From punk to country: Cannon Brand’s story

Photo courtesy of Kay Carpenter

Texas is known for the country legends that call the state their home. George Strait and Willie Nelson themselves are Lone Star grown, and there is a new generation of country artists brewing just a few miles from Sam Houston State University’s campus.

Cannon Brand, 20, is at Sam Houston State University studying Entrepreneurship.
But all of his spare time is dedicated to his passion; creating music that makes him happy.

“I just wanted to learn how to play guitar, then I ditched the lessons and went from there,” Brand said. “It started with rock music, I loved all kinds of music, but I started with rock.”

He credits “School of Rock” at The Woodlands with giving him a solid start, taking lessons as a teenager and forming his first band within the school with most of his current bandmates. It was not long before Brand was searching for a new sound.

“As soon as we stopped doing the teenage punk band thing, I started taking it seriously and made a career change. I decided to start singing country music,” Brand said. “It started with singing George Strait and Garth Brooks in the corner of a BBQ restaurant. But I had enough people tipping me and saying, ‘Hey, you should keep doing this,’ so I did.”

Brand’s newest single, “Still Around,” was released on Jan. 21, 2022. When asked about the song, Brand noticeably shifted from light-hearted jokes to a more solemn speech.

“I always wanted to write a song for my late grandfather,” Brand said. “I was a lot like him, and I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I was young. It hit me hard later. But I always wanted to write something for him, and I could never get it right. It all sounded too cheesy.”

He went on to talk about loss, a universal experience across the human species. He hopes to write a song that encapsulates the emptiness that a loss leaves, while simultaneously showcasing the later stages of grief, the part of coming to terms with loneliness that feels hopeful.

“To me, this song isn’t even sad, it’s more hopeful. I’m sure everybody on this earth can relate to that in some way.”

Cannon Brand is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music. He will also be performing on April 1 and 2 at the Montgomery County Fair.

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