Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I currently live in Saskatoon, Canada where I’ve been for about 4 years now. I am still getting to know the music scene in this city. So far, it has been welcoming and I have met some amazing musicians. I spent about 13 years in Regina and really loved the music scene and my music family out there.
How did you first start playing music?
I always dreamed of performing on a big stage and used to sing in my basement and pretend it was to a big crowd. I don’t know why I did it, I just did. I would also make up songs on my walks to school, which I think is kind of a unique thing to do.
Through high school, I was in a pop-rock band called N.O.B. (Name of Band) – haha – and I learned to play guitar through those years and started writing music with that band. I was kicked out because my voice wasn’t “rock” enough and the band found a replacement. Back in those days, that sure hurt my feelings, but it was the right move for them and for me. I took some time off from music and then decided to go at it alone and back to my country roots. I started writing, making connections, and surrounding myself with the best in the industry and never looked back.
What’s been happening recently?
Musically, the focus has been on my new single, “Take It Out On Me”, and getting it out to the public. I’ve also been focusing on writing for my next single. I’ve been writing with other artists as well and have 3 cuts for singles that have been released.
This track was written by three top Nashville writers being – John Ozier (Lee Brice), John King (Randy Houser), and Brad Tursi (Old Dominion), you worked with Bart Mckay who is very highly regarded in Canada, how was this experience and how did you come to be chose to record ‘Take It Out On Me’?
With regard to the song choice; my manager, Leslie Mitchell (Nashville, TN) sent a call out to her contacts looking for outside songs for me to record, which was a new experience for me since I had written all of my own singles prior to this.
After about 4 years of back and forth with the publishing companies, they finally signed off on it. John Ozier and I have known one another for a few years and I was thankful he sent the song our way. I immediately fell in love with the lyric and melody. To me, it fit with all of the other songs I wrote in the past. I connected with this song right away.
How and where did you go about recording ‘Take It Out On Me’?
I recorded my first 3-song EP with Bart McKay, back in 2005 and then a full-length album with him in 2009. He is a great guy, producer and friend. I love going to his studio and spending time bringing the songs to life. It’s one of my absolute favourite things to do. Bart is great at getting a performance from an artist, guiding them through a song and coming up with ideas.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding throughout the process?
I’d actually given up on ever recording “Take It Out On Me”. One of the publishing companies did not sign off on me recording it, initially. That was heartbreaking. When I decided I wanted to release a new single, I got Leslie to check on it again and sure enough, they said yes! That was the most challenging part about it.
The reward comes from being able to finally record this song after chasing it for 4 years, and seeing the positive response to it so far.
You’ve had recent nominations for Male Vocalist of the year and Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year at the Saskatchewan Country Music Association Awards, what does this mean to you?
It always is nice to be recognized by your peers at the awards. I feel grateful and humbled to even be nominated at all.
What do you like to do away from music?
I spend a lot of time with my fiancée, Erin and our two dogs (and the cat when he feels like it). We spend a lot of time in our backyard, working on the garden. We take our dogs out as much as we can and go for hikes with them. We also spend a lot of time trying new recipes. It’s pretty simple everyday stuff but I love it.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Currently, in this moment, Tenille Townes’ “Come as You Are”.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
This year’s focus has shifted from performing shows and doing a radio tour to performing online shows and planning for a tour in 2021.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I am a big homebody and I love Erin’s cooking, especially this chicken and rice dish she makes, so truthfully, home and that dish are my favourites. If I had to pick a place in town, I would say Bon Tempes in Saskatoon makes some dang good spicy Cajun dishes that I love. Chicken and biscuits is my favourite on the menu there. Great atmosphere!