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  • Annette Dawm

Keeping Score with Aaron Pritchett

In 2016, country artist, Aaron Pritchett celebrated his 20th anniversary in the music industry with the release of his latest album, The Score. Released in June 2016, The Score is now a 2017 JUNO nominee for “Country Album of the Year”. Aaron is in good company in this category alongside his contemporaries, Gord Bamford, Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee and Jess Moskaluke, which Aaron said is “tricky” because they all “love each other and respect each other”.

“This one is extremely tough because Gord and I have known each other for a long time; Jess is someone I saw grow up in this industry, and Dallas and Chad are both BC boys, like me, and from the same town of Langley! So, it's a bit awkward but at the same time, we feel we all win and will congratulate and be happy for the one who gets to hoist the award that night” he explained. The JUNO Awards will air on CTV April 2.

Regardless of who wins, The Score contains a song that Aaron considers to be his favourite out of his entire body of work: “I'd have to honestly say that my favourite song I've released is my current one called ‘When A Momma's Boy Meets A Daddy's Girl’. I'm getting one of the greatest responses ever for a single of mine. It's a wedding song, a story song and it gives people chills when they hear it.” The song even gave Aaron chills when he recorded it, and he said that has never happened to him before. “I really believe the underlying message to that song and video is that ‘love just is’, as I say. Love is in many forms, shapes and colours both metaphorically and literally” he continued.

Just over a decade ago, Aaron released another song that was “definitely not” his favourite. “Big Wheel” was written by Pritchett and two of his friends. “They loved it, called it a ‘hit’, my label felt the same but I still disagreed. Pressured to record the song, I did but was reluctant. As it turns out, I was wrong. The song, to this day, is my biggest hit at radio as it went to #2 in Canada back in 2006.” It was moments like this that helped him to keep pushing forward as an artist.

Throughout his career, Pritchett has seen many changes within the music industry as a whole, but especially in regards to the aesthetic of country music and its performers: “There have been numerous changes over the years from the recording process to the style of recording. The latter is the biggest change I've seen but I think for country music, it's become so pop-influenced that the image of the artists has drastically changed within those last 20 years.” Initially, Aaron came from a rock background himself and cited artists such as, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Van Halen and AC/DC as his influences that are really reflected in his music.

On the country side of things however, Garth Brooks always has been and always will be one of Aaron’s favourite music icons, especially since Garth personally asked him to be his opening act in 2016! “Over the years I learned a lot from Garth Brooks, watching his videos, hearing his interviews, seeing his live show, I took a lot from him and implemented much of it in my imaging, approach to the industry and shows. When I met him I just realized just how much of a genuine person he is. Very gracious, kind and quite willing to give us anything we needed. It was an experience that went incredibly well and I have so much more respect for him now, when I didn't think I could respect him [even] more.” Aaron made his Garth Brooks adventure a family affair when he invited his son, Jordan (Faber Drive/Jordan Aaron) to play on stage with him!

“It's awesome to have Jordan, first off, in the industry, secondly to be in the country music industry now but for him to be on stage with me when I opened for Garth, it was simply a dream come true. He's as much of a fan and appreciates Garth as an artist and a person.” In the future, Pritchett would also love to perform with Kenny Chesney one day: “He is a very similar artist to me in some ways. He's high energy and has a lot of fun, sing-along songs and we're about the same height!”

Although Aaron Pritchett has weathered the ups and downs of the music industry for many years and has seen his son go through it as well, he laughed as he advised other aspiring artists to “Run!” Then he added, “No, I'm kidding. Believe in yourself and you can overcome any obstacle in your way to success, but never forget where you came from and those who helped and/or supported you along the way. Be real with your music as well as a human and always remember that you're speaking and singing for the people so tell stories that everyone can relate to.”

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