By Aaron Wagner
YouTube personality turned country artist Bryan Lanning is making a splash later this week as he’s set to release his debut country music album Same Town.
Bryan was born in San Diego where he lived with his sister and single mom in a small apartment. Early on he was drawn to music as he became a collector of cassette tapes. Remember those days? The family ended up moving to Idaho to be closer to his grandma.
It was there in Idaho where his musical talents came alive as he became a member of the Idaho Children’s Opera. The family once again moved, this time to an even more rural area where Bryan experienced country life which then naturally translated to country music. Fast forward a few years to when Bryan married his high school sweetheart Missy and moved back to California. They couple faced difficulty conceiving so they created a YouTube channel to share their story and it took off, leading to millions of views and 5 million subscribers.
Bryan has taken those experiences and poured those stories and emotions into his music which you’ll discover when you listen to Same Town.
He took the time to talk with Raised On It about his album that comes out on Friday.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the album, describe your emotions and what it feels like knowing your debut country album is coming out soon.
“I’m mostly just excited to have new music out there! These stories are a huge part of who I am and I just went to put it out there for people.”
Why did you name the album Same Town?
“I knew I wanted a name that could potentially bring people together during these hard times of division. A lot of the songs on the album ended up being based around where I grew up and how that shaped my identity, so I wanted to give that place a name. “Same Town” kinda just came out of it all.”
“When I was packaging the album I had my fans send in photos of their home towns, and when I started arranging them all together, there was this huge sense of familiarity in them, despite them being taken in places I’d never seen. I thought that was extremely powerful and I wanted to bring that sense of familiarity into my album so I created mosaic art with the photos to include in the booklet of the physical copy of the album.”
When you set out to make this album, did you have a theme or concept in mind that you wanted to capture?
“Not really. I just wanted to write good songs that had real meaning behind them. After writing 40 some odd songs, we narrowed it down to the 12 on the album.”
What was the process like deciding which songs would be included on this album? Were you the main decision-maker or who helped you figure out which songs to include?
“My producer and writing partner, Daniel Martin had a huge hand in deciding as well. We wrote a ton of songs together at my studio last summer, and then eventually decided to produce 16 of them. We put 4 of the songs on my previously released EP “Illegal,” because they stood out the most from the album tracks.”
If you had to sum up this album in 3-5 words, what would that be?
Venturous. Honest. Fun. Confident.
Which song was the easiest/quickest to write and record? Conversely, which song took the most time making changes and fine-tuning?
“”Love the Burn” was the easiest probably. We had 3 other writers in the room with us when we were finishing it so the energy made it happen like nothing. It’s my favorite to sing, so I only needed a couple passes in the recording booth before we got the version you now hear on the album. It usually doesn’t happen that quickly.”
““Dripping Honeymoon” was probably the one we kept fine-tuning. The more timeless the song, the more pressure is on when it comes to production. Every sound was intentionally chosen to let the lyrics breathe.”
“Follow the Palm Trees Home” and “Man Up” are two of my personal favorites on this album, what are the stories behind those songs?
“Those are probably the two most personal ones for me. “Follow the Palm Trees Home” is about looking back at my earliest childhood home in San Diego. I had a chance to see it recently and it put so much into perspective for me.”Man Up” was the result of growing up in a much different home. My step-dad was abusive physically and emotionally to my whole family, so I knew at an early age that I didn’t want to be that man. That song is a reminder that you can change your outcome.”
Is there a song or two on this album that you particularly hold near and dear to you as really special? And what makes it special?
“”Dripping Honeymoon” for sure. I can’t help but think of happy couples dancing at their wedding to that song. I’ve had people play another one of my songs “This Is Home” at their weddings, and it always made me so excited that people wanted me to be a part of their special day.”
When your family, friends, and ultimately the fans hear the album what do you want them to feel? What do you hope they take away from it?
“I hope it makes them feel alive. I want them to dance. Reminisce. Hold each other a little closer.”
What have you learned about yourself during the process of making this album?
“I’ve always been a seeker of authenticity in everything I do. I’m not trying to fool anyone. I am who I am.”
Make sure you pre-save the album so you can be the first to listen when it’s released. Click here to pre-save.