What Ifs
by Kane Brown (featuring Lauren Alaina)

Album: Kane Brown (2016)
Charted: 26
Play Video


  • Kane Brown tries to win over the girl of his dreams on this upbeat love song.

    What if I was made for you and you were made for me?
    What if this is it?
    What if it's meant to be?
    What if I ain't one of them fools just playing some game?

    This was one of seven tracks that Kane Brown co-penned for his self-titled debut album. The other writers on this tune were North Carolina native Matthew McGinn who also co-wrote "Better Place" and Nashville songwriter Jordan Schmidt whose resume features credits on hit songs recorded by Granger Smith ("If the Boot Fits") and Jason Aldean ("Lights Come On").
  • The song is a duet with American Idol's Lauren Alaina. The two artists have known each other since they were classmates at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, in their native Georgia. As a shy student, Brown refused to sing in class until one day Alaina heard him humming and coaxed him into singing a little bit. She recalled to Taste of Country:

    "He was really shy and he wouldn't sing in chorus class, and I said, 'Come on, Kane, I think you could be a good singer,' and then he started singing, and now look at him."
  • The video was directed by PR Brown and filmed at the scenic Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg on the northern California coastline. It is the first ever visual to be filmed at the picturesque location.
  • The song climbed to #1 on the Country chart dated October 21, 2017. It marked the first track to reach the summit for both Brown and Alaina. The latter also became the first female to reach the peak position in 2017. Pink last earned the honor, when she was Kenny Chesney's duet partner on "Setting the World on Fire," which spent four weeks at the top in October and November 2016.
  • This was the first song that Kane Brown, Jordan Schmidt and Matthew McGinn wrote together. Schmidt recalled to The Boot: "The inspiration actually came from a Shel Silverstein poem called What If. It's all about the same thing our song is about, in a way: What if this? What if that? If you focus on the "what ifs," you can drive yourself crazy. So we thought, why isn't there a song about that?"

    McGinn added: "I probably chimed in on that with my crippling anxiety. Pretty much every day, I wake up and think, 'What if this is the last day I get to do this? What if they hate me? What if they don't, and then I have to go talk to a bunch of media? Oh my God!'"
  • Schmidt and McGinn had never heard Lauren Alaina sing before they penned "What Ifs." Schmidt recalled: "Well, that was the funny part: We were writing, and I remember thinking, 'Wouldn't it be great if we had a female vocalist on this?' Kane said, 'Well, my friend's really good. We could bring her in.' I had no idea it was Lauren Alaina."

Comments: 2

  • AnonymousThat is so true it is just so misleading as i came on here to discover the meaning of the song truly before i sent to my girlfriend.
  • Sebastian from Gloucester City NjThis doesn't really explain the MEANING of the song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.