Over the past few years, young pop country duo CB30 has taken the TikTok music scene by storm with their irresistibly catchy hooks. Hailing from a family of seasoned musicians in Nashville, brothers Christian (20) and Brody (17) Clementi have concocted a winning mix of collaborative songwriting and harmonious vocals to garner adoration from a growing fanbase. From singing in drive-thrus and sing-or-swim challenges to writing hits and sharing the stage with their musical heroes, they’ve had quite a ride.
We chatted with CB30 to get the inside track on their influences, favorite mics, mentors—including their dad, songwriter Jay Clementi, and Luke Bryan—and how their musical communities in Nashville and social media have shaped their careers and propelled them to stardom.
You come from a rich musical tradition. Tell us the backstory of how CB30 came to be.
Christian Clementi: CB30 is Christian and Brody. We're born on the 30th of May and March. We're brothers from Nashville that grew up in the music industry. Our dad moved to Nashville from Colorado, had a band that was signed to Warner for a long time up until we were five or six, and then he became strictly a songwriter. His dad played music, so music runs deep in our family. We grew up around guitars and songwriters in our house. We also played football and lived normal kid lives before we started all this, but music was always there, and then we really started picking it up and being serious about it. It really took off from there.
In just a few words, how would you describe your sound?
Brody Clementi: I would say our sound is kind of pop country.
Christian: Yeah, like Dan and Shay meets Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift.
Talk about how you discovered your singing voices. Was there a specific moment when you realized you had something special?
Christian: Growing up in a musical household, Brody and I were always playing guitar around the house and singing, whether it's a Justin Bieber song, just messing around, or a song that our dad had written that we grew up hearing. But we kind of really discovered it one day when I wrote a song with our dad. We were singing the song that we wrote, and Brody came downstairs and started singing harmony—he was like nine years old. Our dad was like, “What? How do you know how to sing harmony? No one's ever taught you.” And I think it was just his natural instinct to just sing the high harmony—I don’t even know if we realized how cool it was, but our dad did. So, that's when we realized Brody can sing a harmony part like, I swear, after hearing it one time. In the studio, I'll do a new run of something, and it'll take him one try to get it. I usually don't brag on him, but I guess I am today.
You two are such good friends and have experienced so much together. How does your shared history serve as a source of inspiration?
Brody: I think growing up together helps when we're songwriting in the room. I know almost everything that's happened in his life that's worthy of writing a song, and vice versa. It's really cool knowing someone that well, because when you're a songwriter, you want to know their full story. We talk about what we’re going through with the writers that come in and write with us, but we just know everything about each other. It's kind of a little hack.
You grew up around musicians, not only in your family but also the Nashville music community. How do you feel that’s influenced your approach to songwriting?
Christian: I don't think there's any other place for music like Nashville, honestly. Just the community here is a whole different story. Driving down Music Row in downtown, you look right, and there’s a publishing company. You look left, and there’s one of your songwriter buddy's houses, and you look right again, and there's your buddy’s poster for his number one.
Brody: Another cool thing is being able to play writer's rounds in Nashville. Our buddies can call us up and be like, “Yo, you want to come play this writer's round?” And it's really cool because we get to hear our friends' songs. We get inspired by that, and it just makes us want to go out and make more music.
Christian: Nashville is like no other city and no other music industry. The best song always wins, and these meaningful ideas can literally change people’s lives. It's amazing.
You described how you’ve had this built-in musical community growing up. Who have been your most influential mentors in the music industry?
Brody: We have a lot of amazing mentors in our life. Our dad is a big one. He has done music his whole life, and he has kind of taught us everything we know about music and about life in general.
Christian: Yeah, he's been an amazing songwriting, guitar and vocal mentor. We never really had any coaches growing up. He was like our coach in a way, and he never forced us to pick up a guitar and write a song. It was just something that we were interested in doing because we saw him doing it.
Luke Bryan is another huge mentor in our life and career. He’s been our buddy since we were really young. Our dad became friends with him when he had his band, so we grew up around Luke, and at his house, fishing and hunting with his boys. Luke found out that we sang after knowing us for eight years, and was kind of freaking out, being like, "Why didn’t you all tell me this?" And we're like, "Well, we kind of just started." But he's introduced us to so many amazing people. We’ve been able to go to his shows and see the fans sing his songs, and we’ve gotten to write songs with him, so he's definitely a top mentor, and we're very thankful for that.
Describe the biggest “pinch yourself” moment in your music career when you thought to yourselves, “Wow—this is really happening.”
Brody: Yes, I think it was 2018. We got to play three stadium shows with Luke Bryan. It was insane. We played Denver, St. Louis and Detroit.
