/ FACES Magazine May 2016
Looking at photos of Easton Corbin you might not expect a deep country voice, but as soon as you hear it you know he was meant to sing. Touring with big names such as Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and currently, Carrie Underwood, Corbin is showing the country music world that he has what it takes.
Corbin’s debut album was released in 2010 and the album grossed the highest first week sales that the label (Mercury Nashville) had had in 7 years. On his debut album Corbin was also the first artist in 17 years to have 2 consecutive singles off the same album reach #1. Corbin has also been nominated for multiple country music awards and has been the winner of several.
FACES had the opportunity to talk with Corbin about his music career, newest album and upcoming stop in Ottawa. Corbin will be in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre on May 27th with Carrie Underwood, and we can’t wait to hear that deep country voice.
Looking back on your career, who was most influential in shaping your sound during the early days?
I grew up loving Merle Haggard, George Jones and Keith Whitely; I loved those guys for their sound and the type of music that they made – if I could be anybody it would be one of those guys (laughs).
Tell us about your newest album, “About To Get Real”, and how you found that sweet spot between mixing contemporary country with the traditional sounds you love so much.
“About To Get Real” will be my third record and it is definitely different than my last two. As an artist you are always growing yourself and your sound – you can’t stay stagnant. You have to continue to re-invent yourself, for lack of better terms. I think this record shows my growth because there are some songs that I think I pushed the envelope on in terms of my own sound and my own voice – which is a pretty country voice (laughs) – but you need to do that to develop and grow as an artist.
Tell us about the 3 songs you co-wrote on your new album and how does it feel to be able to contribute so many of your own ideas?
You know it’s really awesome to be able to go into the studio and be really creative and write your own music; I just love the process. There’s just something about it that feels really good to be able to put your ideas on paper and put music to them. For me, when I am choosing songs it’s not just about the songs that I have that I think we should cut, its not just about what I think, it’s about the song.
What’s your favourite song off of your new album that you’re excited for everyone to hear?
I am excited about all of them but there is definitely one on there that is very special to me, and that one is called “Are You With Me?”. It’s funny because the song was actually on my last record, but it’s one of those songs that is just so special that it needs a chance to be a single, so I decided to pull it from my last record and put it on this one as well. My buddy called me a few months back and said, “Hey man, I just heard ‘Are You With Me?’ on the electronic dance mix station!”, and I was like, “What? Are you sure?” and he said he was! I looked it up and it turns out it had been remixed to electronic dance music and was #1 in over 10 countries! It definitely solidified for me that it is a special song that needs to be heard, so it is going to be my next single off of this record which I am really stoked about.
What has it been like touring with Carrie Underwood?
Well fortunately there won’t be any electronic dance music, just original versions (laughs). It’s been great, her and her whole group have been awesome and more than inviting and welcoming to us. Carrie draws such a big audience as well so it’s a great opportunity for me to expose my music with guys and girls of all ages attending that may be a different audience for me.
What do you believe country artists need to do in order to gain longevity in the business?
It’s about cutting great music and making what you feel is great music, because it all comes down to the songs in the end.
A lot of the new tracks on your album are steel guitar heavy - what attracts you to that sound?
I love traditional country music sounds and that is definitely a signature sound in country music so it is all throughout the record.
Your music is fun but also has a serious side, tell us about a song that has been inspired by your own personal life.
A song I wrote on this record was “Like A Song”, and I definitely think that was inspired by my own personal life for sure.
You have achieved a great deal of success already at a young age, what are your next goals you would like to achieve in your career?
I think it’s about continuing to be true and honest to yourself, keep doing what you’re doing and make music that you are proud
of and believe in. You need to make a stance to have a career in this business because it’s tough and you can go away in this industry pretty quick. You just have to continue to put out what you feel is great music and hope that your fans will sing along.
You became the first male solo artist in 17 years to have your first 2 singles off an album go to #1. What was it like to achieve that success on your first studio album?
It was a dream come true! As a new artist you just hope to get your music played, much less having that kind of success, so it really was a dream come true.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
Well my heros are Merle Haggard, George Jones and Keith Whitely and 2 of them are already gone and of course Haggard is getting older, he isn’t getting any younger. Haggard would definitely be one of my dream collaborations.
Which of the songs you’ve written has meant the most to you?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but “Like a Song”, “This Far From Memphis”, and “Leavin’ a Lonely Town” are my favourite three songs that I’ve ever written.
What was it like performing the national anthem for your country at the Colt’s season opener last September?
It was awesome; it’s a great honour to be asked to perform at an event like that, and to have it be on National TV on top of that was awesome. I was definitely rooting for the team that evening!
You’ll be in our city on May 27th, what can Ottawa fans look forward to from the tour? What do you remember most about our city?
I’m looking forward to being there and I think I’ll give you some good country music and we’ll have a good time cause that’s what it’s all about. Last time I was there it was the middle of winter, so I definitely remember the cold! (Laughs)