The Year of Dallas Smith

Dallas SmithIt’s a busy year for Canadian country star Dallas Smith. His latest single Drop, from the EP The Fall, is quickly becoming another country radio hit; he hits the road this month for a country music celebration with his friends Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee and MacKenzie Porter; and as the reigning CCMA Male Artist of the Year, he was recently announced as a co-host of the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) with Billy Ray Cyrus.

And that’s just his September.

The tour with Brody, dubbed “The Friends Don’t Let Friends Tour Alone” Tour, hits a few Southwestern Ontario cities including Kitchener on Sept. 20, London on Oct. 3, Windsor on Oct. 4 and St. Catherine’s on Oct. 5.

The 2019 CCMA Awards will air live on Global Television from Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome on Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. Along with his co-hosting duties, Smith is nominated for four awards this year (Fans’ Choice, Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year).

We had a quick chat with Smith by telephone from his recording sessions in Nashville late last week.

I bet you’re pumped about co-hosting the CCMA’s with Billy Ray?
Yeah, it should be a lot of fun. I never in a million years, ever in any part of my life would have thought anything like that was possible. I was really surprised, pleasantly surprised that the CCMAs asked me to do this and to have Billy be the guy co-hosting with you. I met Billy Ray earlier and he’s a really nice guy. If I stumble he’ll pick me up. It’s going to be a great night. He’s been around for a long, long time. He’s a very kind, witty guy so I’m excited to spend some more time with him.

And getting 4 nominations is really exciting. What do the CCMA’s mean to you?
It’s great. I’m excited. It’s been going for six, seven years now and it’s always a blast. The nominations are great and stuff. The main thing is just getting to see a lot of the guys you see in passing. At the festivals and other artists but actually being able to spend some time with them. You get to know everybody a bit more. That’s what I love about the CCMAs.

Your latest single and video is Drop. How did that song come about?
It was co-written with Steven Lee Olsen, actually. He’s recorded it. I was really excited about it. It wasn’t going to be the single we were going to release, but we put it up online and the streaming numbers are telling us that everyone’s really loving Drop, so it’s time to release that on the radio. I’m really glad to see the reaction it’s been getting so far. It’s pretty amazing.

The success you’ve had since becoming a country singer is unquestionable. Wikipedia shows more than 20 singles – all of them reaching the top 10. Why do you think country has been more successful?
I’ve always felt more at home in this genre. I think the people can sense, not dishonesty, but that I come across this genre honestly. I think this is where I was meant to be. The rock band thing was just my path to get here.

You hit the road with Dean Brody in September. You guys really seem to hit it off?
Yeah, he’s a good dude. I met him a few times at the CCMAs. I just got to know him over the years, he’s a good dude. I’m a big fan of his music, so when we were approached with the idea of doing this tour from our booking agent … Yeah I was excited about the idea. We kind of do two different things but I think we share a lot of the same sounds. It’s going to be a fun tour.

There’s also Chad Brownlee and MacKenzie Porter as well. That’s a lot of Canadian country music fun for one night. That’s a real celebration of Canadian music.
Of course, yep. Good friends with Chad, they got that golf tournament out in Langley that we have together. I know Chad really well. I’m excited to have him on the tour. He’s had a bit of a resurrection here, he’s been releasing some really, really great music lately. Of course, Mackenzie Porter, she’s extremely, extremely talented. She’s starting to have a bit of a buzz about her down here. I’m excited to give her a bit of a platform.

Was it always the plan to have a Canadian country tour the whole time?
It was just built that way this time. There’s just a lot of talent in Canada, we had no problem finding people to help fill those seats. Why not help out some fellow Canadians.

After the Friends tour wraps, what’s ahead for you into 2020?
Maybe we’ll go to Australia for a bit. Then we are going to do some traveling. I think we might make it over to Italy for the first time, so we are going to go over and spend a bit of time in Rome it looks like. Get away from it all for a bit.

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