Long before Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up” became a streaming sensation, the Atlanta musician was a kid who loved visiting his aunty in rural Georgia. In a new interview with Time.com, he explains that hearing a Tim McGraw song introduced him to country music.
“When I heard it I was like, ’Wow, this is a story — this is different from what I’m used to hearing.’ Before that I was hearing Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye — I never heard that approach to music. It changed my perspective and broadened my senses. I could never get away from the storytelling,” he said.
This summer, Blanco Brown — who signed to Nashville label BBR Music Group/BMG in 2018 — earned a No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, which takes streaming figures into account, along with sales and airplay.
Asked if he felt he was being held back as an African American trying to make it in country music, Brown stated, “Nobody was holding me back: It wasn’t the right timing. I didn’t present it. I would never blame music on a race thing. Because one thing I’ve learned about Nashville is, if they love what you have to offer and it’s authentic, they’re going to support it full-heartedly. They just want to make sure it’s not a joke. I feel like all genres should be more like that.”