Windsor teen Carson Janik has released a new country single, Better Than That, which is gaining radio airplay. And at only 16 years old, this surprisingly isn’t his first single.
Watch for more great things from this 519 Artist to Watch For in 2021.
Tell everyone a bit about yourself for those that might not have heard about you and your music yet.
I’m 16 years old, born and raised in Tecumseh, Ontario. I am a modern country singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, bassist, and recording artist. I’m a social guy, I like getting together with friends and family. In my free time, I am also a grade 11 student.
You have a new single “Better Than That”, tell me about the song?
“Better Than That” is a super fun and upbeat song about having that one love that is better than everything in the world. This was one of the first songs I wrote during the first lockdown and it started out with a melody in my head and a facetime call with my songwriting mentor. It was a blast to write and record, and now it’s even better to see it getting played on radio stations worldwide.
“Better Than That” isn’t your first rodeo (how’s that for a country twist to the question LOL), “Choked Up” came out last summer – how old were you when you recorded the songs?
I started recording “Choked Up” in early July when I was 14, back in 2019. I wrote that one, and a few other songs, around May of the same year. I wrote “Better Than That” in March 2020 right when everything started to shut down and then got into the studio as quickly as we could to start the recording process. At that point what started out as 2 singles in early 2020, started looking like something more.
That’s a lot of activity for a teenager. How do you balance still being a teenager with being an up-and-coming pro musician?
Well, I’m a ways off from being a professional musician but I’m constantly working on my strengths and weaknesses as an artist to someday become that pro musician. I’ve been lucky to be able to surround myself with so many industry professionals and I’ve learned a ton from them. Right now I find that it’s fairly easy to balance everything that is going on simply because of the lockdown. A lot of the things that most of us took for granted, like dinners out, getting together with friends, and hitting the gym, are not in the mix right now.
I wanted to chat about your voice. It sounds like a bit of a seasoned country singer in the songs. Where does that voice come from? Did you take lessons?
I’ve heard stories from my parents that as soon as I was able to talk, I started singing along to the radio and wouldn’t stop singing, which was a blessing for sure. Over the last few years, I have taken some vocal lessons to strengthen my voice and to make it sound as professional as it can be, especially when my voice first started to crack and change.
I think the singing ability comes naturally from the family tree. There are so many accomplished singers in my family that I suppose the odds are with me. I’m still working on my voice to this day, and probably always will be. I just wish I still had my falsetto that I had when I was 12!
Everything seems rather quick. In August you just launched your website and now your single is being played on the radio.
You’re right, this last 8 months or so have unfolded pretty quickly and it’s given me a lot of stuff to do. I’m learning a lot about the business side of the music industry and that will hopefully help me in the long run. I’m super grateful to have been given the chance to work with so many amazing musicians from the Windsor/Essex Region. It’s helped me get the chance to even be played on the radio.
Will the song be part of an EP or album? What can we expect on that release?
It sure will! “Better Than That” is the leadoff single from my upcoming EP. It didn’t start out as an EP in early 2020. I had a couple of songs I hit the studio with last January, but the lockdown had a silver lining and I ended up writing another 5 songs and turned things into an EP. A follow up single will be released in the near future….but I won’t give too much away on that just yet. If everything goes as planned the EP should be out early summer 2021.
You spent a lot of time in the summer in the studio. That sounds like a great summer. Tell me about the experience.
I think I spent close to 100 hours at SLR studio this summer and it was amazing. I am fortunate to have worked with some amazing people including my producer Justin Dow, drummers Brandon Lefrancois and Troy Dawty, Cameron Fleury, bassist Keith Wilkinson, Aidan Johnson-Bujold of Buck Twenty, steel guitarist Dale Rivard, singer Madelyn Stein, and banjo player Ron Jubenville.
These pros added their amazing talents to these tracks and it was even better to watch it in person and to be a part of it. When I wasn’t in the studio, I was at home planning what to do for when I was in the studio next, to be as prepared as I could be. I will never forget the time I spent at SLR Studios.
When did you start playing music and writing songs?
I started off playing the piano at the age of 7, started guitar at 11, and bass just a year ago. It’s all come quite quickly and has been extremely fun to practice and hone my skills. I made a goal to myself the day I started learning bass, and that was to play bass on my next track, and I did. As a kid, I was always reluctant to the idea of writing my own songs, but quickly warmed up to the idea when I started taking songwriting lessons at Elite Studios with Aidan Johnson-Bujold. Aidan has been a big mentor of mine when it comes to songwriting and has helped me grow to where I am today.
At what point did it become clear you wanted a career in music?
I always wanted to do music no matter what else I did in life but once I realized that there is a possibility I could do it as a career and live my life doing it, I jumped on it. Music is what keeps me going, and it feels like I was born to do it. There are so many musicians in my extended family that it’s literally in my DNA. I don’t know the exact age I finally decided that this is my lifestyle….14…15? I know for sure now, and there’s no looking back.
Windsor seems like an unlikely place for a rising country singer. The city isn’t known for its country singers. Where and how did you pick up your love for country?
I first heard country music on my school bus in grade 9. My bus driver would have it playing on my ride in and out of school. I was instantly drawn in when I heard Luke Combs’ song One Number Away. I grew up listening to pop music primarily and never really put too much into country, but now that I’ve gotten the chance to listen to what seems like every song in country music history, it’s safe to say I love country music more than any other genre, and it also intrigues me to think how much more different my life could’ve been if my bus driver wouldn’t’ve played country music.
COVID has hit the industry hard and here you are trying to launch a career. What are some of the strategies you are using to personally and professionally to cope with the pandemic and its effects?
It’s been really tough to cope with the pandemic and everything that is going on, being an only child that means you are alone practically all the time, so I try to distract myself with writing, playing, and listening to music. Like most teens, I also love sports and video games, so it has been awesome to see that the NHL is back and I can also play games online with friends. I believe it’s important to reach out to people to see how they are doing. A phone call or a text can really make a difference in someone’s life right now, and I’ve seen the effects firsthand.
What’s ahead for you in 2021?
Hopefully things start to get back to some sort of normal in 2021. I would love to get back to playing some live shows in front of a real audience, but I do know for certain that my new EP will come out this year and that’s what I’m focusing on, and maybe writing a new song or two.
Keep up-to-date with Carson here: carsonjanikmusic.com