Genre-blending up-and-comer Breland made a stop on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Monday (March 29), performing his current single, “Cross Country,” a song that tells the story of the singer’s life and musical journey towards finding his unique mix of stylistic influences.
Breland first released the song in late February, explaining at the time that it was more than just a song, but rather “a movement that seeks to redefine what genre is, and it sits at the intersection of country music and all of the other genres of music that we know and love.”
During his The Kelly Clarkson Show performance, he delivered the song simply, standing behind a microphone, and allowing the lyrics — and his luminous smile — to speak for themselves.
“The houses I stayed in were great / But they never felt like home, so / I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong / I’m going cross country / Know they might judge me, I ain’t gotta prove ’em wrong,” Breland sings. “‘Cause I know it’s okay to be in my own lane / When I’m doing what they say can’t be done / I’m going cross country / I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong (where I belong) …”
After his performance, show host Kelly Clarkson remarked that she was impressed by the singer’s talent for seamlessly blending different styles of music together.
“It’s not one genre. It’s country, it’s R&B, it’s a little bit rap, almost like Ed Sheeran, how he raps and sings at the same time, and it’s pop,” she muses in the clip above. “Did you grow up loving everything?”
“I grew up loving everything. I grew up primarily listening to gospel, because my parents are both ministers,” Breland says, “But once I got into all the other genres, I was kind of just like, ‘Okay, there’s so much out there.’ That’s how ‘Cross Country’ was born. It’s actually the intersection of country music and all the other genres.”
Earlier in March, Breland issued a remix of “Cross Country” featuring another country star with a long history of carving out their own path: Mickey Guyton. That new version marked the second time that Breland has revisited one of his songs and turned it into a duet with a country artist. After releasing his his breakout single, “My Truck,” he reimagined it as a collaboration with Sam Hunt.
Both versions of the song were massive hits for him — in fact, Clarkson surprised the singer with plaque signifying official Platinum certification for “My Truck.” “… for selling 1 million copies of my truck, which is hard to do right now, y’all! That’s incredible,” she explains. “I’m so proud of you, man. I can’t wait to see what you do with your career.”
“You made me cry, Kelly,” a flabbergasted Breland responds, with happy tears and a gigantic smile on his face. “I’ve got real tears.”
The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter started generating buzz for “My Truck” after he self-released the song on social media. The subsequent fan response to the song earned him an artist deal with Bad Realm/Atlantic Records.
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