Interview – Chad Brownlee

After last year’s release of his Back In the Game EP via Universal Music Canada, Chad Brownlee is back with a deluxe version and 4 new tracks. Not to mention a cross Canada tour with Lauren Alaina and Jade Eagleson! I had the chance to ask Chad about his most successful year yet, new music, and upcoming tour!

Let’s start with the deluxe version of Back In the Game that released on January 10th! 4 new tracks, including your latest single ‘Money On You’. How do these new tracks fit in with the other songs on the EP?

Every song tells it’s own story really, and these 4 are no different. After 3 years between records (Hearts on Fire 2016 & Back In The Game 2019), I didn’t want people to have to wait very long for new music. The New Year seemed like a perfect time to come out of the gates with something fresh and on the heels of a big tour announcement!

How did you decide ‘Money On You’ as your next single?

It’s always a tough decision picking a single because there are lots of songs on this record that I believe in. But when I sing Money On You I can’t help but picture what it would be like on stage with everyone singing and dancing along to it. And the message is positive to help balance out all the negative content that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. This story is about a strong, rock-solid relationship. That’s definitely something to be celebrated!

With the release of Back In the Game last June came with a video for ‘The Way You Roll’. Tell me about the concept and your character ‘Castaway Chad Brownlee’!

A lot of the video treatment ideas come from my Director Ben Knechtel. From there I usually fine-tune it and make sure everything aligns with the message of the song and what we want to get out of the video. This one lent itself to a more comedic approach, which I feel is right in Bens wheelhouse. The Castaway parody seemed like a perfect fit to tell this story. Chaz Brownstone was a character that came from the recesses of my subconscious lol. I’ve still yet to meet the guy…

Back In the Game also features previously gold-certified single ‘Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere’, which happens to be my favourite and hit #1 on the Canadian Country music charts! How does that feel?

Obviously it feels incredible! I’ve poured a lot of my heart and soul into this career so to see that number next to one of my songs is nothing less than a huge honour and feeling of acceptance in this industry. A sincere tip of the hat must go to Country Radio, my fans, as well as platforms such as this one, that has stood behind me since my first single in 2009.

‘Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere’ also happens to be the name of your upcoming tour with Lauren Alaina and Jade Eagleson. Are you excited to play new music?

If I wasn’t excited than it would be time for a career change! Releasing/playing new music is one of the most exciting things I get to do in this profession. Presenting something that has taken months and sometimes years to put together has a fairly large amount of build-up and anticipation behind it. I cannot wait to play these songs on tour!

How have you expanded your show from your set on Dean Brody and Dallas Smith’s ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Tour Alone’ Tour?

You’ll have to come to the show to find out 😉

Not only are you a talented musician, but you are also a generous philanthropist. Your annual charity Boys of Fall Golf Tournament has raised over $800,000 for Basics For Babies since it started in 2013 with Dallas Smith. Why is this charity close to your heart?

It blew me away the number of infants that were out there hungry and without the necessary comforts needed in those crucial first months of development. Basics For Babies has been that direct line to those that need it most.  I’m glad we’ve been able to help those families over these past 7 years.

Your career has grown over the last 10 years since your debut album. How has your music changed?

For the most part; naturally. As the genre continues to evolve, artists are either on the front of that curve or behind it, whether that happens consciously or subconsciously. As writers we are constantly trying new things, which tends to lend itself to a shift in the creative output. Also, working on my vocals and bringing in Todd Clark to help produce my latest record added another element of change that I feel really benefited the way this new music sounds.

How has your writing and recording process changed?

It’s more my approach to it. As time goes on I’ve learned to allow the process to unfold more while still maintaining a creative direction. I like to be in control, but the creative process has taught me the art of allowing. At the end of the day we are essentially a conduit to this elusive creative energy and just need to learn to get out of our own way!

Favourite new song at the moment, go!

Tough one… It’s probably between Jack Johnson – Sunsets For Somebody Else or Uncle Lucius – Keep The Wolves Away 

What else do you have in store for 2020?

Lot’s of writing for the next record!

Any last thoughts you’d like to share?

Go Canucks!

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