Corey Kent Hits The ‘Blacktop’ Again, Talks Sound, Story And Debut Album With Sony

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In a world dominated by ego, glitz and glamour, Corey Kent is a rising country star who has managed to stay grounded, true to himself, and connected to what truly matters. As a country music singer, his journey has been anything but ordinary. His is a story of resilience, family values, and the pursuit of a dream that never wavered.

In a recent interview with BRIDGE, Corey shared his heart and bared his soul about his story, his sound and how he quite literally paved his own way to country music history. One thing is for sure, the road wasn’t always easy.

In 2020, Corey’s aspirations of finding a breakthrough in the realm of country music were shattered when he unexpectedly lost the publishing deal he had envisioned as his gateway to success. Faced with the harsh reality, he found himself at a crossroads, ultimately making the courageous choice to return to his beloved home state of Texas. Refusing to wallow in self-pity, Corey embraced resilience and embarked on a new journey, put on his work boots and went to work for a paving company.

Corey’s decision to put his music on hold has had a profound impact on his perspective on his music career. “It made me realize what was really important versus what we in the music industry perceive as important,” he told BRIDGE. By stepping outside the confines of the music industry in Nashville and finding solace in the simplicity of Texas, Corey gained a fresh perspective on life itself. Conversations about everyday experiences, like past football games, took precedence over superficial discussions about chart positions and breakthrough moments. This change of pace and mindset seeped into his songwriting, allowing him to pen lyrics from the heart rather than the head. The result? People began connecting with his music on a deeper level, drawn to the authenticity that permeates his work.

Returning to his roots and pursuing his music career again was fueled by an unyielding passion that never diminished, even during the toughest times. When the world shut down and live music came to a halt, Corey found himself working odd jobs, doing whatever it took to provide for his family. But the fire within him couldn’t be extinguished. When the opportunity to perform live again arose, he seized it with an unwavering determination. Corey made a conscious choice to outwork everyone else, to play as much as he could and write as much as he could. He knew that if anyone was going to reclaim the stage full-time, it had to be him.

Corey Kent Hits The 'Blacktop' Again, Talks Sound, Story And Debut Album With Sony
Photo: Dayna White

Growing up in Oklahoma, Corey was exposed to independent-thinking stars who paved their own paths in the music industry. The likes of Texas Red Dirt legends, Garth Brooks, and Willie Nelson inspired him to think outside the box and take chances. He witnessed their unique journeys and knew that his path would be different too. This mindset allowed him to break free from the mold and create his own distinct style, one that resonated with audiences seeking something more than just catchy tunes. Corey’s willingness to go against the grain and do things differently than his surroundings paid off, and he became a beacon of inspiration for those yearning to take the road less traveled.

The most rewarding aspect of Corey’s explosive growth and success over the past two years lies in the live shows. There is an electrifying exchange of energy between him and the audience, an indescribable high that he constantly strives for as an entertainer and musician. Selling out shows and witnessing fans singing his songs back to him is the ultimate affirmation of his artistry. Corey thrives on creating a unique and one-of-a-kind experience for his fans, where every night is different, energetic, and unforgettable.

Corey’s debut album for Sony Music Nashville, “Blacktop,” holds immense significance in his musical journey. The title itself represents the people in the industry who provided him with an opportunity to support his family during the most challenging season of his life. Working at his wife’s family’s pavement company while recording the songs for this album, Corey found his way back to the road and full-time music. “Blacktop” is a representation of the evolution of Kent’s sound and symbolizes the resilience, the determination, and the triumph that came out of a time when his world seemed to stand still.

Corey Kent Hits The 'Blacktop' Again, Talks Sound, Story And Debut Album With Sony
Cover Photo: Dayna White

The 10-track album, dropping June 2, features writing credits from Kent himself as well as Morgan Wallen, Ryan Hurd, Kelly Archer, Lydia Vaughan and more. It also boasts production from Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Miranda Lambert) and Chris Farren. Each track on the album tells a story, revealing different facets of Corey’s life and emotions. From “Bic Flame,” which speaks to staying true to oneself despite societal expectations, to “Long Story Short,” a heartrending reflection on a first love that didn’t quite work out to “Once or Twice,” a unique and moody song inspired by his grandfather’s perspective on the changing landscape of their hometown, Broken Bow, Oklahoma. “Man of the House” holds a deeply personal connection as Corey shares his journey with his mother. Of course, we couldn’t fail to mention the inclusion of his explosive hit, “Wild As Her.” The certified platinum track has garnered over 275 million on-demand streams and peaked at No. 1 on country radio.

Corey’s music is a reflection of his personal experiences and emotions. With “Blacktop,” he has allowed himself to be vulnerable, inviting listeners into his world. The album serves as a testament to his growth as an artist and a man, revealing his authentic self with every heartfelt lyric and soulful melody.

Balancing the preservation of the Red Dirt and Texas/Oklahoma sound while appealing to a wider audience is a delicate dance, but Corey has found his sweet spot. He understands that Red Dirt and Texas Country fans seek music that they can relate to, something they can raise a beer to, and something that rings true. Authenticity is the key, and Corey’s music embodies that authenticity. He stays true to his sound, writing lyrics that run deeper than the surface, and he never compromises his integrity. By staying grounded and authentic, Corey has been able to bridge the gap between the Red Dirt scene and a broader audience, proving that sincerity transcends boundaries.

“I think at the end of the day, Red Dirt and Texas Country, they want something that they can drink a beer to but also believe.”

Corey Kent tells BRIDGE

To aspiring musicians facing obstacles in their own careers, Corey offers invaluable advice: be patient and confident in what you want and believe. The music industry is ever-changing, with trends and sounds fluctuating over time. Chasing those trends will leave you perpetually behind. Instead, focus on honing your craft, developing your unique style, and being the best at what you do. Stay true to yourself and your sound, even when the pendulum swings away from your genre. When the time is right and the opportunity aligns with your vision, you’ll be ready to shine.

Corey Kent’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, authenticity, and unwavering dedication. He has overcome obstacles, stayed true to his roots, and emerged as a rising star in the country music scene. We are only half way through 2023 and Kent has already been nominated for a 2023 CMT Breakthrough Male Video Award; Named as a CMT Listen
Up Artist for 2023, a Pandora Artist to Watch and nominated for an AIMP Nashville Country Awards

for AIMP Rising Artist-Writer of the Year.

With his genuine approach to songwriting and his ability to create unforgettable live experiences, Corey Kent has captured the hearts of fans across the nation. His music resonates with a universal truth, reminding us all of the importance of staying true to ourselves and embracing the power of our own stories.

As Corey continues to make his mark on the music industry, his journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians and music lovers alike.

Pre-SaveBlacktop’ releasing this Friday, June 2 and catch Corey on Jason Aldean’s Highway Desperado Tour this summer. To keep up with the latest, visit

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