When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
I think by the age of 12 I thought I’d like to give music a try as a career. It’s been a long and crazy ride ever since.
What music did you grow up listening to?
Anything and everything! My taste in music is incredibly eclectic. I remember listening to George Strait and all kinds of 90’s country music, and then putting on records by Boyz II Men and Nirvana. A great song is a great song!
Can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
I can’t. But it was probably around the age of 12, and not very good. Haha
What’s your favourite song you’ve written that someone else has recorded?
That’s a tough one. Probably ‘Somebody Else Will’ by Justin Moore, which was a #1 Billboard country single in America.
How does your mindset change when writing a song for your own artist project to writing for someone else?
I don’t think it does. I just try and write the best song I can, and not worry about where it’ll land. Cause in my opinion, a great song will always find the right home.
Can you tell me a bit about the Canadian country scene and what it was like for you doing those first performances within Canada?
I think Canadian country music is very similar to American, it doesn’t really change all that much to be honest with you, just because of our proximity to the States. I’d say there’s much more of a difference between UK country and Canadian and American than there is between Canada and the States. We have a huge country music scene. I grew up singing in church in Canada and then I started doing some competitions and eventually moved to Nashville when I was 16.
Can you tell me the story behind your song ‘What Was I Drinking’?
I was down in Mexico on a songwriting trip last year. My buddies and I went out for dinner and then a couple drinks afterwards. The next morning all three of us woke up deathly ill. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that sick. Two days later when we finally emerged from our rooms, Jimmy said to me ‘dude, what were we drinking?’
You’re a writer, artist and a producer so do you have a favourite aspect of the industry?
Probably performing. We’re at the point now, where we’re playing to some pretty good crowds. I’m able to headline my own tours in Canada and we’re getting really close to being able to do that in the UK as well. I love playing live for people, especially when you’re playing in front of 1000s of people that are singing the songs back to you, you can’t get much better than that. I will say though, it’s always special when another artist records one of my songs. I’ve had Blake Shelton record a song recently with Joe Nichols. So just to hear those guys put their voice on something that I wrote, it’s always special, and that’ll never change.
What’s next for you?
I’ve got a busy summer of touring ahead, including two shows in the UK at The Long Road Fest and Nashville Meets London Festival. Then coming up this fall I’ll be going out on the second leg of my Shotgun Rider Tour, which will take us through the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. All the while, I’ll be working to finish up my next album called Tulum, which we hope to have out in early ‘23.