Transcript for Kane Brown on trying to change perceptions about what country music looks like
Reporter: It's one of the biggest nights in country music. Everybody welcome Kane brown! Reporter: And for newcomer Kane brown, arguably the biggest night of his career. ??? There's a ufc fight ??? performing live alongside one of his idols host and superstar Brad paisley. ??? Fireworks tonight ??? Reporter: The baby-faced 24-year-old with a big voice has taken the industry by storm. ??? What if I was made for you and you were made for me ??? Reporter: Last month. Jimmy: What IFS" helped him become the first artist history to simultaneously top all five major country charts. For a lot of people, especially in the country music industry, you came out of nowhere. You can't take the traditional route to Nashville. I think I'm the first one to break through on -- in country music through social media. Reporter: Three years ago he was a kid from Chattanooga, Tennessee, hosting covers on social media. ??? I don't dance here I am ??? That's what started everything for me is the "I don't dance" cover. I woke up one morning, my phone went crazy, I thought I got hacked. I had 900 friend requests. Reporter: Those friends became hundreds of thousands of followers. ??? I used to think you never say it's over ??? ??? I used to love you so much ??? Reporter: Earning him his first hit single "Used to love you sober" which has close to 43 million views on YouTube. What do you think did it for your fan base, for your followers? I still don't know. I think it's because I opened up to them. I let them know my life. Reporter: Raised by a single mom struggling to make ends meet,kane moved around a lot as a child and said he was bullied in school. Growing up where I grew up, I always got called the "N" word, all this crazy stuff, picked on and bullied. Reporter: Experiences he shares in his song "Learning." ??? That's why I'm learning how to let it go ??? Reporter: Today he says she's challenging perceptions about what country looks like. Being in country music, being biracial is kind of hard. I get talked down so much because of my look. I really want to change this. I don't feel you should look a certain way to sing a certain genre. Everybody thinks I'm a rapper, I can't be a country artist. It drives me crazy. How do you think you're going to change the country music industry? I think I'm different, I want to change stereotypes. You can't be scared to be different. Reporter: While many see him as the new school of country music, his vocals compared to legends like Johnny cash and Randy Travis. I honestly love the old school sound. I feel like I'm an old soul when it comes to that stuff. But I'm mixed in with new school. I like to sound how I do sound right now. There's times where I want to go back and I do want to write old school songs but you don't know if people are going to go to a party and play that song. ??? You're fire I'm lightning ??? Reporter: With songs like "Thunder in the rain." And "Heaven." ??? Heaven heaven ??? His voice is obviously incredible. He has this country vocal. But just when you meet him, talk to him, see him, he's a cultural crossover. Reporter: Kane now calls narcville home, where he lives with his fiancee Kaitlin. On music row. ??? Reporter: He shared his creative process. You hear a, B, a, B? Or a, a, B, B? Today is our writing session and I haven't had one in a very long time. These are the guys I wrote my first number one with, "What IFS." Reporter: He says he finds inspiration for new music in everyday conversation. Talking to radio stations, talking about my fiancee and our engagement. And this guy on the radio, he said, you don't want it to be over before it started. And I was like, can you repeat what you just said? I wrote it down. That's what we were just writing right there. ??? Reporter: It's hours before showtime in New Orleans where he's opening for Jason aldean. Want me to go first? I want you to go first. Reporter: Kane and his band take time to unwind. There you go. Oh, yeah! So we're basically on a tour bus with 12 guys. It's better than being in a van with 12 guys. What's the best part, what's the hardest part? The best part's being a family. The hardest part's being a family. Atlanta, all the way to seagate lounge! Reporter: We're backstage. After a quick group huddle -- it's showtime. There's three reasons to maybe start doing it. One is to make my hometown proud. Two is to make my family proud. Three was to make myself proud. But tonight I want to make new Orleans proud. So make noise together. ??? ??? ??? all I want to do is make my hometown proud ??? Reporter: With his fans singing along -- I just want to be able to do arenas. I want people just to know my music. Reporter: There's not much stopping him now. You say that you're shy. I didn't see shy up there. No, I told you, when you get on stage, it kind of goes away. It's just fun when they sing your song back, especially "What they get really loud on that. I'm just ready for more number ones. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Adrienne Bankert in new
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