticipation that needs to build up to the release. We get the idea of not putting out new music every other week, and we want to be in line with that. But we also need to consider how we got here. One thing Sony doesn’t typically do, but they didn’t prohibit him from doing, is pulling pieces of songs for his social media. And those glimpses? When you go to his headlining shows, the fans who’ve heard those little pieces freak out when he plays the songs they love. They feel empowered to respond, and they do, so we’re leaning into what Sony wants—and still being true to the fans who’ve been here all along.