Josh RossIf you’ve been fortunate enough to catch the “GET ROLLIN’ TOUR” this summer, you’d witness firsthand country sensation Josh Ross’s electrifying performance, kicking off each show with his new anthem “Ain’t Doin’ Jack.” Once envisioned as a heartfelt ballad, the song transformed into a high-octane country-rock melody, reflecting Ross’s infectious live energy. This transformation came after the exciting invitation to join rock legends, Nickelback, on their summer tour, alongside country rocker Brantley Gilbert.

The blend of hard rock and country has been instrumental in shaping the tour’s ambiance. “My role is to engage the crowd and set the stage for Brantley, and then he does the same for Nickelback,” he told 519 Magazine in this exclusive interview. “I’ve even got a more rock-oriented release that just came out that you may have heard called Ain’t Doin’ Jack, that was tailored for this tour. It’s about engaging the audience, getting them hyped.”


Ross is also enjoying the energy of touring with Nickelback and Brantley Gilbert across North America. Discussing his experience, he says, “It’s been so awesome. Both bands have been great, and Brantley offers fantastic guidance. Then there’s Nickelback and Chad—getting to learn from someone known worldwide is an unparalleled experience.”

A Nickelback tour highlight has been the collaborative performance of “Copperhead Road” with Nickelback and Brantley each night. Ross’s enthusiasm is obvious. “Chad suggested the song, and it’s one of my all-time favorites, having gotten me into country music when I was young. It’s just been a lot of fun.”

The connection with Nickelback might have taken many by surprise, but Ross’s musical journey has always been about embracing the unexpected. From his debut with the heart-rending ballad “First Taste Of Gone” to recently sharing the stage with the likes of Jordan Davis and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, Ross has steadily made his mark on both sides of the Canadian-American border.

“I think for me, a lot of my growth as an artist didn’t begin until I started writing about real, raw emotions,” Ross shared while talking about his previous hit track, “Red Flags”. “It emerged from real life situations, asking if you should stay in a relationship that might be toxic, or if you should leave.”

Ross’s musical journey has seen him gain over 32.1 million global streams, nominations for prestigious awards, and memorable performances, including one at the 109th Grey Cup in Canada. But Ross’s rise to fame hasn’t been without its trials. Like any true artist, he’s had moments of doubt and introspection.

Reflecting on his song “Trouble”, which was featured in the TV series “Welcome to Fletch”, Ross recounted how its creation was deeply personal. “Trouble was inspired by a voice message I left for someone,” he said. “It highlighted what I was going through in life. The song came out quickly and seemed to write itself, mirroring the true events of my life.”

When probed about his songwriting process, Ross candidly shared, “Songwriting has been therapeutic for me. It feels like a huge release when I can articulate my feelings into music.” This authenticity, Ross believes, is what truly connects with his audience.

With the Boots and Hearts Kick Off Party on the horizon, Ross is ecstatic. Having played at the festival in various capacities over the years, this time feels different. “This is my first official real show here, which is super cool. I love Boots and Hearts. I’m excited to show people all the different sides of my music—from the party anthems to the more profound ballads.”

Reflecting on his journey, Ross reminisced, “I moved to Nashville before I had anything going on in Canada. My dream was to be a better songwriter, which was one of my biggest things, and that had to be Nashville for me.” He spoke with a raw honesty that echoed the genuineness of his music. “It’s like playing football and the greatest people are in the NFL. And for me, Nashville represented the greatest songwriters and artists, spanning various genres, not just country.”

His journey to Nashville was not without its challenges. “I finished playing football at Western in 2017 and had started getting into songwriting and performing just locally. After a reality check at the Boots and Hearts Emerging Art Showcase, by the end of 2017, I was already making trips to Nashville. And then came 2019, and I made the move.”

Josh RossHowever, nature had its own plans. “Nashville got hit with a tornado right before COVID. I had just moved my stuff that very day. And then came the pandemic.” He added, “COVID was a great thing for me in a way. I felt like I entered the music scene quite late, so I had a lot of catching up to do. So, I used COVID to my advantage.”

When asked about how his Canadian roots influence his music, Ross said, “People always ask about the biggest difference. For me, I was drawn to some of the American sounds and artists. But in essence, it isn’t that different. The food, the culture may vary, but the core remains unchanged.”

His songs, often perceived as stories drawn from firsthand experiences, have a raw quality to them. “A lot of the stuff that I’ve gone through, I’d say three quarters of my listeners, if not more, have experienced as well. Me being honest about what goes on in my life seems to resonate with many others,” Ross explained.

He fondly remembered his earliest songwriting endeavors, “I wrote a song called Cheap Red Wine with a buddy, Will Finch. And going even further back, I remember having a little book under my bed as a kid where I’d write short stories or almost like poems.”

As the sun sets on August 10th, and the first chords of “Ain’t Doin’ Jack” resonate with the audience at the Boots and Hearts Kick Off Party, they won’t just be listening to a song, but the soul of a man who has traversed miles, both literally and figuratively, in pursuit of his dream.

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