Tag Archives: Brandon Lay

Layin’ It All Out With Brandon Lay

Brandon Lay has had a promising jumpstart to his career: he toured with big name Kenny Chesney on his Trip Around The Sun tour, had a couple singles hit country radio, and debuted at the Opry. To add a cherry on top, Lay and his wife welcomed their son Ryder, as well. We had a chance to chat with Brandon on his monumental 2018 and what’s to come in a hopeful 2019.

Brandon was named VEVO DSCVR ‘Artists To Watch,’ the only country artist nominated. He said that “it’s always cool to get those accolades and getting my music out there and use this platform to our advantage. With being the only country artist it was awesome to represent the genre in that capacity.” Lay accredits VEVO to shedding light on some of his songs that would have never saw the light if it weren’t for them.

Another huge platform for Brandon is SiriusXM satellite radio. He told us that many people discovered him through The Highway satellite station. Much like VEVO DSCVR, Lay has much appreciation for this radio streaming – “[The Highway] has a demographic of active country listeners… and they seem to be more likely to pay $10 to see me at a club in their hometown. So it’s really helped my career out.”

Aside from playing clubs in hometowns, Lay had the amazing opportunity to perform with mastermind Kenny Chesney on the 2018 Trip Around The Sun tour. When asked what that was like; Brandon said “it was definitely a learning experience and nobody is better at that forum than Kenny Chesney, not only on stage but off stage too. As a new artist, I wanted to get exposure and Kenny believed in me. It was a surreal summer and I hated that it had to come to an end.” Over the course of the five-month touring span, Brandon was able to take away something big; “when you’re a new artist people have never heard of, there is a lot pressure in trying to get them [the audience] to have a good time. I learned from Kenny how intimate his relationship is with his fans each and every night. And from that, I learned to be in the moment and give my best to the fans.”

Brandon also was welcomed into the legendary circle at the Opry in 2018 – a moment that every artist dreams of accomplishing. Lay was overwhelmed with emotions during his performance, for more reasons than one. He decided to top that important part of his career with the birth of his son, Ryder, just a few days before. “It was a lot! I’m all or nothing!” Lay laughed, “but it was really cool. I’m a believer and God has blessed me with a life way better than I deserve – and that was one of those moments where I felt that.” Congratulations, again, to Lay on both of these milestone accomplishments!

Brandon is working on a debut album, and fans can expect to hear a lot of story songs and live energy. “I got a bunch of songs that have been burnin’ a hole in my pocket that I’ve been waiting to release to the world,” and most of them will play off of honesty, who Brandon Lay is, and his attitude towards life. The process for writing a debut album vs. writing a debut single lies within the freedom that’s given. Lay is with Universal Music Group and he says that they have given him the artistic freedom to create however he wants to. He emphasized the fact that they haven’t tried to change anything, which for him is the best part. “You try to please everybody, but you don’t please everybody” is a statement that Lay reminds himself of as he’s creating new music. He acknowledges the adaptations needed to fit the bill, all while standing out.

He also has a European tour coming up this year, as well as playing at fairs and festivals starting around May. He says that this year of touring will much different than last year’s regimented, but exhilarating schedule with Kenny.

The main thing Lay wants out of 2019 is to gain more fans – one club at a time, one fair at a time. Brandon also wants everyone to join his email list because he’s sending out old demos, featuring a cut from one of Cole Swindell’s album. To stay up to date on all things Brandon Lay, follow him on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Catching up with NECM Artist to Watch Brandon Lay

New England Country Music 2018 artist to watch Brandon Lay has had a busy spring. He has played several stadiums as part of Kenny Chesney’s 2018 Trip Around the Sun tour which will continue all summer, leading up to the seemingly annual end-of-summer party at Gillette Stadium, and also put out his new single ‘Yada Yada Yada.’ Brandon was kind enough to take some time to talk to us as he geared up to play AT&T Stadium in Dallas this past weekend.

Brandon has been touring and building a following basically since he moved to Nashville in 2010. Last year he officially put out his debut single ‘Speakers Bleachers and Preachers’. The autobiographical song describes his upbringing. While the writing is specific to his experiences, fans from all walks of life have been drawn to the song and related it to their own lives. As Brandon explains, “I grew up in a small town in West Tennessee, right between Memphis and Nashville, Jackson is my hometown. Life pretty much revolved around playing ball, going to church, and going to school and chasing girls around Jackson. It’s a quite literal approach we took to writing the song. There were some lines in it like the Kroger Parking Lot and the Kenny Chesney line and the Black and Milds that are so specific, but it was cool to see people fill in the blanks. Maybe those weren’t the exact details of their upbringing but its cool to see people relate to it.”

We joked with Brandon that his teachers might be upset they didn’t make the song (he said they aren’t, he caught up with some recently who were very supportive), one person who did make the cut was now tourmate Kenny Chesney, with Lay singing “Any Chesney song gonna make her dance.” The line was not an attempt to butter Kenny up for a spot on his tour, it was just part of  Brandon’s life experiences. In fact, the first concert he ever went to was Kenny’s local stop on his first headlining tour. Though at the time we talked, he was only 3 weekends into the Trip Around the Sun tour, Lay says its already been an “electric” experience- “I’ve been really surprised at how many people have actually made into the stadium for our set. We kick off at 5 followed by OD (Old Dominion) and Thomas Rhett and obviously Kenny. The crowds have been great and I’ve learned so much already just from Kenny and his crew. It really is a dream situation so we’re trying to take advantage of it… (it’s) been a life changer already that I’m thankful for.

One song fans have been hearing at his live shows is his new single ‘Yada Yada Yada’ which to us sounds like a warm breeze feels. It’s the perfect song for summer. Brandon says the song is “the other end of the spectrum” as far as his writing and style from ‘Speakers Bleachers and Preachers.’ “Since SBP was so literal with the way we wrote it, I wanted something that was kinda the opposite of that and a little unexpected. I’ve been in Nashville while writing songs and I’ve gotten to write with a lot of other good writers. Coming out of the gate we wanted something that gives that sense of background and we just decided to follow it up with something that’s just fun and didn’t try to move the world.” The song really hits the spot as a carefree summer song that we know we’ll be whistling along to all summer.

Of course the highlight to any New Englander’s summer is the 2 nights Kenny Chesney brings his tour to Gillette Stadium. Last year Brandon played a pregame party at Toby Keith’s at Patriot Place but was able to check out both nights, something he described as being “unlike any other” and he can’t wait to be a bigger part of it this year.

In addition to 2 nights at Gillette Stadium in August, Brandon will be playing a free show at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den on June 7th. You can follow Brandon on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to check out brandonlay.com for a full list of tour dates and info on his upcoming debut album due later this year.