Countdown to the CMAOntario Festival & Awards – Q & A with Kris Barclay

Photo credit: Nicole Wolfe

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) Festival & Awards are fast approaching and we have had the opportunity to catch up with some of Ontario’s best country music artists in advance of the festivities.  Today we are pleased to introduce you to Ajax native, Kris Barclay!

How important is it to you that Ontario have its very own country music awards show?

I think celebrating the talent that we have in Country Music is so important. I have been a member since year one and have been to every awards show and many of the other events that The CMAOntario has to offer. Everyone works really hard to produce the best possible music they can and I think it is so important and encouraging to take the time to celebrate it with our own awards show.

The CMAOntario Awards are possible because of the generous assistance of Slaight Music. Have you been directly supported by any of their initiatives?

I know about Slaight Music and the things that they do for us, they are an amazing group. Although I don’t think I’ve had that opportunity as of yet, I look forward to hopefully working closer with them in the future!

The 2018 Fresh Faces Showcase & Concert will take place on Saturday, June 2 in Market Square (London, ON) as part of the weekend’s festivities. It will feature performances from Meghan Patrick, The Reklaws, Brad Battle, Johnson Crook, The Redhill Valleys, Joshua Davie and Kelsi Mayne.  We have so many amazing up and coming country artists in Ontario.  Who is someone else you think is someone that country music fans should be checking out?  Give them a shout out!      

The line-up looks amazing for this year’s showcase! I’m sure the show will be amazing, there is so much talent in Ontario. If I had to pick a couple others, I think country fans should check out my buddies, Kentucky Rails, Eric Ethridge, or my good friend and amazing co-writer Vanessa Marie Carter!

If you were asked to give a rising country artist some advice, what would it be?

Work hard. Don’t get too high, and don’t get too low. Perseverance especially in tough or frustrating times is so important, and always stay true to yourself, make music that fulfills you and that you love, because at the end of the day, you have to get on stage and sing those songs every night!

What accomplishment over the past year are you most proud of?

I have been fortunate enough over the past year to play on some amazing stages in front of some incredible artists. I am extremely proud of the fact that I was a performer and the host of The Havelock Jamboree last year, but I think I am most proud of some of the songs that I have been lucky enough to co-write with writers that I am lucky to be in a room with. Some of which, I am so excited to be bringing into the studio to start a recording project and can’t wait to show Country Music fans what we’ve been working on.

What is your opinion on the value of social media to help you succeed as an artist in today’s society? Do you have a favourite social media platform?   

I think social media is such an incredible tool for us to reach out to country music fans and to stay in touch. I love receiving messages and comments and always take the time to reply to everyone because I appreciate the fact that they wanted to reach out to me and show their support. I can’t imagine promoting my career without the use of social media, it is a major form of promotion and contact with Country Music fans.

My favourite platform to use is Instagram.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to be involved in my career and my music. Seeing so many familiar faces out at shows is such a rewarding feeling. Also, your presence online and your words of encouragement mean so much to me. I absolutely cannot wait to show everyone what we have been working on and continue to get up on stage and perform every night! Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for being a fan of Country Music!

Connect with Kris Barclay:

Connect with The Country Music Association of Ontario:



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