With the CMAO Awards and Conference just around the corner, we will be announcing the winner of our contest for a pair of delegate passes for the conference later today, so stay tuned!
But before we get to that, we had the chance to speak to returning CMAO performer Tim Hicks to talk about his music, the Canadian country music community and what he is most looking forward to at the CMAO events this year!
SGC: As a returning performer at the CMAO Awards, what are you most looking forward to this year?
Tim Hicks: I’m mostly looking forward to being a part of celebrating country music in Ontario. It’s a great event and I’m extremely honoured to be a part of it. Plus I can’t wait to play!!
SGC: How important is it to have a conference such as the CMAO Conference to help budding young country musicians? How do they benefit?
TH: It’s so important and great for up and comers. It’s a chance to interact with people who are in the industry first hand. I would’ve done anything for that kind of opportunity early on in my career!
SGC: Was there a pivotal moment when you knew that you were going to focus on being a musician professionally?
TH: I can’t remember a specific moment. I just sort of always knew I would do something in music, I just didn’t know what that was. I do however remember a moment in my grade 2 class where my teacher tried to talk me out of it… it didn’t work ha!
SGC: What is it about country music that really speaks to you?
TH: I love country music because it’s about good songs, good singing and playing real instruments. I love all those things. Even as the genre of “country” modernizes itself, I think those three aspects will remain cornerstones; at least I would hope they will.
SGC: What influences your songwriting the most? What inspires you?
TH: Hard to say. The creative process never ceases to baffle and amaze me. Some days I show up to a session with absolutely no idea what I’m gonna write about, and yet, somehow, a song materializes that didn’t exist a few hours earlier. In my opinion, that’s what makes music and songwriting so cool.
SGC: This is pretty close to a hometown show for you, how does it feel to have such a supportive and thriving country music scene in Ontario/Canada?
TH: I love it, especially because that scene didn’t exist even a few years ago! It’s an exciting time to be a country artist in Canada, and in Ontario. Country music has gotten so big as a genre, it’s been really cool to watch and be a part of.
SGC: What advice would you give to musicians considering pursuing a career professionally?
TH: Don’t do it! Ha! Just kidding…sort of. I always say the same thing: put away your webcam. Get out and play in FRONT of people. There’s a huge difference between playing by yourself in your bedroom and performing in public. Don’t be afraid to work on your craft in a public setting, you won’t regret it in the long run. Also, it’s really important for the future of music!
SGC: What can people expect from you next?
TH: Expect some new music VERY soon! We are currently in the mastering stages of my new album, which is very exciting for me. I’ve worked really hard on this next batch of songs and I’m super pumped to let everyone hear them! Also, the boys and I will be hitting the road for summer festival season so watch for us at a festival near you!
Thanks for your time Tim! We look forward to seeing you at the CMAOs this year!