Thoughts: What needs to change for Baylee Littrell to make it in country music

by | Oct 17, 2020 | Brian Littrell, Country Music, Music, Opinion, Thoughts | 3 comments

If you look at my senior memory book from high school, you’ll see that my career in 20 years was going to be a music producer for Garth Brooks. Yeah, that didn’t happen. However, I have met him and interviewed him before that 20-year mark so, 50 percent came true?

If I could have gotten a master’s degree in anything, I feel like it could have been country music, especially anything 2015 and before. Most of the recent country music kind of sucks to be honest. They are all starting to sound the same. 

Except for Baylee Littrell.

Now I really like Baylee’s album that he came out with and I’ve seen him perform twice outside of the DNA World Tour. “Boxes” could have been GREAT on country radio going up against Thomas Rhett or WhateverMaleSingerThatSoundsAllAlike. 

Why didn’t it? It didn’t have the backing from a major label or even a small label. It’s a label his parents own. Even if you have a killer album or song, unless it gets a push from radio or a huge label, it’s not going to go anywhere. 

For instance, look at Florida Georgia Line. They had been touring for years and had an album out, but they didn’t get that kick-off that they needed until they opened for Taylor Swift and she started tweeting about “Cruise.” It didn’t hurt that they were on Big Machine Records with Taylor at the time. 

And FGL never looked back. 

Baylee and Brian Littrell in Decatur, Ga., in November 2019. / Photo by Karah

Yes, the Backstreet Boys have tweeted about Baylee, but there’s a problem with that – he’s being marketed to solely Backstreet Boys fans. A lot of Backstreet Boys fans do not like country music so even if he is the son of a BSB, they might not care. 

Baylee needs to be marketed to more than just Backstreet Boys fans. Sure, “Boxes” was on CMT some and made the countdown, but that’s it.

He needs to perform somewhere outside of the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Back in the ’80s and ’90s before this great thing called the internet, you could possibly make it big by playing the clubs around Atlanta or Dallas. I mean, that’s what people like Travis Tritt or Mark Wills did. Baylee should do more shows in Nashville like a talent night at the Bluebird Cafe.

He also needs to do interviews without his parents. We all love to see a Backstreet Boy on TV, but Baylee needs to do interviews alone. This is about him. He’s about to be 18 years old and I hope that he takes that leap on his own to try and get a deal with a major label. Get a manager who has background in managing country artists. His father has been in the music business for almost 28 years, use some of those connections for management who could help get an actual real record deal. 

Or he could be like Thomas Rhett who had a publishing deal before ever signing a record deal. Baylee has written songs that are really good. Thomas Rhett didn’t rely on his father, 90’s country singer and legendary hit songwriter Rhett Akins (they are both from my hometown). Thomas Rhett wrote songs for Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean before ever becoming a star himself. 

Baylee has a very good country voice, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t think it was true. 

But if he ever wants to make it in country music, he needs to spread his wings outside of just the BSB fandom. And I’m not saying that to be salty or bitchy. I’m saying it to be honest because I want him to succeed. 

Baylee could really make it in country music, he just needs to be marketed correctly.

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