Kane Brown Bridges Musical Gaps at Ottawa Bluesfest 2019

July 15th, 2019

“If you come to my shows, there’s all kinds of different races, all kinds
of different people. Now, I feel accepted.” 
– Kane Brown

Photo by Chelsea Collins

Before you click away, hear us out. This is not your grandmother’s cowboy-hats-and-pickup-trucks kind of country show. Okay, there were still some cowboy hats but, even more refreshing to see, there was a mix of people unlike any we’ve seen before at a country show. Kane Brown came onto the scene breaking barriers from the start, bridging gaps across all musical genres like very few in country music have done before him. People of colour with neck tattoos is not a typical image you see in such a regimented genre like country music. It’s about damn time for a fresh look, don’t you agree? Often pegged and put in a box by people asking if he is a rapper or R&B artist, Kane has embraced his differences and labeled himself as country’s outcast; An “outcast” who has become the first artist to have simultaneous number ones on all five main Billboard country charts.

Talent aside, Kane Brown came at a time where our world has once again become deeply divided on racial issues. His importance goes beyond music. Often using his platform to acknowledge his place in country music, Kane frequently tells stories about growing up as a biracial country kid. “I remember being chased through the woods being called the n-word. I was in middle school. The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘They’re gonna kill me.’”. He uses his stage to combat racial issues, to garner acceptance for kids just like him, and to bring all walks of life together even for 90 minutes a night. On the lighter side of things, he often jokes about growing up on a dairy farm and not “looking the part”.

Kane’s show in Ottawa was nothing short of amazing. He engages with his audience like long-lost friends and his voice is as great live as it is on tape. Performing all of his hits including “Heaven”, “Homesick”, and “Good As You” as well as performing his brand new track “Rodeo” which dropped at midnight that night. Kane didn’t miss a beat or a chance to tell his story. During one of his many songs about his wife, he gestured to her for a solid minute to come on stage before she finally did looking cute and pregnant. He never misses a chance to tell anyone about becoming a father really soon, this night was no different. Mid-way through his set, there was a turn up like you’ll never see at a Garth Brooks show. Starting off with a sing-a-long to “Stand By Me”, then going straight into Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” and then just an all-out dance battle which, between us all, he definitely won. Pure entertainment and an unforgettable artist.

Editorial by Chelsea Collins

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