Behind every supposed overnight success, there is typically a long and often less than successful history that led up to the launch point for fame.
Before Nova Scotia native George Canyon was “discovered” by the reality television program Nashville Star in 2004, on which he secured the impressive title of runner-up, he has spent upwards of a dozen years making music.
Of course, life changed dramatically since Canyon was reluctantly pushed to audition for Nashville Star at the behest of his wife.
With total record sales verging on the half-million mark, Canyon released his 11th full-length release, I Got This, this past October. In addition to his acclaimed work as an actor, the country singer-songwriter is the proud winner of multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards and Juno Awards.
In advance of his show at Casino New Brunswick on Saturday March 12, George Canyon participated in a Q&A session with the MusicNerd Chronicles:
Who or what was responsible for setting you on the path to becoming a musician? Has music always played a big part in your life?
I have played music since I was 5 years old but never thought of it as a career, I wanted to be an Air Force pilot and had dreams of a career protecting our great nation. When I was 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and my dreams were dashed. I had always played music and was presented with an opportunity to go on the road during my second year of Pre-Med at University. Once I played my first show, I was hooked! That was 26 years ago this year.
I’ve heard you’ve held a number of careers aside from playing music and were making music long before you ascended to national and international recognition with Nashville Star. What do you most fondly remember about those “pre-fame” days?
Prior to Nashville Star, I was 12 years in the business and there are many many memories! (laughs) We used to play bars almost 365 days a year. It was a crazy time in the 90’s.
It’s now been approximately 12 years since Nashville Star. Does the fact you’re continuing to make music, release albums, and tour seem surreal in any way?
Very very surreal! I could never have imagined my life would have turned out like this! I am so blessed and so very grateful!
Your current tour sees you performing in a number of smaller markets across Canada. As an artist, is it important for you to connect with your fans in those smaller places?
I love playing shows everywhere, whether they are small, medium or large venues; it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that there are fans who come out to the shows. As long as someone wants to listen, I will show up and play, no matter the venue.
Do you ever miss the pace of life on the East Coast compared to living in Alberta?
I find I live at the same pace I always have. I get to see this country coast to coast many times each year so I get to see and visit with fans and family on the East Coast quite a bit.
What do you have in the works once your current tour concludes?
I have to shoot a movie as soon as I am done and a music video for my new single, “Daughters of the Sun,” about to be released to radio as the second single from the album I Got This.
What: George Canyon
When: Saturday Mar. 12, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $29.99 (plus taxes and service charges). Advance tickets are available at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone 1-866-943-8849 and online at casinonb.ca