Dean Brody main story-minBest known for putting it all out there both in the studio and on stage, Dean Brody has no doubt carved out a reputation as a Canadian country tour de force.

But as we all know, there’s a lot more to this good ole boy from B.C. than bush parties, drinkin’ and fishin’.

 

We recently got the chance to chat with Dean about how it felt to get back on the stage, that handful of chart-topping collaborations, and a very special project taking the artist’s very personal and important mission, global.

We know you’ve been a busy guy, so let’s get right to it. Could you tell us a little bit about the new single I’d Go to Jail, to kick things off?
I wrote it just from the perspective of a father having a daughter — when I became a dad, I just knew there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to protect that little life. The song is kind of a fun song, but it’s also got a little bit of an edge to it.

If anyone ever messed with my daughter, I would go to jail over her — you know? And I think a lot of dads can relate.

When I was younger, I was from a town where people would say, oh her dad’s going to meet you on the porch with a shotgun, all the time. I think we’ve all heard that story. Country songs have always been written about it.

Rodney Atkins had a song called Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) — because it’s all fun and games until you have a daughter. That’s when you realize this is a real — this isn’t just a sentiment. This is how fathers feel.

I had a lot of fun writing it, and it’s one of my favourite songs to play live.

DeanBrody_OttawaSept1821-41-minSpeaking of playing live, here in the London area we were lucky enough to catch you at the Delaware Speedway in September with the Start.ca Rocks the Park gang, which was the region’s first really big show in a long time. How did it feel to be back out there?
By the time we got to Delaware, it was feeling normal. It was our second-last show of the summer before Bud Stage in Toronto, so by that time we had done a few.

The first couple were strange — we were so used to being isolated and apart from each other. Then, all of a sudden, a tent full of people were all together having a good time, singing the words back, and it was just really surreal. A lot of us — like even crew and management backstage — were moved by being together again.

It was a big deal and I certainly took it all for granted before the lockdowns happened, and now I just can’t wait to keep moving forward. That’s why we do what we do, and to be back at it is everything.

It’s no secret it’s been a hard couple of years, and it was emotional for a lot of people to be able to be at that show, taking in live music again. Do you think maybe a positive thing could be those intense feelings you’ve experienced getting back on stage are going to inspire some new songs?
For sure. People always ask what writing was like during lockdown — did I write a ton of stuff? And I really did it. I wrote a couple songs but getting out and being around people — that’s what inspires me. Being out and about again. That’s where my inspiration is; with people and life and just living it.

That’s definitely something we’ve talked about before a long time ago — that your writing comes from a very personal place, which is something a lot of people can relate to and that always makes you feel good.
Yeah, it does. Hitting on something that connects with others is always the hope as a songwriter. So, when a song like Brothers or Trail In Life or Time resonates — sharing that moment with people is magic. And it’s something that never gets old, no matter how many times you get on stage.

One thing I’ve always wanted to ask is you’ve had a ton of gold and platinum records, and No. 1 songs — has there ever been a song that was never released as a single, but you wish it had been?
I think Blueberry Sky was always one of my favourites, The Kitchen Song was one, and Lazy Days off the first album. On this latest album, Boys, Stay Up — I love that song. It’s just this romantic, sweet little song about a couple staying home all night.

You write these songs and they’re so close to you, and sometimes the song that means the most to you might not work as well as a single. It’s the team that decides what’s going to work the best on radio, and of course they know what they’re doing.

The other songs are almost like special ones that fans can listen to privately, and I like that too.

They say your songs are like your babies and you send them out into the world, and you wish the best for them, and it definitely can feel like that.

You create such a connection to the emotion you put down in the song or the sentiment you’re opening up about — it’s pretty special.

DeanBrody-BudStage-AC3-5-minThe country music family is known for being a tight community, and you’ve done a bunch of songs (especially lately) with a ton of your peers, including Jade Eagleson and The Reklaws, not to mention American Mickey Guyton, as well. What is it about those kinds of collaborations that attracts you?
It’s being able to share in a moment and that’s why collaborations have exploded across all genres over the past couple years. It’s fun and fans love seeing different people that have different styles come together and make music, and it’s definitely fun for us as artists, too. Especially if you’re a solo artist, at times you feel isolated.

When you go to work with somebody else, it’s sharing that moment, as it goes up the charts and if you’re on the same stage together a festival.

You can jump onstage with each other with that energy and it’s just another extension of sharing music. That’s so cool when all three components come together on stage.

Something a lot of fans may not know is that you do so much more as an artist than just write and perform. There’s another side to the work you’ve been doing, for several years now. Can you tell us a little bit about the Dean Brody Foundation?
I started it about 10 years ago with a friend of mine, (British journalist) Matt Roper. He wrote a book Remember Me, Rescue Me, that got me involved in this work — protecting and rescuing children that are exploited.

We started by reaching out to girls that were at-risk or involved in having to sell their bodies on the roadside to these truckers, and so it’s gone from one house in Brazil to four different communities.

Over 400 girls have been reached today, and its special work, but it’s difficult — with so many layers to it. It’s been a gruelling experience for all of us; learning how to get involved in communities and involved in these girls’ lives, as well as their families and extended — it’s really a community effort to stop child prostitution, essentially.

Most recently, the thing I’m most excited about in the new year is a partnership with the International Justice Mission. They go by IJM and they’re the world’s largest anti-slavery organization and movement.

We decided to partner up for the next three years, and we’re going to specifically look at combating online child exploitation, which has grown exponentially with the lockdowns all over the world. It’s something that needs to be tackled with urgency, and we’re just really happy to be able to work together as a powerhouse of a team.

IJM goes into communities in different countries around the world and work with the judges, police, and social services. They rescue kids from really dark places and then they have a whole other arm of the organization that works in empowering them and their healing process. We’re super excited to be working together.

That’s excellent. We’re excited for more people to know about it!
One of my biggest goals in the next three years is that the Dean Brody Foundation has been in Brazil for so long, but this is a chance to go global, and have a global partner along with us to do some hard work. And hopefully, help a lot of kids. I can’t wait to see what we can do together.

 

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