Hosting the 2019 Canadian Country Music Association Awards with Billy Ray Cyrus, heading out on tour with Dean Brody and watching his latest single Drop continue to rise on Canadian country radio are just some of the things Dallas Smith has planned for this fall.
Born in Langley, BC, Dallas Smith began his music career with the hard rock band Default. In 2012, Dallas released his first solo country album, Jumped Right In, earning Juno nominations for Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year. He was also the most played Canadian country act at the end of 2012.
Coming from a hard rock background, Dallas was nervous about entering the country music genre. It was Bryan Adams who told Dallas to take a leap of faith and do what he wanted; so he leapt. Dallas has since stolen our hearts and keeps us singing along with a variety of #1 songs such as Wastin’ Gas, Cheap Seats, Side Effects, Rhinestone World, and most recently, Drop. He is now set to headline a national tour across Canada, stopping in Ottawa on September 22nd.
How does it feel to have your new single, Drop, become #1 on CDN streaming?
It’s pretty great! When we released the EP, we didn’t know what song we were going to release as a single. A lot of people loved Timeless and a lot of people loved Drop but, what made me go towards Drop is that it’s a little bit of a riskier song… little more edge to it. That was kind of the deciding factor, so to see people receive the song so well is like being validated that we made the right choice. It’s probably the 19th single we’ve released to Canadian radio and to have it be the #1 streamed song right now is great.
Tell us about the EP, The Fall, which includes now two #1 hits and of course Drop, which is crushing country radio. Who did you work with on this and why did you make the decision not to release a full studio album?
The name of the game is to keep your fan base engaged and most people are listening to music on streaming services. So, an album becomes really old compared to the constant new music that’s being fed to a listener. So that’s kind of why everyone is getting away from the album. I like releasing just singles, and then once you get enough songs together, we release them as an EP like we did with this one.
The CCMAs are coming up on September 8th and you are co-hosting them with Billy Ray Cyrus. What are you most looking forward to that night?
I think the performance part of it is what I’m looking forward to the most. We’re going to kick off the show and I would assume that we’re going to be doing something big to kick it off.
This fall you and Dean Brody are teaming up for your, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Tour Alone” tour, coming to the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on September 22nd. What can fans expect from this tour?
Co-headlining with Dean is going to make this tour a whole new experience. We’re not going up separately, we’re going to get up and play each other’s songs together. So that’s something that doesn’t happen very often between artists. We’re very excited for that.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yes. We kick everyone out of the room about an hour before the show, and it’s just me and the guys. We have a nice moment joking around, catching up and reflecting, and then we go up and let loose. It’s a bit of a ritual for us.
Do your kids like to see you perform? How do you like to spend time with your family when you get time off?
Any chance the kids can come and watch, I love it. Not just for myself, but I know they like to see what their dad does. At home I just kind of do regular family stuff. Lots of outdoors stuff with the kids and they’re busy with lacrosse, gymnastics and dance. It’s busier when I get home than it is on the road (laughs).
Looking back on your 20-year career, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received while working in the music industry?
The one that’s most recent happened a couple of years ago. My wife used to work for Bryan Adams at his studio in Vancouver, and I was explaining to him before I released any country music what I was doing and my hesitations about what I had heard about country radio not accepting outsiders from different genres. He said “Look, just do what you want to do, take that leap of faith and it will work out.” I’m glad I listened to that and just went ahead and did it.
When you do stop in Ottawa, are there any special places you like to go? Any special memories?
You know, out west we just don’t have the history, the old buildings and architecture, and that’s why I love going to places like Ottawa and Montreal. I just love seeing the history behind the city really. I’ve got great friends in Ottawa and I always have a good time there.