BY LORIE LIEBIG Wide Open Country
Controversial newcomer Kane Brown has just signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville.
Brown first appeared on the music scene when he auditioned for the reality singing competition the X-Factor in 2013. He made it through the initial few rounds, but quit the show after he refused to be put into a boy band.
Over the past year, Brown seemed to suddenly gain a huge online following. A few of his songs, which were placed on playlists featured on the digital music service Digster, suddenly earned hundreds of thousands of streams. He gained thousands of YouTube and Facebook subscribers seemingly overnight, which caught the attention of many industry reps in the Music City.
Many believe that Brown’s manager, Jay Frank, has helped spike his streaming numbers. Frank also happens to be the vice president of Global Streaming Marketing at Universal Music Group, which also owns the Digster platform.
“A lot of the people in Nashville think the numbers are fake, but they can’t prove it,” Brown told the Times Free-Press in a recent interview. “They’ve never had a Justin Bieber in country music, so they don’t know how to deal with it.”
Brown’s team has also earned him airplay on many large country radio stations, and earned him a highly-coveted slot opening for Florida Georgia Line‘s upcoming Dig Your Roots 2016 Tour.
It’s obvious that Brown’s team has played a huge role in cultivating an image and building a brand, but the jury is still out on whether or not he has the true talent to sustain a longterm career in country music.