New Artist of the Month: Canaan Smith

Canaan Smith

When he was only 11, Smith lost his 16-year-old brother in a car accident. “It was important to me that I write that story,” he says of the song he co-wrote with Scooter Carusoe. “I always wanted to write something that would honor my brother, but I didn’t know it would be in the form of his car. I had no idea the Ford Bronco that he drove would stick with me all of these years, but it has. When I think about him, that’s the first thing I see.” And he’s learned that even the most personal experiences can strike a universal chord with an audience. “At first it was hard for me to sing, I would tear up in the middle of a show trying to sing it,” he says of “Bronco.” “Then I realized it’s not just my story. Every night the room is full of people that have been through loss. It’s actually pretty cool to transition from it just being my story to hopefully being a story that people can find hope in, and a little peace. That’s what I tell them. Before the song I say, ‘Now if you’ve gone through loss, if you’ve gone through something like this, maybe for the next three and a half minutes you’ll find a little bit of peace. I hope this song will do for you what it has for me.’”

Smith has seen firsthand the impact his music has on fans as he’s toured extensively with Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line. “Love You Like That” has proven to be a fan favorite as it hit #1 on the radio charts in the Summer of 2015 and continues to garner extensive airplay and has become one of the best-selling singles of 2015, selling more than 750,000 tracks. “We started thinking about cool metaphors like the flow of the Mississippi,” Smith says recalling his co-writing session with Brett and Jim Beavers. “That river moves pretty damn slow, and we thought that’d be a sexy line to talk about loving somebody that slowly. It was one of those moments where you’re going for it, reaching, digging as deep as we could for metaphors and at the end of the day we had no idea this would be a hit single. You just never know, but it definitely felt special in the moment.”

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Canaan at Firefest!

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