The man that dominated the CMAs and became an overnight superstar, Chris Stapleton, recently revealed his thoughts on the direction country music has gone over the last few years.
As one of the most critically-acclaimed singer/songwriters in Nashville, his opinion carries a heft that others don't, however, he revealed that he's all about bringing new music to the foreground.
The singer spoke in-depth with the Nashville Scene about the notion that he was "saving" country music and didn't shy from his stance on the genre.
“I don’t think country music needs saving from anything,” Stapleton said. “Whether you like modern incarnations of what country radio hits are, or you like what I’m doing, or you like something really off in folk, poetry Americana land, it’s all just music, man. If you like one of them, great, go buy it."
He also admitted that his performance with Justin Timberlake during the 2015 CMA Awards was, to him, a way to prove that he's not about placing rigid barriers on genres.
Since that performance and the release of his debut album, Traveller, critics have endlessly raved about his ability to save the genre from where it was headed and how he's begun to return country to its roots. While he is glad that so many people love his music, he is against shaming anyone that doesn't match his style of country.
“Nothing gets on my nerves more than somebody else spending all their energy and time talking about something that they don’t like, and trying to convince you [that] you shouldn’t like it, and this thing over here is better," he said. Giving an example, he continued, "I don’t like sushi. In fact, I kind of loathe sushi. But I don’t go around trying to convince my wife or any of my friends, “Oh, you shouldn’t eat sushi, it’s terrible.'”
At the end of the day, it all boils down to allowing music the freedom to build upon itself and grow even further - not hinder the development of music.
"It doesn’t make sense to me why we do that with music. We don’t really do that with anything else. … I think it’s OK if somebody likes my music and likes Sam Hunt's music too. And I think if we’re both selling records, it’s good for everybody. I think it allows other records to get made."
While a large part of the world is focused on saving the genre and reviving the music of days past, one of it's top performers and the man hailed as the "savior" of country music is simply focused on making more music - no matter what it sounds like.
Watch Chris Stapleton's performance at the CMA's below and let us know what you think of his stance in the comments!
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