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Corey Kent Discusses 'Blacktop' and the Success of "Wild As Her"

If you’ve tuned in to any country radio station within the last few months, you’ve most likely heard rising singer Corey Kent’s breakout smash “Wild As Her.” The track was his first single to be sent to radio stations and climbed steadily before becoming the Oklahoma native’s first number-one atop the country airplay charts. Only a few years ago, Kent was still working at a pavement company to provide for his family after the pandemic struck. Now, his label debut record Blacktop is out.

Kent grew up being inspired by Garth Brooks: a fellow Oklahoma boy whose success felt close to home. “That was my rock and roll hero as a kid because he was somebody that was tangible. That guy grew up right down the street from where we did,” he notes. Kent started his own musical journey playing in a Western swing band which gave him hours upon hours learning the craft of stage presence and how to play live. In his time with the band, he opened for country legends like Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, and more.

As the band started to fizzle out, Kent was the youngest member, he faced a crossroads of restarting as a solo artist or just going back to being a kid. “That’s the night Wille Nelson came through town and I ended up on stage playing a western swing song with Willie,” shares Kent. “That was the night where I was like, ‘Okay, clearly I’m supposed to be doing this.’”

He graduated high school and moved to Tennessee to learn the craft of songwriting while sleeping in his car and couch surfing. He got a deal to write for other people; he thought that was his dream. “I found out that wasn’t what I wanted to do at all," Kent exclaims, "I wanted to write songs for me and travel across the country and play them.” That realization led him and his family to Texas where he played live music as much as he could.