Christian: We were on family vacation in Colorado. We go there every year. It's where our grandparents are, where our family's from. Luke Bryan was playing Bronco Stadium that night, and we were going to go to the show and just kind of hang out backstage and watch the show. A day before the show, we were with our grandpa, and Luke called us up and was like, "Hey, boys." And we're like, "What's up?" He was on a fishing trip with my dad, and he was like, "You guys want to play some songs tomorrow?" And we're like, "Yeah. Where?" And he was like, "At the stadium."
And we were thinking maybe we're going to set up a little booth outside of the stadium or something. He was like, "No. You all just come onstage and play some songs." And we're like, "Okay." And we didn’t have our guitars. We didn’t have anything. And next thing you know, we're up on stage, opening up for Luke Bryan and Morgan Wallen. It was crazy. I don't think we even had time to get nervous because it all happened so fast. But yeah. Next thing you know, we're onstage in front of 50,000 people. It was the best moment ever.
Social media has been such a huge part of your success. Walk us through your thinking on building that community.
Brody: We've met a lot of people from TikTok and social media. It's funny because people would comment on our videos, and then we'll take an L.A. trip, and we'll end up hanging out with them, so it's really cool what social media can do.
Christian: TikTok is kind of running music right now in a way. All these guys that we grew up seeing on social media and stuff, whether they just follow or DM us, or we reach out to them—we've gotten to go out, hang out at their houses, write songs with them and really bond. And it's all over music. We all share the same interest in music, whether it's the same or different genre, and we just meet in the middle and agree we both love music. That's what inspires us.
Brody: Social media is a crazy thing because it really can bring us all together. If you post a video and it blows up or something, people can just follow you, watch your life and really get to know you through that.
Christian: We try to get a lot of content out there and show our day-to-day lives so our fans can really connect with us, and I know artists and everyone on social media kind of tries to do that. You feel like you're best friends with people, which I think is really cool, but it can be a good and bad thing. We limit what we show in our lives, but it's amazing what social media can do.
Everything is just one button away. If you want to become TikTok friends with whoever, you can do it. Nothing's impossible. We just keep posting, and a random video will be at 20 million views.
Brody: We're living with one of our best friends right now who we've met off of social media, because we're doing the same stuff he does, and we write and make the same kind of content.
Christian: Brody met two awesome NFL players just from Fortnite—like, gaming. It was so random, but they ended up becoming our close buddies and have supported our music. We got to throw a football with them and stuff. In music, we have written songs with these guys that we never thought we would, just because of TikTok, Instagram and a DM. Never be scared to shoot your shot.
Why do you think people feel so connected to you when they see you sing in everyday situations?
Brody: I think people really love to see the funniness of our singing and the funny reactions that people have. It's just stuff that people can get a good laugh at.
Christian: With our social media, we always try to stand out a little bit. We can go on there and just sing with our guitars, but we thought it would be funny to go sing at a drive-thru. So, we go and sing for drive-thrus, and we sing and push each other into the pool. It's stuff with our friends, hanging out, what’s funny in the moment and fun to watch. I think people feel connected to that in a way, and like they’re a part of the journey.
Brody: We love filming in our car because people almost feel like they're in the car with us, and they kind of get our personalities in one video. It's really cool to do that.
What are the top three qualities you strive for when making a TikTok video?
Brody: First, we make sure we have good lighting and are singing well. We're not messing up. And then we love a good reaction from people, whether it's in public, in a drive-thru or with our friends—if we're singing for them for the first time.
Christian: Another thing is uniqueness. We always like to put a twist on it.
How does what you create on TikTok inform your music or shape your understanding of music?
Christian: It's helped us write, because the TikTok audience picks up on these cool little things that stand out, whether it's a funny lyric, clever hook or a cool bassline. What's going to stand out? What's going to be unique? Same with our TikTok videos. That's how we think as a band.
Brody: We've been putting up demos on TikTok and seeing how people react. We just recently put up one, and it kind of blew up, so that's going to be our next song that we're releasing.
Christian: It's so cool to have that—we can just post it and be like, “Oh, my God. So that many people like it. We need to get it out.” But it's an amazing platform to be like a little A&R.
Let’s talk gear for a minute. What mics do you generally use? Any that you always go to?
Brody: We usually use the Shure SM7B, right?
Christian: Yeah, we use the SM7B a lot. I think that's a standard mic for Nashville demos. The way we write, we'll usually record a demo that day, and just literally holding the SM7B, get the demo. And then, when we go record record, we use a Neumann U 87—it kind of varies with the producers. We use the SM7B for a lot of basic stuff.
We like our vocals to be really upfront, so we like mics that are brighter with a little bit of pop. I think maybe a microphone that a pop artist would use, rather than a country artist, just to kind of make them a little bit brighter and make the harmonies stand out.
You’ve given us so much insight into your world—and your sense of community. How does music unite us?
Christian: Music unites everyone. It unites us with Nashville, just growing up here and working with other people. It unites us with our family, and as brothers. We both know what we want to do down the line, and it's amazing getting to share the experience with him.
“Music connects us to our family tradition."
Keep up with CB30.