This story has been updated.
Kane Brown will be appearing on a new remix of pop star Camila Cabello’s current single “Never Be The Same” according to information coming down the music wires. Camila has warned on Twitter of big news this week, and Genius has the track being released Saturday, April 28th.
Off her album Camila, “Never Be The Same” has already been Certified Platinum, and currently sits at its peak position of #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. A remix with Kane Brown is likely to put the single into hyperdrive for a push it well into the Top 10. What has some observers from the country realm interested (or concerned) is if it will be the latest pop/country collaboration to be released to country radio, while fans and critics of pop are also beginning to become concerned if country collaborations are going to be the new norm for their favorite pop stars.
The issue with Florida Georgia Line collaborating with Bebe Rexha on the song “Meant To Be”—and its subsequent overwhelming and historic chart performance—was that it set a bad precedent in a copycat industry that could open the floodgates and fill the charts, playlists, and radio with cross-genre collaborations in the true ushering in of the monogenre. Similar concerns were levied over Maren Morris and her participation with Zedd on the song “The Middle,” which has already enjoyed its moment at #1 on the Top 40. Kane Brown doing a remix with Camila Cabello exacerbates those concerns across genre lines.
Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” has now been stuck at the #1 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for an incredible, record-shattering 5 months, or 21 weeks total. Just this week, her collaboration with Florida Georgia Line also hit #1 on country radio, though peaking on country radio likely means the run of “Meant To Be” on the country charts might soon be stalling out. And all of this is for a pop artist, and a pop song that wasn’t originally supposed to be released to country at all, aided and abetted by Billboard’s chart rules that allow pop spins and plays to count on country charts.
But that calculation works both ways. Country plays also count on pop charts, and this is at least part of the inspiration from the Camila Cabello camp to remix “Never Be The Same” with Kane Brown. Kane has also keenly benefited over his career from incredibly favorable playlist placement—as did Bebe Rexha and “Meant To Be.” Whether the “Never Be The Same” remix makes it to country radio, it will most certainly be populating on massive country playlists, boosting metadata by double dipping into two genres at once.
Also, the timing for releasing a remix of “Never Be The Same” with Kane Brown couldn’t be more perfect. It will light a fire under the song right as it’s reaching towards #1 on the Hot 100, Kane Brown’s current single “Heaven” is currently sitting #2 on Hot Country Songs, and #4 on country radio, meaning it’s ready to go #1 in the coming weeks to then enact the inevitable precipitous fall, which will then clear the decks for “Never Be The Same” to surge, and right as Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” will be ready to take its final bow.
Pop stars collaborating with country artists is nothing new. But it used to be a special event. Now it’s becoming incredibly commonplace as producers and labels look to maximize all efforts into pushing a project to the top. And because today’s current songs are nothing more than a project on a laptop, the two artists don’t even have to meet. A vocal file is sent over and slotted into the original master.
Combining fan bases, and jobbing Billboard’s chart rules have greater implications for music. If no one genre can definite itself either by a sound or even the names of artists, it will result in significantly less choice in mainstream music markets.