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New Artist of the Week: Corey Kent

February 10, 2023 2:00 pm GMT
Last Edited February 17, 2023 1:56 pm GMT

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Born and raised in Bixby, Oklahoma, Corey Kent is taking that small town charm to the big stage and tearing it up with his peculiar brand of high-octane country rock.

Sitting at the intersection of heartland rock and red dirt country, he takes his inspiration from artists like The Eagles, Garth Brooks and Turnpike Troubadours and strives to bring that same spirit of stadium sized country rock to life in his unmissable live shows.

At the age of 11, he was the singer in a western swing band touring with country legends like Roy Clark and Oak Ridge Boys. After first coming to the world’s attention on The Voice aged 15 competing as part of Blake Shelton’s team, and releasing his debut album The Long Way in 2016, he began to build a name for himself in country circles.

As soon as he could drive he was out on the road himself touring Oklahoma, before his family moved to Dallas, Texas, in 2020 and he opened the next chapter of his career. It was around then that he started showing up on our Holler radar, first with his album From the West and then with its follow up, 21, a year later.

Corey Kent has spent a life out on the road and he was back out there again as soon as he could be, performing over 100 shows in 2021 alone. Along with headlining his own shows and playing music festivals across the country, Corey has opened for Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson, Chase Rice, Eli Young, Josh Abbott, Flatland Cavalry, and Kolby Cooper.

Fast forward two years and he featured in our rundown of 23 New Artists for 2023. Now he follows on from the success of his recent singles 'How You Know You Made It' and 'Wild As Her' with the brilliant ‘Man Of The House’.

We sat down with Corey to find out a little bit more about the man behind all these songs that we just can't stop listening to!

Where are you from and how did that influence you?

I was born and raised in Bixby, Oklahoma.

I loved how I grew up. 90’s kid with a lot of freedom. Played some sports. Spent a lot of time in the outdoors. Friday nights were a bonfire in the woods behind Jimmy’s house and picking guitars until 2am. Christmas break was duck hunting 2x a day. Just an all-American way to grow up. Being from Oklahoma there was a lot of red dirt music playing in the trucks. I think the thing I learned is that life in Bixby rolls at the perfect pace… slow but not too slow. I think that influenced me greatly. The desire to slow down the moments and soak ‘em in.

What did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to a ton of blues and rock & roll. I had Boston, Eagles, Joe Walsh, Skynyrd and Clapton on my iPod. But when I was young, my mom loved Garth Brooks and especially George Straight. She had a cardboard cutout of George in our rent house garage and she’d always pull the car in and say, “Hi George!”

As I hit high school, I discovered my 3 favourite artists to this day: Kings of Leon, Eric Church and Turnpike Troubadours.

How would you describe your sound?

I’d describe my sound as a 90’s all-American kid playing country music with a rock’n’roll spirit.

Tell us a little bit about your new single, ‘Man Of The House’?

‘Man of the House’ is a song I wrote about the weight I felt as a kid growing up in a “broken home”. There was an unspoken responsibility I felt to be there for my mom. To step up and be a man at an early age. My folks split when I was 3 or so and life just forced me to grow up fast. This was pretty much my way of saying, “Hey mom, we did it”. It wasn’t easy. But it served me well in life now that I’m raising my own kids.

What inspires you?

Being on the road with guys like Parker McCollum and Cody Johnson is what has been most inspiring here lately. Seeing a bunch of guys from Texas build these incredible touring operations with the same band mates since the early days, hard work, treating people well, and good music is just reassuring. I feel like we are building it the same way and to see the level they have built it to is super motivating. We have to step up night after night because they’ve set the bar so high.

What’s your favourite song of yours?

It’s impossible to pick a favourite song, honestly. Each one is a small piece of me and my story. So, I’ll answer with this… my new song ‘Man of the House’ contains my single favourite line I’ve ever written down: “… the world don’t give a damn about the age of the dog in the fight.”

And what’s your favourite songs of someone else’s?

So many answers… ‘Good Lord, Lorrie’. ‘Pickup Truck’. ‘Loves me like Jesus does’. ‘Take it Easy’.

If you could time travel back to any time, when would you travel back to?

Nothing before the 1900s. Indoor plumbing and running water are legit. The roaring 20’s looked fun but I’d probably pick the late 60’ or early 70’s because of all the incredible music that came out during that era. Plus, the cars being made at that time were perfection.

Which person from history would you most like to meet?

I’d love to sit down and have a smoke with Winston Churchill or CS Lewis. Both minds have always fascinated me.

What would be your Spice Girls style nickname?

I’d let the fans decide. Leave it up to fate!

What advice would you give to the younger you?

‘The only thing that truly matters is what your wife, your kids and your God think of you. Love Accordingly.’

I journaled this once and now I read this to myself every day.

What’s next for you?

Parker McCollum Tour then overseas to London and Australia. Been working on the new Record with Jay Joyce. Outside of that, we are just going to keep building our fan base on the road and keep a steady stream of new music coming for the fans that have gotten us to where we are.

lists ESSENTIALS • 23 New Artists for 2023

Holler's selection of the best new country artists to watch in 2023

'Man Of The House' is out now on Sony Music Entertainment.

Written by Jof Owen
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