Dwight Yoakam knows a thing or two about breaking the mold in country music. During a recent interview with the Hearld Sun while on tour in Australia, he gave his thoughts on the current state of country music. He also revealed which artist he believes is a pioneer in the genre and what he thinks of Taylor Swift.
“I don’t think music should be viewed like one way is right, and the other is wrong,” he said.”It’s incumbent on musicians to create music independent of categories, and make it so engaging that audiences want to hear it.”
Dwight cited Aussie Keith Urban as a pioneer in the industry. Dwight believes Keith paved the way for artists to come. “Keith Urban was a signpost for many others who followed,” he said. “He knew pop, rock and country could influence each other. Keith Urban let open the doors for a varied sound in what he was doing, which was healthy for the form of country music.”
When it comes to Taylor Swift, he doesn’t refer to her as a country artist but he’s happy to include her in the genre as someone breaking barriers and taking country music to new listeners. He even compared her to a country music legend.
“Taylor Swift is a pop artist, but her music has country music touchstones,” he said. “People will always have something to say about what country is. I mean, back in 1971, a lot of people were complaining that (country legend) George Jones wasn’t country enough.”
Dwight’s new album, 3 Pears, is available now.