Brandon Ratcliff is a country artist whose songs often stretch the traditional boundaries of the genre. His music is steeped in the emotional honesty and relatable stories of classic country, but his music has as much to do with his love of R&B and contemporary pop as in Nashville traditionalism. The product of a musical family, Ratcliff was in his early twenties when he began putting together the elements of his sound, and his debut single, "Rules of Breaking Up," allowed him to make a high-profile entry into the spotlight when he was just 24.
Born and raised in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, Brandon Ratcliff was born into a musical family -- his mother, Suzanne Cox, was a member of the acoustic country and gospel group the Cox Family. Growing up, family celebrations often included everyone playing and singing, and Ratcliff soaked up a wide variety of musical influences, with his mother's taste encompassing country (Merle Haggard), progressive bluegrass (Ricky Skaggs), R&B (Stevie Wonder), and pop (Fleetwood Mac). As he was growing up, Ratcliff initially hoped for a career as a basketball player, but as he developed a musical personality of his own, informed by the songs of Eric Church and John Mayer, he realized he was destined to make music.
While Ratcliff was offered a publishing contract when he was 20 years old, he chose to wait and focus on sharpening his skills as a songwriter and vocalist. In time, Ratcliff teamed up with producer Shane McAnally and songwriters Pete Good and AJ Babcock, who helped him create his trademark sound that added a country sensibility to contemporary pop and R&B tracks. Ratcliff struck a deal with Monument Records, which released his debut single, "Rules of Breaking Up," in October 2018. The song became a success, racking up more than three million plays on popular streaming services, and as his star rose, Ratcliff landed a spot on the Miss Me More tour featuring Brett Young and Kelsea Ballerini. In February 2019, Ratcliff returned with his second single, "Number in My Phone." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi