After making a name for himself with the breakout hit "My Truck," a unique blend of what he calls "country trap," rising star Breland is back with a new single, sharing "Cross Country" on Friday. "'Cross Country' is both a song that is about my personal story, but it's also a greater movement and it's kind of the intersection of country and other genres of music," Breland told PopCulture.com. "Anything that's involving elements of country, songwriting, storytelling, instrumentation, and hip hop or R&B or dance or rock or whatever would fall under this umbrella term of cross country that kind of redefines what genre is."
Along with the lyrics, the song's music video also shares Breland's story, following the singer in parallel timelines to explore what his life might look like had he not chosen to pursue music, having begun his songwriting career in college before moving to Atlanta. The 25-year-old shared that his objective with "Cross Country" "is to evaluate and ask the question, 'Who can participate in country music, who can participate in the movement that's happening here in Nashville and overseas?'" He added that "when you intersect genres in this way, the conversations that come out of that on both sides, people who typically listen to country music, people who don't typically listen to country music, has the potential to be very powerful."
With almost 350,000 followers on TikTok, Breland has made a name for himself on the platform, where he connects with fans who might not have found their way to country music without him. "TikTok is a very genreless space with people who listen to all different types of music," he said, sharing that without TikTok users connecting to "My Truck," he "probably wouldn't have gone in this direction as aggressively as I have and as passionately as I have." "I think seeing the potential for people to open their minds up to different ideas and to music that they normally wouldn't listen to is a really beautiful thing," he said.
Since releasing "My Truck," which he followed with the BRELAND EP in 2020, the New Jersey native has collaborated with country powerhouses like Sam Hunt and Keith Urban, the former of whom joined Breland on a remix of "My Truck" while the latter extended an invitation to collaborate on his recently released album The Speed of Now Part 1. Breland also teamed up with fellow rising country star Tiera on "Miles," which was released earlier this month.
"I think one thing that I definitely appreciate from the hip-hop world and coming from Atlanta is just seeing all of the collaboration that happens," Breland mused. "Almost every song has a feature on it. People are always kind of sharing resources and opening up new audiences for the people that they're on a songs with, that I feel like bringing that to country can only help contribute to the movement that I'm trying to be a part of."