Luke Bryan Feels There’s Room for Blending Genres in Country Music
Country fans are fiercely loyal about their favorite music genre -- sometimes to the point that they only want "true country artists" to identify themselves as country singers. But Luke Bryan thinks that there's room for blending genres in today's brand of mainstream country music.
With artists like Kelly Clarkson starting to cross over into country music, and Taylor Swift becoming a full-time pop star, it's hard to tell where the lines are drawn. But Bryan believes that country music has become mainstream -- and that's okay, because that's what the fans want.
"I think it's always dictated by the fans, and kind of the fans drive, or what they’re loving. I think there’s been somewhat of a change with our generation," the star tells the Huffington Post.
"You know, nobody grew up more countrier than me, but I mean, I had Beastie Boys playing on little boomboxes and Run–D.M.C. and all forms of music, so through the years, I just think it's all constantly blending together," he adds.
"You know, if Kelly Clarkson wants to do country albums because that’s what inspires her, then let her do it," Bryan continues. "Look at Kanye West or Ludacris ... they aren’t rappin' and cussin' like they were on their first few albums, so what does that make them? It's all in the eye of the beholder and the listener. We all use our outlet to grow ourselves."
Even though some newer country songs are driven by hard beats or electronic bridges that are usually reserved for other types of music, there are still plenty of good, old-fashioned country songs out there, too. And Bryan says he will always have a few classic country songs on every album he releases.
"There’s always room for your hardcore country songs and that will always shine through and I'll always have those on my albums," he insists. "And then I'll have fun stuff that gets people up and dancing that some people may want to say, 'Well that sounds real pop-y!' but I don’t really think it does, I just think it's what's going on."
When asked which country music stereotypes frustrate him the most, the 'Rollercoaster' singer was quick to point out that every musical genre gets stereotyped.
"I don't know, I think every genre has stereotypes," he explains. "You assume a rock artist is a drug addict, you assume a country artist is rolled out from under the trailer. Those are just natural stereotypes. I think what's so great about music is that people are really giving all genres now a fair start. Maybe the stereotypes are getting less and less prominent."
Of all the stereotypes, Bryan probably gets accused of partying hard most often, thanks to his party-themed singles like 'Country Girl (Shake It for Me).' But the 'Drunk on You' hitmaker insists that he never gets drunk before a performance. In fact, sometimes he sips on hot tea in between songs if his allergies are acting up.
"It's pretty much impossible to drink [alcohol]," Bryan reveals. "People are like, ”Man, do you get drunk before you go out?” and I'm like, “Well do you get drunk before you go to the gym?" It's kind of counterproductive to get drunk and that’s not very professional in my opinion."