360°Sound spoke with up-and-coming Texas country singer-songwriter Cannon Brand. The 19-year-old Willis, Texas native has released an EP and two singles. He was just 17 when he recorded the EP, My Kind of Place, writing all the songs and playing all the instruments. His new single, “Me and You,” has been climbing the Texas country charts. Brand is currently recording his debut LP, which will be released later this year.
360°: Please start by telling us about how you got into country music.
Cannon Brand: I started learning guitar when I was 7. At that point, I was in it just for fun. I progressed into playing songs, and I actually played a bunch of rock music at first. I played in a couple of rock bands when I was 13, 14 with some of my friends. I got stage exposure early from that. Then I transitioned into country because that’s where I wanted to be. That’s where my voice was more well suited. That was my first real music endeavor.
I just started playing at the barbecue restaurant down on the corner. I got a lot of good feedback from people there. I got to play at some cooler and cooler places as time went on. It’s been treating me really well. It’s been a great ride.
What can we expect from your debut full-length?
We’re actually going into the studio on the 16th and 18th of this month to get back at it. It’s gonna be 12 songs, all originals. It’s going to have some similar qualities to the new single, “Me and You.” We’re gonna have a couple of slower songs and love ballads and some pick-me-up rockin’ ones. There are some nostalgic songs, like “Me And You.”
I’m really proud of every song that’s going on this record. I’m excited about it. It’s taken a while, but none of it is filler songs. Right now, we don’t have an official release date, but it’s definitely gonna be mid-year or a little after.
“Me and You” has gotten some radio play in Texas. Tell us about the success of that song.
Yes, it’s been exciting. My last single that I put out to radio was in February 2019, “My Kind of Place,” the title track from the EP. I didn’t really know what I was doing at that point. It actually got to #93 on the chart, which was exciting for me.
This next one is a little more polished of a song. I had some good people around me and some good backing. It’s gotten to #43. It broke the Top 50 last week. That was a really cool milestone for me. It’s been nice to get some positive feedback from that song. It’s gotten us way more streams on the platforms than any of my other songs. I’m gonna try to continue on that momentum and give people some good music to listen to.
Who are some of your influences as a songwriter?
Eric Church is one of the people I’ve always looked up to for his style and uniqueness in songwriting. I think he’s a songwriting master. If we’re talking some of the more local guys, the Texas guys, I love Cody Hibbard. He and I have become good friends. I love Randall King. His songs are incredible to me, and they’re truly country. A lot of these Texas artists have influenced me and inspired me in one way or another. Obviously, Cody Johnson, he’s made it real big now, which is awesome for him. He lived in Huntsville, which is right down the road from Willis.
What are your goals as a country artist?
It’s been really cool the last few months, especially with the release of that single and getting some momentum behind me, even in the midst of this pandemic. The single was a great thing for my career. It definitely gives me a push to keep going.
My goal is to create a badass record for everybody and get it out as soon as I can. I want to continue to play as many quality shows as I can. I’d love to travel further beyond the area I have been playing in. Obviously, that’s a little more difficult now, given the current circumstances. It’s nice seeing the momentum that we have. I’m gonna try to capitalize on that momentum and keep it goin’.
Anything you’d like to add for your fans and the readers?
Thank y’all for supporting and listening. It means a lot to me. It’s really cool to see people as excited about these songs as I am.