Country music entertainer Luke Bryan isn’t afraid to blend elements of hip-hop, rock, and R&B into his music. This willingness to shake things up has won him legions of fans as well as plenty of detractors who cling to the parameters of traditional country music.
So what does the Georgia native think about those ‘haters’ who often attack his brand of music?
“When I put that song out [2011’s “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)”], I knew what it was. It was lighthearted fun. If you can’t appreciate the fun of that song, then I’m not your artist. Pick. Another. Artist,” Luke playfully quipped during a recent interview with Billboard.
Bryan’s success with catchy, lighthearted songs about living a laid-back country lifestyle has spawned off plenty of copycat tunes recorded by other artists trying to break into the same channel of success.
“When I started singing about stuff like that, a lot of people saw that it worked, so they incorporated it. Then sometimes things get beat to death, and then it’s time to move on,” the star reflected.
“I know that there are more layers to describing the country way of life than a pickup truck and fishing,” he continued. “When I’m in a songwriting session with one of my songwriter buddies who’s going down the back-road path, can I sing a song about hunting and fishing ever again?”
Although some country music listeners may cringe due to the reoccurring themes that run through many of Bryan’s songs, you can’t blame a man for writing about what he knows.
“You have to have a nucleus of your image. Singing about trucks and back roads and fishing, that was a nucleus, because that’s what I knew. ‘Keep it simple, stupid’ — that’s a thing me and my producer [Jeff Stevens] say a lot. I’m wired to write simple stuff that people can understand and relate to,” the singer-songwriter candidly explained.
Luke is fully aware that criticism abounds and points to the continued popularity of his musical output as proof that he must be doing something right. While it’s true that many of the star’s songs are good fun, he does have a more serious side as songs such as “Drink a Beer” and “Most People Are Good” highlight.
“Certainly, I’ve caught flack for my styles of country. When I read something negative about myself, it kind of gets me down. But the true traditionalists, they’ll always bark. I mean, everybody wants hair metal back. Everybody wants the ’70s back, and it just doesn’t work that way. It’s not coming back,” Bryan stated.
While the entertainer toys with the idea of retiring some of the themes he often uses, he can’t promise that they are gone for good.
“If the right kind of song comes along that you know fans will go apeshit over, I have to search myself and ask, ‘Is it OK to do this again?’” the hit-maker concludes.
To see Luke in action, be sure to catch him out on tour!
What Makes You Country Tour Dates
6/14 Charleston, WV – Charleston Civic Center
6/21 West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
6/22 Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
6/28 Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
6/29 Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
8/2 Omaha, NE – CenturyLink Center
8/17 Syracuse, NY – Lakeview Amphitheater
8/18 Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
8/19 Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/24 Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
8/26 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
9/8 Dallas, TX – Starplex Pavilion
9/13 Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Plaza Barnett Arena
9/14 Billings, MT – Rimrock Auto Arena
9/20 Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center
9/21 Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
What Makes You Country XL Tour Schedule
June 16 – Cincinati, OH – Great American Ball Park
June 23 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium
June 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
July 5 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park
July 6 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park
July 21 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Field
July 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Dodger Stadium
August 4 – Denver, CO – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
August 25 – St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium
September 1 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field
September 2 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field
October 13 – Vancouver, BC @ BC Place Stadium
October 26 – Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
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