Don’t Like Luke Bryan’s Lighthearted Songs? ‘Pick. Another. Artist.’ He Says
Luke Bryan earned a Top 5 hit with his debut single, "All My Friends Say," a song about a night out that goes (very) sideways after its narrator runs into an ex. A few years later, he hit the Top 5 again with what might be his most famous song, "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)." That tune, too, is a lighthearted track about ... well, not much more than a girl dancing to a country song.
While Bryan's party-ready, feel-good songs have earned him a legion of fans, he knows there are plenty of people out there who don't appreciate his music. For them, he has three words: "Pick. Another. Artist."
“When I put that song out, I knew what it was," Bryan tells Billboard of "Country Girl." "It was lighthearted fun. If you can’t appreciate the fun of that song, then I’m not your artist."
Bryan tells the magazine that he "know[s] that there are more layers to describing the country way of life than a pickup truck and fishing" -- but he also knows that those songs perform well as singles and are part of the "nucleus of [my] image." He's found success in more recent years with deeper hits such as "Most People Are Good" and "Drink a Beer," and Bryan notes to Billboard that his albums include similarly more heartfelt tracks.
“I have enough intelligence to know I have to move the needle from singing about trucks and back roads and fishing," Bryan admits. "Eight years ago, I would’ve never dreamed to put a song on my album that talks about fatherhood."
As for the sound of those party songs, which mix country, pop and hip-hop, Bryan says he's just doing what he knows. In his experience, fans aren't listening to one genre; they're putting them all together.
"My nephew is 16, and when he hears a country song he loves, it’s in his playlist. When he hears a Drake song he loves, it’s right in the same playlist," Bryan shares. "[Back when I was starting out], I started to realize there’s a way for some of this stuff to work together. You take your influences and create your own lane with it.”
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