Making a name for himself over the past six years as an independent country artist, Dan Davidson has been quite busy with shows, videos, singles, and everything else that comes with a flourishing music career. It all started back in 2016 with the release of his debut single, “Found,” which climbed up the charts, became the #1 selling country song in Canada, and made Dan the #1 charting indie artist in Canada. In the years since, Dan has continued to crush it in the country music scene, receiving six CCMA Award nominations, ten ACMA awards, and countless hits on the Top 20 charts. His latest EP 6 Songs to Midnight even debuted at #1on the Canadian iTunes charts. While he has put in the work, Dan knows that his success can also be traced back to the support from his fans, which is why he makes it a point to tour and connect with them as much as possible. He has played over 200 shows in seven countries, and recently returned from a stint overseas in Spain and Australia. We were fortunate to chat with Dan about his success so far, from the time he spent in the early aughts band Tupelo Honey to his latest single with Travis Collins, “Girl Drinks Beer.”
Hey there! Thanks so much for taking time out to do this. I know you just came back from playing shows overseas, are you still adjusting from the tour or have you settled back into normalcy?
Hey! My pleasure of course! Haha yes, when you’re a dad of two young kids in sports, the return to normalcy is pretty immediate! Oddly, I didn’t have any jet lag on this whole tour! I think it’s because I can’t sleep on planes and all of our flights landed in the evening, so I would just get really tired and go to bed at a sensible local time, wake up and be fresh as a daisy! I wonder if it has to do with going east… we flew from Edmonton to Toronto to Barcelona, then to Dubai, through to Brisbane, then home. One full trip around the globe!
You’ve had a pretty solid year so far, from the release of your EP 6 Songs to Midnight back in February to your 2016 single “Found” recently earning platinum certification. Looking back on that single to all you have accomplished since then, are there times when you get emotional or feel in disbelief of the journey you’ve had?
Oh yeah, definitely! It’s such a rat race, and as an indie you always gotta be firing on all cylinders to be competitive. This year, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to stop and be thankful for all that I’ve accomplished. It’s an industry of “What have you done for me lately?” But I think for inspiration’s sake, it’s important to look inward at the things we take for granted, and the hard work it took to establish those things as a norm. This year, I’m incredibly proud to have an independent platinum record – that just does NOT happen often – I’ve toured in eight countries, I’ve got fans singing along to songs around the world, I’m mentoring young artists like Hailey Benedict, I’m doing music for a living, and I have a happy, healthy family. I may not be Garth Brooks, but I’ve got a good life and I’m so thankful for that. Making music with my friends and seeing the world could be a worse job!
Fans may remember you from the band Tupelo Honey – has your time in the band influenced what you’re doing now as a solo artist?
Oh yes, 100%! We were coming up in a time where the industry was crumbling. We stopped trying to get a record deal and made it our mission to learn all the things that labels do, and find a way to do them on an indie budget. That was the best music industry schooling a guy could have. When I came into country, I already knew what to do, I didn’t need to learn the hard way. I had a roadmap and was already ready to sprint. Also, my show is very much a rock and roll show – I have two of the guys from Tupelo with me and that energy carries through!
Congratulations on your new single “Girl Drinks Beer.” It’s a fun anthem about “country girls that keep it simple,” so was it as fun to make as it sounds?
For sure, sometimes it’s so great to just let it be what it is. We weren’t trying to re-invent the wheel or be super clever. It’s just unapologetically about having fun and appreciating low-maintenance country girls!
Because you weren’t trying to “reinvent the wheel” with “Girl Drinks Beer” or introduce new themes to the country music scene, did you have any doubts in releasing it?
Nah, the classic themes never go out of style. It’s all about the personality that’s selling it and coming up with a unique way to deliver. We featured the juice harp, big rock guitars, and two singers from opposite corners of the globe. I think we did a drinking song in a really cool, fun way.
This single follows “Warm Beer,” which you released in May. With these two songs being beer-based, I’ve gotta ask – what’s your go-to beer of choice?
I love my hometown beer – Endeavor Brewing makes a killer Pilsner!
Australian country artist Travis Collins is featured on “Girl Drinks Beer,” was he someone you’ve always wanted to work with? How did the collab come about?
Well, the CCMA and the CMAA teamed up to do a bit of a virtual mixer over Covid on Zoom. It was like speed dating or something. [Laughs] We were in breakout rooms for five minutes at a time that automatically switched. So, that’s where I met Travis! Seemed like a great dude with similar taste, similar fans, and is clearly super talented, so we kept in touch. As I started to do really well in Australia with a Top 10 and a Top 40, I figured I may as well double down and see if Travis wanted to team up for my latest single. It’s a perfect song to help us forget about Canadian winter and to help those Aussies kick off their summer!
You guys recently performed the song together for the first time, how did it feel to join forces on stage?
Well, it was a bit chaotic to be honest! Our monitor equipment went down on stage, so no one could hear anything. But in the true indie sprint, we powered through. Travis jumped up on stage with me and just let the fun take over! It was awesome to sing it in person with a new buddy on a stage that was basically looking at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in Gold Coast, Queensland. The crowd loved it!
On social media, you wrote that you had a lot of firsts in Australia, so what were some of those firsts?
First concert in the Southern Hemisphere, first time meeting so many people I only know on the internet, first time seeing a massive 10-pound fruit bat, first time trying Vegemite, first time seeing a wallaby in the wild, first time driving on the wrong side of the road, first time being in a plane for over 20 hours in one day… [Laughs] The list goes on!!
What are some other countries on your bucket list for tours?
I’d LOVE to play in Germany. I don’t know much about the country market there, but that is super high on the bucket list!! I mean, playing in Hawaii wouldn’t be so bad either, so I guess America is back on the bucket list!
What can fans expect from you next?
Well, I’m actually working on a new EP! I’ve got six songs almost done and ready to rock. So over the winter, I’m hoping to get ahead of the game a bit, shoot some music videos, get all the branding done and ready to drop this summer.
Thanks so much for your time. Do you have any final thoughts or comments?
Thanks for reaching out!! Yeah actually, I love hearing from people on my Instagram. I reply to every DM. I hope your readers will reach out and say hello!!