One of the bright careers in the Texas country music scene is underway, and people are starting to take notice.
Nearly two years removed from the release of his debut EP, Willis, Texas native Cannon Brand has released a new single, “Me and You,” which serves as the introduction for new music set for release early next year. With an updated, steel-driven sound paired with a lyric that discusses the nostalgia of falling in love, Brand is seeing his greatest streaming success to date and establishing himself as one of the must-watch artists ahead of his next release.
We chatted with Brand about his musical roots, all about “Me and You,” what listeners can expect from his soon-to-be-released music and more!
Pro Country: Who are some of the influences you’ve drawn on that have shaped your sound?
Cannon Brand: I would say that early on, Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash influenced me a lot. When I was first starting out, I played a lot of their songs in the restaurants I started in. As I moved forward into the Texas side of things, guys like CoJo, Randall King, Aaron Watson and Flatland Cavalry really started to influence me a lot.
PC: Your bio mentions that you began learning guitar at just seven years-old. What was it about music that was connecting with you so early in your life?
CB: My mom had always been a huge music fan her whole life, and all of mine. I would always be singing songs of all kinds of genres in the back of her car. There was just always something about it for me. That was part of the reason I wanted to learn an instrument so early on.
PC: At what point did that early interest in music translate into you wanting to pursue it as a career?
CB: I think playing in rock bands with my friends started the fire. Then when I began to play solo as a country act, and saw a lot of positive feedback in places like the Red Brick Tavern and Pacific Yard House in Conroe, that really solidified my want to pursue it.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your debut EP My Kind of Place?
CB: I was definitely super excited to see songs that I had written really come to life in a studio setting, but obviously, a little unsure of how it would be received. It was great to see fans’ and radio’s reaction to it, especially the title track and my first radio single, “My Kind of Place.”
PC: You released your newest single, “Me and You” in September, which has already become your most-streamed song and been very well received. Is there a certain level of validation that comes with having that success out of the gate? What do you think it is about the song that is allowing it to connect with listeners?
CB: Yes, it’s definitely super validating to see a song that I have been excited about for so long do as well as it has so far. I think it’s just something that everyone can relate to at some point in their life, you know? And even if you can’t directly relate to it, it’s still a nostalgic, easy to listen to song about young love that’s easy to enjoy.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Me and You”?
CB: It all started with a little guitar riff I wrote. I called one of my buddies and asked him what kind of song it sounded like. The first word out of his mouth was “nostalgic.” So, I started writing it with that in mind. The first couple of lines came almost immediately. I wrote the back half of the song with my buddy James Lann, and it came together rather easily. It was a great feeling, and we ended up deciding against one of my previously-planned songs and cutting “Me and You” instead the next day at Stormy Cooper Media.
PC: While My Kind of Place is heavily acoustic driven, “Me and You” is driven more by electric and steel. Was that something intentional as you entered the studio, or something that happened naturally with the song?
CB: Part of it definitely had to do with the fact that It was only me recording all the instruments on the first EP, and this time around, I had the help of some wonderful musicians like John Carroll on lead guitar, Jody Cameron on steel, Stormy Cooper on bass and Lyndon Hughes on drums. Some of it was intentional, as I definitely wanted “Me and You” to have a big, full sound to it. But a lot of it just happened as well. It was an awesome experience.
PC: Your bio mentions that you’re working on a new album. What information can you give about the album? What can listeners expect to hear?
CB: It will be an early 2021 release, I can’t give an exact date yet, but I can guarantee that. We haven’t decided if it will be another EP or a full album yet, but I am pushing for an album. We definitely have the songs to do an album. Listeners can expect some upbeat, catchy songs like “Me and You” a couple slower love ballads, some total jamming ones with a little rock influence and a couple with similar feel to the songs of My Kind of Place. I am beyond excited for it!
PC: You’ve opened for major artists in Texas, including Cory Morrow, Roger Creagor, Randall King and Deryl Dodd. What can you take away from those experiences that you can use moving forward in your own career?
CB: First of all, It was a dream come true to open for guys like that. It was awesome to learn from them, and also gave me a sense of hope for my own career. Seeing positive reactions from the fans of those artists was a wonderful feeling, and made me want to push on even more. Since then, I’ve opened for Wade Bowen, Aaron Watson, Josh Abbot and more. It’s been a blessing and a learning experience as well.
PC: 2020 has altered most of the plans of artists so far. Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of the year and going into 2021?
CB: Play as many shows as possible, including some full band ones. Aside from that, the new album is gonna be a big focus point as well. I want to keep the momentum I have and put out some stuff that’s really gonna catch people’s ear.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
CB: Thanks for taking the time to interview me. I hope you’re enjoying the single, and be on the lookout for new music soon. Thank you guys!