Recently Dawson Reigns gave us his Essential Weekly Playlist. Today we’ve had the chance to ask him a few questions. Watch for our review of his new single, ‘Love Was All You’, in the next few days.
EP: For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with you (yet) – what’s the Dawson Reigns story?
DR: The Dawson Reigns story goes like this…I started singing with friends and their bands who played in local bars. I did the karaoke thing for fun and I was always singing and playing guitar at backyard bonfire parties, which is still one of my favorite things to do. My start as a country singer was in 2004 when I ended up being the singer for a local country cover band. Did the typical weekend touring, playing country bars all over the place and singing 40-50 cover songs a night. Did that for a few years getting my “chops up” as they say before making the decision to focus on becoming a country recording artist. I had started going back and forth to Nashville from my hometown in Canada around the same time I started in the country cover band. Building up my music circles and making some great new friendships with other aspiring artists and musicians. By 2007 I was working on my first demo in Nashville with some great industry people that really helped my career get going. I ended up entering one of the singles that came out of that demo session into a big country radio song competition in Canada that I ended up winning. The prize was to be the opening act for a big country music festival sponsored by the radio station. It was at this festival that I met one of Canada’s top country music producers, Jason Barry. He offered to produce me and that opened the door to start working on my debut CD, that would end up being released in 2010. After having success internationally with my debut CD, it was onto Nashville for good and I’ve called it home ever since. So here we are a few years later, I’ve got my new record label up and running, a great international music team and my new single LOVE WAS ALL YOU at radio now. It’s been an amazing ride to this point and I really feel like big things are just around the corner for me.
EP: How long have you been making music? What’s been your career highlight so far?
DR: I’ve been creating original music since around 2004. Once I started going to Nashville, I began meeting and writing with other writers at different levels. It definitely got the writer juices flowing and over the years I began to write more and more and started getting better and better. It’s something I really enjoy doing now almost as much as performing. I’d have to say the highlight so far is seeing my music being played worldwide! I started out wanting to be a successful country recording artist just like everyone of course. But to see my song played on over 150 stations worldwide and seeing fans from around the world buy my music and want more of it, has been absolutely amazing!
EP: What, if anything, would you do differently, and why? And if nothing, then why not?
DR: The one thing I would have done differently would have been to tour more around the world when I released my debut CD. I really wished I had gotten out to meet my great country music fans and the radio personalities that supported my music by playing my music so much. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward doing more of this time around!
EP: The music business is an constant state of flux it seems. What’s your take on it? What advice do you have for anyone wanting to get a start in music?
DR: The music business has definitely changed from the good ole days when you made good music and radio played it and they let the fans truly determine if it was good or not. Unfortunately that’s not the norm now and that decision too many times is left up to one person and because of that it’s a lot tougher to get your music heard, especially if your not signed to a major label. That said, I do believe that good music will be found as long as artists work to get it heard on different platforms available now other than just radio. Don’t get me wrong there are still a TON of great radio people around the globe who still love to find new music and support it. But if I was going to talk to someone wanting to break into the music business now, I’d tell them to get ready for some hard work, some hard times and a lot of disappointment along the way. But if you believe in your art, you have a plan and you build a great team around you that believes in you. You can make it work, you can have a successful career and in the end when things are good all those disappointments along the way will be forgotten.
EP: You recently gave us your Essential Playlist – but in your opinion, what 3 artists – apart from yourself – should we look out for and why?
DR: Well one of the coolest things about living in Nashville is all the great music from many artists from many genres you’re exposed too. I’ve been lucky to meet so many great artists and get to hear their music live and watch their careers grow too. One of them is a good friend of mine BREE! She is an amazing talent. She’s a rocker that plays a mean electric flying V guitar, she writes her music and is amazing on stage. She’s actually been touring in the UK this year. Kinda cool we’re both getting our music out to all the amazing UK music fans! Another female artist to look out for it Julia Cole! She’s another amazing talent with her own unique sound she calls ‘Electric Country Music’! Definitely going to be a name to look out for going forward. The last artist is actually a duo and they are friends and the UK already knows them cause they are your own. I’m talkin’ bout ‘Luke & Mel’. They have great songs and they sound great together. It’s great to see them doing so well playing all over the UK!
EP: You’ve got a new single out, ‘Love Was All You’ – talk us through it. What’s it about?
DR: LOVE WAS ALL YOU is a song that was pitched to me by one of the writers on it who I’ve written a lot with the last few years. It’s a great up tempo, fun summer song that you just need to crack up and enjoy! It can be interpreted many ways as most songs. To me is about two strangers that met up one summer, had some amazing fun together and went their separate ways at summer’s end. Something that happens a lot with college students going back home, or people traveling the world or even family vacations. I know I’ve had a few in my day.
EP: What’s next for Dawson Reigns?
DR: Well I can’t announce it officially just yet but let’s just say you should be seeing me up close and personal in the UK & Ireland very soon! So I need everyone to join the Dawson Reigns Music Page on Facebook and the ‘Dawson Reigns Mailing List’ on my website, www.dawsonreigns.com, to hear the announcement when it happens!
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
DR: There really isn’t a particular question that I wish someone would ask me. I actually like it when someone asks me something new or unique that I haven’t been asked before. It’s always a cool surprise when it happens. So we’ll see if someone surprises me this time round.
Dawson Reigns’ new single, ‘Love Was All You’, is out now and is available to download from iTunes and Google Play, and stream on Spotify. Find Dawson online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, as well as his official website.