Luke Bryan Attributes His Success to ‘Methodical, Controlled Naiveness’
Throughout the past decade and a half, Luke Bryan has built a successful country music career that encompasses not only his studio albums and amphitheater and arena tours, but also his Spring Break series of EPs and concerts, his Farm Tour and its corresponding EP, and, most recently, his Crash My Playa concert vacation event. All three ventures have proven successful, but Bryan admits he and his record label and management team knew each was a risk.
"I think there's a lot of naiveness behind building things like Spring Break and Farm Tours," Bryan reflected during an artist Q&A at the 2021 Country Radio Seminar, held virtually in mid-February. "It was methodical, controlled naiveness."
Their initial goal, the superstar explains, was "to get fans more music." Each Spring Break EP contained party-ready tracks that he describes as "not world-class songs, but they were fun, and they scratched an itch to a certain market" — and made Bryan and some of his peers the soundtrack for plenty of college beach parties.
"We kind of took what the audience gave us," Bryan says. Once one project was successful, he ran with it, and worked on music to play specifically to that crowd. "I look back on it, and it was almost like a sub-life I was living," the singer muses, as he also continued to grow his list of radio hits at the same time.
"I go back and listen to some of [those Spring Break EP songs] and I'm like, 'Oh my God, what was I doing?' ... but we were having fun," he continues. "[I don't want to see] the day that we overthink ... the day that we don't say, 'Well, hell with it, let's try it' ..."
Bryan ended his Spring Break series in 2015, the same year he played his last Spring Break concert. ("I kept it going 'til it just seemed like I was too old and it got weird," he says lightheartedly.) By then, though, fans knew that whether Bryan was playing a beach bash on a major music venue, it was going to be a party.
Although the Spring Break series has ended, Bryan continues annually with his Farm Tour — large-scale concerts at rural farms, a nod to his roots as the son of a peanut farmer — and Crash My Playa. The 2020 music-focused Mexico vacation, in fact, was Bryan's final pre-COVID-19 concert.
"I'll be a 95-year-old dude walking around wearing flip-flops, smoking a cigar [at those events]," Bryan says. "I hope I can do that forever, because it keeps you young, keeps you on your toes."
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