Jake Owen Weighs in on Country Music’s Hot Topics
Jake Owen is throwing is opinion into the ring when it comes to a handful of hotly discussed topics in country music.
When Billy Gilman came out as gay, he called on the industry to embrace LGBTQ artists within the genre. Ty Herndon came out shortly before Gilman, and the two artists' public announcements have had some people asking if Nashville is ready to support gay singers.
"I hope so! I think they'll support anyone who wants to fulfill a dream," Owen tells ET Online of the atmosphere in the industry. "That's the beautiful thing about music and the way that music is being heard by people -- it's open to whoever wants to listen. I think that’s great what they're doing."
Within the country community, there has also been a lot of talk about how much the genre objectifies women, with some artists saying that the music is too sexist and some maintaining that it's OK. Owen agrees that there's an issue, but he says that he sees it as a culture-wide problem, rather than just a product of country music.
"I definitely think that there have been songs that reference those sorts of things, where women would feel subjected. But I think it's a product of 2014 and our times," he says. "If you look around, it's not just music [objectifying women]. I think that as music evolves, we always go through changes.
"I've got a daughter, I’m married, and I love my mom. You never want to do anything that would humiliate or make a woman feel bad, or put some sort of insecurities on them. I was raised better than that," Owen adds. "I can't say that I've never recorded a song [that could be perceived that way]. That's the dangerous double-edged sword of making music, but I know where my morals are."
But all in all, Owen is proud of his music, and while he understands the rationale of artists like Taylor Swift who are pulling their music from streaming services, he believes a bigger audience is always better.
"I'm all about getting the most people to hear your music. The wider the audience base, the better," he says. "I'm a Spotify member, I pay for Spotify to listen to other artists. I’ve been so pleased and refreshed to hear new music on there.
"I think certain people have their reasons for pulling off, but from the time I started on a barstool, I was never driven by money," Owen adds. "I just wanted to reach fans. Spotify is an awesome way to reach the fans."