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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Why Kane Brown Loves Cookie Monster, Elvis Presley and Ted Lasso

Why Kane Brown Loves Cookie Monster, Elvis Presley and Ted Lasso

Country singer Kane Brown won’t lie: he didn’t pick up any new skills during the pandemic. He spent a lot of time with his wife and daughter. He spent a lot of time in the gym. He supervised the construction of his house and almost wondered if he could try to build his own house in the future. (It didn’t work.)

But for the most part, he waited to get back on the road. Calling from Indianapolis on the first day of the second leg of his Blessed & Free tour, he said it was “crazy” to perform again and noticed that the feeling was spreading to the audience. “Fans don’t know what to think; they don’t know what to do,” he said. “I don’t really have answers or explanations for them. But we’ll play the show.”

Touring life during Covid-19 is different from what it was before. One of the constants is video games: Brown plays almost every available sports game, including Call of Duty. He doesn’t care too much about hiding his identity, which makes the conversation fun. “I have a big microphone above my head, which is why a lot of people think I’m a rapper,” he said. “Once we convinced these kids that I was Lil Baby. But if you click on my profile, my name will be written there, so I will get a lot of messages like: “Dude, I’m a big fan.”

Brown is on tour for the next two months, so there will be plenty of time for fans to catch him in the digital realm. Before the show in Indianapolis, we talked about 10 of his favorite cultural needs. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

1. Madman NFL row One of my favorite memories was Madden 2004 when Michael Vick was on the cover. I got my first PlayStation 2 and I remember sitting in the basement and beating my stepfather. The game is really mechanical, but I learned to play football the same way I play Madden – just run and get a touchdown. You know, don’t play by the rules; not get hit; just run. That’s what I did in real football and I think that’s why I’m sitting on the tour bus today.

2. Elvis Presley Elvis was just his thing, man. My grandmother was a big Elvis fan; I remember she had this crazy dazzling Elvis purse that she took everywhere with her, it was just his face magnified on the purse. When I got older I started listening to his music and if you really listen he is not afraid to do anything. I find myself trying to sound like him all the time on Blue Christmas or Hound Dog. No matter how long this world exists, it will still be talked about.

3. “Ted Lasso” Jason Sudeikis is one of my favorite actors; I just love his dry sense of humor. I see a lot of myself in Ted. I wish I could be more like him, but I love how optimistic he is. No matter how much bad news is given to him, he always tries to turn it into positive. The team looks at him like a weird dude who knows nothing about football, and he just goes there and shows everyone his heart. It’s just amazing to me.

4. Steph Curry I remember Curry came to UTC, a college in my hometown of Chattanooga, and got on the horn at half court. I remember everyone saying he was small and overrated and that he was killing us. To see him move into the league just by destroying the competition is insane. I did a podcast with him and I think what I liked the most was that he brought his daughters. I asked them what they would listen to every day going to school and they said my song “What if”. It just hit me to the core.

5. EE I didn’t know much about her until I met my wife who was a big fan of hers. Our first dance at the wedding was “Best Part”, her song with Daniel Caesar. She’s just an amazingly talented vocalist and she can play this incredible guitar. She is one of my favorite collaborators I have worked with; I feel like she is another artist that will be around for a while.

6. “Press” I’m a huge Adam Sandler fan and I showed this movie to my security guard last night. The angel of death gives him a universal remote that controls everything, but also controls his life. Every time he uses it he just keeps fast forwarding. He ends up going through 20 years of his life – he loses his wife, his kids are grown, he gets cancer. He fast-forwarded all the boring parts of his life and now his life is gone. It literally brings me to tears every time I watch it. If you’re sitting on the couch and saying, “Oh, I’m bored,” that’s precious time you could spend with your family. After I watched it last night, I called my wife; my security guard even called his wife. We just said, “We love you.”

7. Sesame Street When I was a kid, my main characters were Elmo and Cookie Monster. I didn’t expect to ever meet them or film with them, but I had to do it last year. It was great to see how they did it; they really make you feel like the characters are alive. I watched it with my little girl, Kingsley, and you know, she just looks up to me and loves Elmo. So for her to see her dad with Elmo, that was for the books.

8. Yellowstone I fell in love with the TV show Yellowstone so much that my wife told me that I needed to go outside and do something. So I bought full cowboy gear and went to Lowe’s to buy some wood to build a treehouse. [Laughs] The story is amazing; the music is amazing. My grandmother always took me to rodeos when I was growing up. I used to catch sheep, chase cows and try to pluck the ribbons from their tails. She also took me to a lot of powwows, so seeing the Native American culture that’s also there is just another part of my life that I really enjoy watching.

9. His first home in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. I never grew up in a permanent home; I constantly moved, moved to friends or to different apartments with my mother. I was always glad that I had a roof over my head, but we never knew how long we would stay there and what would happen. Before this house was built, we kept going there and saying, “This is our new house.” Thinking about what we’re going to put in there really made me feel like an adult. It was a huge moment that changed my life. Fast forward, we have a new house that we are expanding because I just had another baby. It’s amazing to give them something that I never had as a child.

10. Madison Square Garden The first time I was there, I watched the Knicks play in Boston. I played at the Hulu Theater the next night, so I never got to play at Madison Square Garden, but I always dreamed of going to the big arena across the street. We actually do it this year; I think we are even filming a documentary. When you think of all the names that went through there, it’s something like this: “I’m an unknown artist from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and in fact I’m going to be the headliner in the arena that everyone is talking about. “It’s mind blowing. I can’t even think about shivering; I just know it will be a good show.

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