Country artist Kris Barclay recently released his new single “More Than Whiskey” via all streaming services.
The catchy new single was produced by award-winning producer Jeff Dalziel (Brett Kissel, The Washboard Union) and written by Nashville (Canadian country) heavy hitters Meghan Patrick, Aaron Goodvin and Skip Black (Gary Allan, Craig Morgan). A modern love song packed with equal parts charm and emotion, “More Than Whiskey” is set to turn the heads of Country music lovers everywhere.
Growing up in Ajax, Ontario, Kris got his first guitar for Christmas when he was thirteen years old and would sing along to his favorite Country songs when nobody was around. Fast forward, and Kris has opened for such artists as Brett Kissel, The Washboard Union, The Road Hammers, Gord Bamford and Dean Brody. In 2019, Kris was nominated in the Rising Star category for the Country Music Awards of Ontario.
At the 2018 Boots and Hearts Music Festival, Kris was voted by fans as the wildcard entry into the Emerging Artist Showcase, allowing him to compete against six other artists in front of a jury of country music artists and industry execs. Kris went on to become the first ever wildcard artist to win the showcase, earning him a spot on the mainstage to close the weekend’s festival, and a trip to Nashville to write with some of Country music’s top songwriters. Also, part of the win was a recording deal with Warner Music Canada, which saw the release of his debut single Loved You Like That, which has garnered over 1.5 million streams to date.
Off stage, Kris has been raising funds for mental health and PTSD in the Veteran and First Responder community. Partnering with Wounded Warriors Canada, Kris was able to raise four thousand dollars in 2020 for their programs.
I had the opportunity to chat with Kris about his new single, what he’s learned along the way and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “More Than Whiskey”? How did it come about?
Kris: I was trying to pick out my next single from a batch that I had written and I reached out to my friend Meghan Patrick, who wrote this song with Aaron Goodvin and Skip Black. She thought this might be a good fit for me and I fell in love with the lyrics right off the bat. It was an easy decision to record, and I can’t wait to be out on stage playing it all year!
Kat: What do you hope fans take from the track? Have you performed it live yet?
Kris: The message in the song is really strong. Give everything you have into a relationship because the regret of losing them and realizing you could have been better is not a nice feeling. I had the opportunity to jump out on tour with Meghan for a three shows and we had the chance to play it out there, it was so great to see some people singing along with us.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
Kris: Without a doubt, I’m my own worst critic. I’m one of those who thinks everything I do is terrible or not good enough at least right off the bat and it takes a while to live with an idea or a lyric, or at least an encouraging producer to take a bit of pressure off myself and just let the songs develop as they do.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
Kris: There’s been a few. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to be out on the road and open shows for so many really great artists, some of which I’ve been able to be on stage singing with, and those moments I’ll never forget. However, my favourite highlight to date was winning the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. It meant so much to me that I was voted into the showcase as the wild card by country music fans and went on to become the first and only wild card to win the showcase. It was amazing and to be able to share it with my family who was there that day made it even more special.
Kat: What’s next?
Kris: I’m looking forward to a really fun summer of finally getting back on stage with the band and finally getting to do what we love to do after all this time. Also, there’s more music on the horizon to be released which I can’t wait to do!