Prior to becoming one of the most popular names in the country music genre, Zach Bryan served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. He always had a passion for music, but always saw himself being in the military for most of his life.
Bryan began his music journey by sharing his songs on social media platforms, gaining a following of loyal fans who were captivated by the raw and heartfelt nature of his music. Until his early videos on social media singing now-crowd favorites like Condemned and Heading South, he didn’t see becoming a musician as something that was in the cards for him, especially at headlining-level he is now.
On a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, he discussed what it was like to become a viral musician online while serving in the Navy, even though his recordings didn’t sound professional.
“I started putting videos on Twitter back in like 2017 and then I just kept doing it and doing it and doing it- because I was in the Navy, I had a lot of s*** going on. I didn’t believe in therapy because that’s ‘crazy’ in the Navy, you know, and I just started making music.”
Clearly, making music was initially just a hobby for Bryan to keep his mind off of other things going on in his life- it was something he did for relaxation and fun. There was obviously no plan to take it to the next stage, no pun intended, especially because he had no idea these videos would hit the level of popularity that they did online.
When asked about his further aspirations in regards to recording music after the videos went viral, he replied:
“None. I didn’t even know what it was.”
“I was just like whatever I’ll just throw this on the internet and it was like the number one voted Reddit video.”
Bryan’s talent with both singing and songwriting shined right through in his early social media releases. The Something in the Orange singer’s story stands out as a testament to the power of passion and talent in achieving unexpected success. It also shows the immense power of social media nowadays, especially pertaining to its ability to help musicians gain an audience.
Most artists get their start in more conventional ways, following what Bryan describes in the podcast as a “pipeline”, slowly working their way up the ladder of the industry. It is really fascinating to see one of the most popular names in the genre have such a different route to fame. He’s now a household name in country music racking up accolades left and right, such as winning the 2023 ACM Award for New Male Artist of the Year.
Access this portion of his interview here: