This Valentine’s weekend, Jade Eagleson will spend it quietly with his wife Marina and their baby boy, Leviticus Jade. He’ll also be celebrating the release of his new single, appropriately titled for the occasion, “All Night To Figure It Out.”
With nearly 1,500 views on YouTube in just 48 hours, it contributes to Eagleson’s 123M+ global streams so far since the release of his self-titled debut album last July which has become the most-streamed debut album for a Canadian-signed country artist in history. That album showcased three GOLD-certified singles—“Got Your Name On It”, “Count The Ways” and “Close.” Not bad at all for an artist who’s just 26-years-old and has only been singing professionally for a few short years.
Jade Eagleson grew up on a family farm in the small town in Bailieboro, Ontario. Growing up, music surrounded him from both his maternal and paternal sides. His mom, grandfather, aunts, and uncles were all musicians. Being around so much music instilled a passion for it in him at a very young age, which only grew with time. “Growing up, working on the farm, my grandfather would always play old records, like Hank Williams and those guys,” recalls Eagleson. “That just drew me closer to the genre and its history, so it was a simple choice for me to pursue.”
Eagleson says farm life created his sound rather than him finding it in a recording studio and the story he’s lived has shaped every song he sings. “Every voice that you hear on the radio has a story to tell,” he says.“You can connect to their background and their upbringing. I grew up with a lot of traditional country music and that’s where I gravitated towards as a singing style.”
Eagleson’s rise hasn’t slowed down ever since he won “emerging artist of the year” at the Boots & Hearts Music Festival in 2017 beating out seven other finalists for the title. He was only 23-years-old and says sudden fame took a little getting used to.
“It was a lot to take in all at once, for sure,” he says. “It was amazing because I had so many doubts going into the music scene, growing up and playing bars, you don’t really get too much of a following. There are definitely some great people in my hometown but going around the province and playing these bars wouldn’t always get the attention you thought it would, so going from that to actually getting successful was an incredible feeling.”
Eagleson’s fast-growing success meant just as much, if not more, to the singer’s family. For his grandfather, in particular, the one who introduced country music to the young farm boy, it was especially meaningful. “He grew up with no internet or stuff like that,” Eagleson says. “So he’s just figuring out how to navigate YouTube and stuff but he’s catching up to speed now. But my dad and my mom were all shocked, but they were really proud. They’re huge champions of mine, since the get-go.”
Hitting success so rapidly can overwhelm any 20-something-year-old and It can be a challenge for someone in such a position to stay true to themselves, to remember who they are and what it all means. For Jade Eagleson, however, it’s not that difficult at all. Even with the fame, the popularity, the adulation, and the awards, he says it’s just all about reminding himself what’s really important.
“I’m a pretty proud Christian and my connection with God really is important in staying grounded,” he says. “You’re only as great as your life on Earth. It will be nothing bigger than that goal, and if I can touch people’s lives and do this music, that’s great, but it’s not really about me. I love my family and I love just being who I am. And if that ever changes, then I’m in the wrong business.”
As to those awards, Eagleson has certainly gained his share from being named winner of the 2019 CCMA Award for Rising Star and appearing on YouTube’s ‘Trending Artist On The Rise’ – the first time a Canadian-signed artist in any genre received this accolade.
“It’s a glorious feeling because I had my parents believing in me, and feeling that same love from other people, that’s a real down-home feeling. If someone believes In me, that’s very reminiscent of my family. So I feel a very close connection to those guys, the early believers.”
When one listens to Eagleson sing, there’s no doubt in his talent or enthusiasm. In music circles, the performer has earned comparisons with such names as Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Randy Travis. However, In typical fashion, he shrugs off the comparisons as “not even holding a candle to those guys”, but the comparisons are all over his YouTube page in comments made by fellow country music lovers.
“I will be the first to admit that to be mentioned in the same sentence (as those guys) is really amazing. I grew up with them as my heroes. And being compared to them vocally or in any sense of the matter is really humbling. It feels great to hear that.”
