Oklahoma-raised country singer Corey Kent has a history, unlike many others. Trusting God, listening to his heart and being humble despite the many opportunities he is offered are just some of the attributes of his career. “I didn’t have a natural ability to play, but I had a natural interest. My parents never had to force me to practice, I locked myself in the room and played alone. At the age of 11, I had a music teacher who presented me with the opportunity to play at the local state fair. I literally only knew three songs, but I knew people at the fair weren’t going to have more than three songs left anyway, so I looped them for the entire duration of my set! These guys walked by and heard me sing, then approached me at the end stating that they were putting together a Western Swing youth band and they wanted me to get involved. This turned into them offering me a position to be the lead singer. At that age, I had no idea that you could get paid to play music and that drove me crazy. So obviously I said yes!
What was supposed to be just a show, the opening for Asleep At The Wheel and Texas Playboys at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, OK turned into another five years of touring with the youth band. When the other band members grew up and moved on to college, Kent was the youngest of the group at 16. He was at a crossroads to continue pursuing music or being a “normal kid” and playing sports for the rest of high school. In the same year, Corey found himself in a nosebleed at a Willie Nelson concert with a scalped ticket. After years of dreaming of being on stage in front of a huge crowd, even at the expense of him actually enjoying a concert, he found himself making his way through the front rows near the stage. As he went downstairs, he found some cardboard and a marker in a kiosk and made a sign: it’s my dream to play a song with you! Twice different times, Nelson saw his sign, handed him a handkerchief and told him to put down the sign. After apologizing to the boy standing behind him, Kent put the sign in the air for the third time. Eventually, Willie leaned over and said, “Okay boy, what do you want to play?” Kent responded with an unexpected response: a western swing song from the 1930s. Nelson looked at his band, took them aboard and said, “Well, get up here!” Corey Kent attributes that moment to when he undoubtedly knew that music was what he should have done in life; that something bigger was at work because he was about to give up music completely.
Fast forward a few years, a move to Nashville and living the life of a starving artist out of the back of his car, surfing the couch with friends and returning to Oklahoma for college, Kent found himself being tracked down for season 8. of The Voice at the age of 20. After some apprehension in trying, in wanting to do it
“Do things the traditional way just by playing and doing dangerous things,” Corey made it through the entire season to the semifinals with Team Blake. “I couldn’t make up my story even if I wanted to. Things just happened. The older I get, the more I truly believe that if something has to happen, against all odds, it will happen somehow, somehow. There is always a way to overcome all seemingly impossible circumstances. “
Part of the story that many may not know is that after The Voice, Kent returned to Nashville to finish college online in his freshman year. “Long story short, I had put together a band when I got back to Nashville. We were approached by a large record label with a contract offer and something was simply not right. I respectfully declined the offer. At that moment, everyone except my then girlfriend (now wife) told me I was crazy. That I was missing out on a huge opportunity that may not come back. I listened to my heart, despite the possibility that something like this would never happen again, and I went fast five years: now I have the same major, along with four others, offering me contracts. Waiting and following my instincts paid off and I couldn’t feel more fortunate to be where I am now.
Check out Corey Kent’s latest single, Wild As Her on all streaming platforms.
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