Country singer Canaan Smith has entered a few “ones to watch” lists after his single “Love You Like That” reached #1 on Country airplay in the US this summer. The song is off the Nashville-based singer-songwriter’s debut album “Bronco”, which he dropped in June via Mercury Nashville. The 11-song project debuted within the Top 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums.
Now that “Love You Like That” has apparently given all that it could give (time to give this #1 a well-deserved break), Canaan is gearing up to promote the second single from “Bronco”. The chosen one is “Hole in a Bottle”, and without much promo, the fan-favorite song is already on the rise on Country radio.
Directlyrics recently caught up with Canaan Smith (who already knew the taste of success prior “Love You Like That” by having penned hits for Love and Theft and other country artists), and we discussed in an exclusive interview his country #1 triumph, the recording process and sound of his debut LP “Bronco”, and next single “Hole in a Bottle” - with Canaan sharing with us a few details about the music video which he plans to shoot later this month! But not everything was “Bronco”-related, Canaan also told us what his Top 5 songs of the moment are and who his dream duet is!
1. Besides being a great vocalist, you are also talented writing country songs. Where does Canaan Smith find his inspiration? And, how do you approach the songwriting process?
Sometimes an idea just drops outta the sky, but I have to hunt it down with a stick most of the time. I like writing about real life. Things I've felt, things I see.
2. Your debut album “Bronco” was released this past June. Why calling it “Bronco”?, How long did it take you to complete this album and, Where did you record it?
'Bronco' is the title track of the album. It's the story of my brother who I lost in a car accident. He was driving his Ford Bronco. Some of the songs on the album were written several years ago, others were born on the road just weeks before the release date. Those last minute songs were recorded on a buses, green rooms and hotels. But most were tracked at The Robin's Nest in Nashville, TN.
3. The tracklist is only made of 11 songs. I’m sure there are songs that you recorded that missed the final cut for whatever reason. Were they many? And, What can you tell fans about those songs and do you hope to release them in any other way in a future?
Narrowing down to 11 songs was tough. I had to hold back a few of my favorites like 'dashboard,' cause I think it will have a perfect place on the next album. I gotta lotta stories, and hopefully plenty of future albums to tell 'em on.
4. For those who haven’t heard “Bronco” yet, what would you say it’s the overall sound and theme of the album?
Bronco is full of ups and downs. Songs about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I took chances with production by playing a lot of the instruments myself and with my producers. It makes it feel real and authentically me.
5. The lead single “"Love You Like That" was a smash hit. It reached #1 on Country Airplay! How did you react to the news? Where were you, and who told you?
I was jacked outta my mind with excitement! Having the #1 song in the country is the craziest, most gratifying feeling on earth. Soon as it was official, I rounded up all my friends and label promo staff and we went and threw a party I'll never forget.
6. “Hole in a Bottle” has been recently picked as the second single from the album. What’s the story behind the song, and why did you choose it as your next single?
My fans are the hardest working people. They bust their ass all week long. So by the time Friday rolls around, they wanna forget the time clock and let loose. I want 'Hole In a Bottle' to be what takes em there.
7. As of this interview the “Hole in a Bottle” music video hasn’t been released yet. What would the treatment to be like?
The video shoot is set for September 21. Can't leak details, but just imagine the wildest party you've been to, then multiply it by 3.
8. Every artist has that song in their album that for some reason feels very personal to them. What’s Canaan’s most special song on “Bronco”, and why?
The song 'Bronco' holds a special place in my heart. It's a tribute to my late brother. He was my hero. And I feel so connected to him by sharing his story night after night.
9. What are Canaan Smith’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
'Roots' by Imagine Dragons, 'Yours' by Russell Dickerson, 'Hearts Desire' by Kip Moore, 'Long White Line' by Sturgill Simpson, and 'Hole In A Bottle' by me
10. If you could record an original song with any country singer/band that you admire right now, who would it be, why and how do you imagine your collaboration to sound like and be about?
Sturgill Simpson, I love his authentic sound. Would love to do a fast barn burner with him!
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