Interview – Canaan Smith
Canaan Smith is one of the most exciting country music stars in the industry today. Having released his debut album Bronco in 2015, Canaan’s success and popularity just keep growing. Being on the scene for a while as a songwriter, Canaan is no stranger to the Country Music community having penned tracks for artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft and Jason Aldean – to name a few.
With a platinum selling single to boast and a touring history with some of Country Music’s biggest stars, Canaan finally makes his way across the pond to the UK to join homegrown duo The Shires on their My Universe tour.
I caught up with Canaan this week to discuss his music, his UK tour and for just a chat in general.
Tickets to see Canaan and The Shires on tour can be purchased here;
You can purchase Canaan’s music from the links below ;
Listen to Bronco by Canaan Smith on @AppleMusic.
I for one, cannot wait to see Canaan on tour and encourage you to check out his music if you haven’t already.
Hi Canaan, how are you? What have you been up to?
Stoked out of my mind! Been touring the states all summer long and ready to cross the pond!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was raised up rowdy in Virginia right between the ocean and the mountains. Been finding myself in songs for about 20 years.
Bronco is your debut album – congratulations on it’s success, I am really enjoying it! How has life been since it’s release?
Thanks so much! It’s been so rewarding getting to put out an album for the first time and to see how many people my music is reaching. It blows my mind every night on stage.
How would you describe this album sonically and lyrically and did you have a particular theme or style you stuck to whilst writing this album?
I tried to just be authentic to what inspires me. Musically I grew up listening to everything from George Straight to Third Eye Blind, so sonically, the album sounds like my version of that combo.
Bronco the title track off the album is a song you wrote about your brother and is very dear to your heart. How important do you think it is to express your emotions through your art and do you believe music can be a healer even just for a few minutes?
Not only do I believe it, I say that every night on stage. Music helped me heal when I lost my brother. That song connects me not only to the crowd, but also to anyone who has ever lost somebody.
Love You Like That went to number one in the US Country airplay charts and went Platinum– how was that experience for you and did you throw a number one party?
Hell yeah we partied!
What was the inspiration behind the song, you co-wrote it with Brett and Jim Beavers is that correct?
That’s correct. I had just met my now wife so I guess all my feelers were out. Haha. That song came from me feeling alive.
Do you have a favourite track off the album? If so, which one and why?
You’re not supposed to pick a favourite kid. I’m proud of them all!
You have written songs for other artists such as Love and Theft and Jason Aldean. How do you pitch a song to the artists or do they just hear it and want to cut the record? Do you ever feel sad giving a song away or do you feel it is the right fit for the song?
Sometimes forgotten songs are resurrected. That happened with ‘Grow Old With Me’, which was just recorded by Florida Georgia Line on their latest album, ‘Dig Your Roots’. I had forgotten about that song. Same thing happened with ‘Black Tears’, which Jason Aldean dug up from an out dated MySpace page and recorded it on his album, ‘Night Train’. It’s a pleasant surprise when that happens and I’m honoured.
You have also been on tour with some greats artists such as Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore to name a few – what artists had the craziest audience?
They’re always crazy! Country music fans are the best!
I love the fact you are a fan of Rage Against The Machine – they used to be one of my favourite bands, I have many memories of being in mosh pits at their gigs. What other non country artists are you a fan of?
Switchfoot, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matchbox 20, The Beatles. Anything authentic.
What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Coldplay at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville, TN.
You are coming over to the UK to play a few shows for us supporting UK country duo The Shires which is very exciting. How did this tour come about ?
My booking agent heard they were looking for an American country act and we jumped on it. I have been wanting to cross the pond for a while now and this is the perfect opportunity. I’m excited to support such a great group and meet the good people of the U.K.!
Do you have any expectations from the UK crowd or spoken to any artists who have played to us before? We always get told we, the UK, are a favourite for artists to play for.
I’ve heard you guys are the most respectful of crowds and that you listen intently. For somebody like me, that’s a big deal. I can’t wait to feel the electricity in the room every night.
I can promise you the UK crowd are very happy to have you and will welcome you with open arms. We are so supportive of Country music and we sing along to every word of every song.
Have you been to the UK before?
This will be my first trip!
Will you be doing any headline dates?
Not on this trip, but making plans for ‘17!
What can we expect from the show? Will you be bringing a band or will it be an acoustic set?
I wanted it to be full band but we couldn’t logistically do it this time. But I promise I will have all the guys with me on the next trip.
Will you be doing any sightseeing whilst over here? There are many great places you are visiting and sure the fans are happy to offer recommendations.
As much as possible. And drinking a lot of beer!
What is your favourite kind of food?
I’m a sucker for Mexican food, but I like trying something new.
Ben from The Shires loves a Nando’s, make sure he takes you to one ha!
What have you got planned next? Are you working on any new music?
I’m about to crank up a headlining tour stateside and release a new single! Lot of new music coming soon!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview for me today. I really look forward to your shows.
Thanks for you time, too! Looking forward to it!