By: Kat Harlton
Canadian country artist Dave Hartney has been on the rise the past few years. For those unfamiliar with his work, Hartney was a BCCMA & Music BC Artist Development Program Top 5 Finalist and 2016 saw Hartney receive a BCCMA Ray McAuley Horizon Award nomination.
Hartney recently released his debut single “Party Lights”. Produced by BCCMA Award-winner Jeff Johnson (George Canyon and Wes Mack) The single showcases Hartney’s mix of modern country and southern rock, telling the story of the perfect summer party and finding that summer love connection. Discussing the single, Hartney shares that the song was pitched to him by some professional Nashville songwriters, and that he had the opportunity to make it his own.
“I kind of rewrote a few lines of the song as I would want to perform and sing them, and I sent them back to the writers and asked if it would be OK if I sang it this way. Turns out they liked the improvements, and they gave me permission to make some changes, which was really awesome. I’m really happy I got to contribute a creative element to it”
And it turns out “Party Lights” is Hartney’s ideal kind of song. He’s a big fan of summer festivals and backyard parties, and wanted to share that love with his fans.
“It just felt like this would be a really great summer song. People could add the song to playlists when they’re going to festivals, or camping. It’s such a visual song; I love the summer festival setting with beautiful backdrops and a big crowd.”
As we discuss upcoming summer festivals, and what’s on Hartney’s playlist (he’s currently listening to Brett Young, the new John Mayer and Delta Rae) it’s clear his love for country music runs deep.
“Two of the first cassette tapes I ever bought when I was young were Alabama, the one with “I’m In A Hurry” on it, and I actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ Achy Breaky Heart. I mean that song was probably why I bought it, but there were a lot of other great songs on that record too.
Hartney also cites Keith Urban as inspiration, “I like that he plays with a lot of different artists and crosses genres and is just a really great guitar player. That’s something I’d like to aspire too.”
Having brought his high energy live performances across the country opening for Dallas Smith, High Valley, Tebey, Black Jack Billy, Aaron Pritchett, Dierks Bentley, Jerrod Neimann, and Thompson Square, I ask if he has any advice for new artists;
“Arron Prichett has kind of told me not to waste time and to make sure you’re not in the wrong industry relationships. You want the people influencing your career to be the right people. You want people around you who are committed. You really only have so much time to put your best foot forward and do this. So I think that was a really valuable piece of advice”
You can catch Dave Hartney next in Surrey, B.C for the Gone Country show at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheater.
Check http://davehartney.com for show schedule, new music and news.