And it’s not just those classic country crooners Eagleson’s voice compares to. Listen to “Boomtown” and one can pick up a slight Dwight Yoakam inflection and even a hint of Bruce Springsteen. For a young contemporary artist such as Eagleson, one wonders if he might help to reintroduce those guys to an audience of contemporary listeners – ones also in their 20s and 30s. Eagleson insists he’s far from the only one performing this style of song.
“There’s a lot of us out there that are artists in the same lane as I am,” he says. “In Canada, we have Tyler Joe Miller and Matt Lang that are really doing something for that kind of genre. But I definitely think that neo-traditional country music is definitely having a bit of a comeback.”
For Eagleson, it has indeed been a fast rise to the top with radio play, constant streaming lists, and a 2018 tour. Then came COVID-19 and the lockdowns. The singer recognizes the hardships everybody has had to deal with, and it’s in times of hardship country music especially resonates so strongly with people. “Country music and blues have always been mostly how someone’s feeling; if they’re sad or if they’re happy,” Eagleson says. “No matter what situation you’re going through, you can always find a country song that speaks to that situation, and I think that’s what makes this genre so special.”
Eagleson views performing as a coping mechanism and one that’s been working. He believes if he can touch people’s hearts, he’s happy to be doing just that. When asked if there’s a song or performer who’s gotten through him through a tough time, he didn’t even have to think of the answer. “Randy Travis,” he states without hesitation. “Any song of his I can go back and relate to.”
Much like how Randy Travis connects with the young singer, he believes in touching his fans on the same level. “I really love the fans and connecting with them. When you’re at these shows and playing music you spent a year making, seeing people’s reaction to that, just the looks on their faces and the way they interact, it’s more than words can describe.”
Eagleson’s new single, “All Night to Figure It Out” offered the singer a chance to try something different; to release a hybrid of country and rock. One’s first impression upon hearing the song (written by Brad Rempel, Ben Stennis, Jeremy Spillman and produced by longtime partner Todd Clark) is its kick-ass sound — and attitude. It’s Kris Kristofferson meets AC/DC. For this one, the artist feels he is stepping outside his comfort zone — which was the intent.
“I remember that song coming across the table and listening to it, and I really love this one,” he shares. “As much as I love country music, I grew up listening to a lot of hair metal too so I could cross the bridge here, and it was really exciting for me because the chorus has those Van Halen vibes to it. And then in the verses, you can jump back to Kristofferson or Travis and it was so much fun to dive into.”
With the addition of electric guitars in the song (a first for Eagleson) and a foot-stomping hook, “All Night To Figure It Out” is being released on Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s not the typical country love ballad by a dirt road mile, but the singer insists the song is pure unapologetically country — one with an edge but still within his lane. And despite its rowdy spirit, still a typically personal one.
“Whenever I hear this song, I relate to my wife and I remember the fun we had on our first few dates. I had my boots on, put some cologne on after working on the farm all day, so the song is exactly that. Listeners can interpret it in their own way and take whatever they wish from it.”
For sure, there are certain to be many YouTube clips of crowds rocking out to this one, and that aspect has Eagleson excited to experience in person once it’s performed live. “Every song has a different effect, and this one’s going to be something I’m not used to. So I’m really excited to try it out.”
Performing the new track is one of Eagleson’s plans for the future, while his other plans are quite simple. He’ll be writing more music — something he does every day and at some point, he’ll head to Nashville where he and his family are looking forward to starting the next chapter of life.
“We have lots of stuff in the back pocket that we’re just kind of sorting through,” Eagleson says. One of those matters to sort through is deciding what songs to release next. With COVID-19 limiting live performances, it’s disappointing to not be singing in front of the fans but Eagleson understands the needs of others around him come first.
“I wish I could be playing, but I’m happy that we’re not jeopardizing anyone’s health and safety right now. When we can do it, that’s going to be amazing, but I don’t want to be doing anything or creating any gatherings that are unnecessary until we have everyone in the safe zone.”
Whenever that is, there’s no doubt that the crowds will be lining up to discover what Jade Eagleson has written and what surprising new sounds he has come up with.
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