Kris BarclayAjax, Ontario’s Kris Barclay has not wasted a minute cementing his place in the Canadian country music scene. Having performed for nearly a decade, Kris has shared the stage with the likes of Brett Kissel, The Road Hammers, Gord Bamford and Dean Brody.

This spring, Kris releases his debut single through Warner Music Canada, Loved You Like That, and he’ll perform at Boots and Hearts at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, Oro Station from August 8-11 as a featured performer.


We had a chat with the rising star about his music and Boots and Hearts.

You must be excited to have Love You Like That out? What’s the song about to you?
I am so excited to finally have Loved You Like That out! It’s been a long time coming for me and I am so happy to share it with everyone. For me the song is about seeing someone you were once with moving on and happy with someone else and wishing you could go back and do some things different.

What inspired you to write and record it?
I had the idea for the song for a while just based on the social media world and being able to scroll through photos and the idea came to me of seeing someone you already had regrets about being happy with someone else and the title just kind of came to me. When I brought it up in the room with the guys, they were into it right away and the song just sort of came together pretty quickly.

You had a couple co-writers on the song. Tell us about the experience.
Co-writing is such a great experience because it allows you to learn new writing styles, it helps you stay focused and in the room and not get distracted, and it also helps sort through good and bad lines as well as cuts back on writer’s block. So many times one of us will throw out a line or a word and then it sends us all down a path to put together an even better line or phrase. Those types of things lead to a great song. All four of us get along really well, so it makes the process really fun. It was even cooler that the guys I wrote it with ended up recording it with me too so it was such a great process to be a part of.

Country is such a rockin’ world at the moment, but you chose a ballad to kick it all off with. Did you intend to launch with a ballad?
I think the best part of country music is that a great song is always a great song. Country music really is about the song. Although a lot of current Country hits are up beat, we felt really strongly about the lyrics of this song and I think the guys did a really great job on the production. I have a great team of people behind me to help me through this whole process, so to have everyone on the same page and feel strongly about the song really helped solidify the decision.

The recording world is pretty new for you. How did you get a contract with Warner?
I was very fortunate to get the chance to work with Warner Music Canada through the Boots and Hearts Chevrolet Emerging Artist Showcase. About 400 people applied last year, and I made the top 10 cut but was in the fan vote wild card, so I’m extremely thankful for everyone that took the time to vote for me. From there I went on to become the first wild card vote to go on and win the showcase. Since then, I’ve had such a great experience working with and learning from my team at Warner Music Canada.

What can you reveal about the upcoming EP?
Not much!! I’m a pretty secretive guy with songs and with music until it’s ready to be released! I’m constantly writing and looking for the right songs that I feel fit together and fit where I’m at as an artist. I don’t want to rush anything, it’s all still fresh, and I’m still really excited about Loved You Like That and am looking forward to hopefully watching that song grow!

I know you’ve been performing a lot over the years, but things are a bit in overdrive this year and moving faster. Are you ready for the ride of your life?
It has been a lot of years, I’ve built my life around one day having an opportunity like this. I’m so excited, I couldn’t feel more ready and excited for what’s to come. I’m grateful to be a part of the Country Music family and am loving the ride!

You got selected to play at Boots & Hearts. How did that come about?
I was fortunate enough to have my YouTube video selected from about 400 applicants, narrowed down to the top 10. From there I was in the wild card fan vote, which again, I am so grateful for the votes I received, and then went on to become the first wildcard fan vote to win the whole thing.

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