Photos provided via PR team
Multi-talented country artist and actor, Wes Mack, recently released his highly-anticipated third studio EP Hummingbird on October 20th via all streaming platforms. This follows his first two albums, Edge of the Storm and SOUL, which amassed four top 20 Billboard hits, millions of streams and saw him tour with Shania Twain and Florida Georgia Line among others.
With over 15million total career streams to date and more than 20 combined CCMA Award and BCCMA Award nominations, Mack also released his single “That’s My Country,” on October 6th. The song details the authentic people, places and memories that define small town life and comes full circle to Mack’s cabin where the journey of creating the new EP began.
Created largely during the pandemic, the EP is a product of its time and delves into issues of love, loss, isolation and coping with change as displayed in introspective tracks like “Be Without You,” “Ain’t Got You,” and “Lookin For You,” which landed at #1 on SiriusXM and has generated multiple placements in film and TV projects since its release. The EP’s production was helmed by veteran producers Dan Swinimer (Madeline Merlo, JoJo Mason, Billy Currington) and Jordan Oorebeek (Spencer Crandall, Lydia Sutherland, Owen Reigling), as well as Mack producing on “Be Without You,” “House of Love,” and “Don’t Change.”
Playing into his other strengths, this fall, Mack joined the cast of the CTV/NBC hit series TRANSPLANT, which premiered its fourth and final season on October 6th. Since its debut in 2020, the show has routinely ranked as a Top 20 series on CTV and has remained the most-watched Canadian drama series each broadcast year. On the series Mack plays Ryan Ashcroft, a new resident doctor at York Memorial Hospital who immediately creates problems in the ER.
This December, Mack is also set to appear as a lead role in the heartwarming Christmas film entitled Cape Holly Christmas where art imitates life and Mack portrays a country musician named Luke, performing multiple original and classic Christmas songs, just in time for the holiday season. The film was shot in Mack’s home province of Alberta earlier this year.
Behind the camera Mack has also made a name for himself as a director and producer, earning nominations for Music Video of the Year and Director of the Year at the CCMA Awards, BCCMA Awards and Leo Awards, while creating compelling narrative pieces for other artists including JUNO Award winner Jess Moskaluke.
I had the opportunity to chat with Wes, about his musical journey so far, what fans can expect from his new album and more.
Kat: Can you share with our readers a bit about yourself and your music journey so far?
Wes: Let’s see. I’ve been in the entertainment business for a little while now and have gradually grown to do a lot of different things. I’m a musician, a songwriter, an actor, a producer, a director, a photographer and a dude sitting at a laptop to make all of this somehow gel.
I dropped my first single years ago without an agent or manager or label and by an act of luck, work and a bit of fairy dust it went in the top 10 and opened up a career for me which has allowed me to tour back and forth across the country and do a lot of interesting things. I’ve made a lot of films, and TV shows as an actor, and directed a fair number of music videos, including one I quite love for Jess Moskaluke (she’s lovely!).
I love spending time in nature. I love writing songs and scripts. And I got into playing Dungeons and Dragons during the pandemic and I LOVE it.
Kat: Can you share the inspiration behind your new EP Hummingbird?
Wes: The inspiration behind a lot of this album was living through the pandemic. All the separation and isolation pushed me to make a record about loneliness and loss, which funny enough made me feel a whole lot better by working on it. It changed the way I work on music and writing, both in terms of zooms and all the long distance collaboration, but also on a lot of other production skills I picked up in creating and producing a lot of the album on my own. It was a strange time, but I see this record as one of the silver linings for me.
Kat: What do you hope fans connect with on the EP?
Wes: My general rule of thumb is that I’m happy with whatever anyone takes away from my music. That’s one of the things I like about it. It’s personal to everyone. It’s personal to me and to each person who hears it. So I’m happy if they take it into their life and from there it is up to them. I hope anyone listening finds something in it that helps them. Be it the sombre sound track to a sad moment, or the uplifting jam to a joyous one.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
Wes: Ah good question. So many things hahaha. I think releasing work is the hardest part. Partially because I don’t enjoy marketing and pushing my stuff. I love making things, but I don’t feel good in my skin while I try to “sell them”. But I guess that’s not really part of the creative process. So to answer that more specifically, maybe I struggle most with pushing something through to completion when I don’t know for sure where it’s headed commercially. As I mentioned above I wear a lot of hats. So for example I’m working on a screenplay right now that I’ve left idle for ages and only when something exciting starts happening with the project am I able to really work hard on it – as I am this week. I think I struggle to finish things that don’t have a clear end form yet. I try to just do art for art, because that’s good for my brain, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
Wes: The highlight: Shania Twain and I sang Party for Two 19 times on her tour. Midway through we did a stop in London ON and at the end of the song I took out my in-ear monitors and heard the full volume of the crowd screaming. Never heard anything that loud before. Easily one of the highlights of my life.
What I’ve learned: Surround yourself with good people that believe in you on the days when you are winning AND on the days where you lose. You need those people and they make the journey much much much more fun.
Kat: What else can fans expect from you for the balance of 2023?
Wes: With the album out, and my appearance on the CTV/NBC show Transplant now having aired, the next thing up is the film Cape Holly Christmas, where I play a country singer (big stretch eh?). It comes out in December and is sure to be holly and jolly.
I’ll also be dropping a music video for That’s My Country all shot on Super 8 film. First time doing that so I’m feeling a good level of excitement around it.
Thanks for the chat!
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