BRELAND lands three CMT Music Award nominations: ‘My mind is racing’

The April 11, 2022 CMT Music Awards could cement the country music superstar for BRELAND, the 26-year-old New Jersey-born, now Nashville-based artist.

He is overwhelmed by his three nominationsbut that’s not to say that this level of success wasn’t in his plan from the start.

“I didn’t have a ton of specific checkpoints in my plan, but I knew that if I had a clear mission statement, whatever I wanted to happen would happen,” says the artist who just returned from a successful appearance at the C2C Festival in London. O2 Arena.

What was that mission statement?

“I wanted to approach country music from a fresh perspective and find a way to make the genre more inclusive while reaching new audiences.”

BRELAND performs during Jack DanielÕs Live New YearÕs Eve Nashville Big Bash at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn.

Her 2021 single “Cross Country” earned her a CMT nomination for “Breakthrough Video of the Year.” He is also the only artist nominated twice in the same category – “Performance of the Year” – for his performance at the 2021 CMT Awards of “Friendship Train” with Gladys Knight and Mickey Guyton, as well as a performance of “Ride Wit Me” from an episode of “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” featuring Nelly, Kane Brown and Blanco Brown.

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“‘Cross Country’ isn’t just a song I wrote and performed; it’s the title track of my entire movement,” BRELAND said. “I break down genres by building bridges between them. I tell my story in this song, hoping to inspire other people to tell their stories [in country music]. The video is the first music video I came up with the concept for – so that’s also important.”

Her nominated performance of “Friendship Train” was her first ever performance at an awards show and her second live performance.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be a part of this [performance]”, BRELAND said. “During dress rehearsal, Mickey and Gladys were like, ‘Hey, you should be on this.'”

The song was part of a medley that began with him performing his version of “Cross Country” with Guyton. They also added it to “Friendship Train”.

“[Gladys and Mickey] wanting to create increased visibility for black people on this stage resulted in a nomination.”

At various points in his conversation with the Tennessean, the artist described his current career as a “collision”, an “earthquake”, an “explosion”, and a “fire”.

The week the CMT Music Awards airs on CBS on April 11, he also performs at the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on April 9 and has a BRELAND and Friends show at the Ryman Auditorium on April 12.

BRELAND also revealed to the Tennessean that he has a new album coming in June.

“I don’t do what I do for recognition or fame,” he said. “But when you get both, it’s validation because it feels like the times when you feel like you’re trying to fight a mountain [false]because you are already climbing to the top of the mountain [instead]. This is the first time I’ve been nominated for a major award. My mind is racing.”

After performing at the 2021 CMT Music Awards, his exuberance led him down a long flight of stairs. He wonders how he will react if he wins a prize.

“Don’t let the glasses fool you. I’m an athlete. I can do some things. In a lot of ways I’m low key like that. Guess I’ll have to learn some new flips and tricks, man.”