Hailing from Williamsburg, Virginia newcomer Canaan Smith hopes to bank off the success of his current smooth-groove Top 10-charting single “Love You Like That.” Pulled from his self-titled debut EP and brand new full-length Bronco, the romantic track is ripe on the vine to become one of the summer’s biggest and most impressive hits. It’s certainly a smidge Luke Bryan-esque in style and presentation, but Smith’s convincing vocal takes it to the skies. With the current marketplace swamped with dashing young leading men lining up to be the next format superstars, this dashing crooner hopes to set himself apart with his unique blend of rock, red-dirt, pop and traditionalism—mixed together into a tidal wave of massive sonic proportions. His long-awaited debut LP clips along at a brisk modern pace and peppers the speakers with catchy hooks and cool vocals (and ultimately blasting into the eardrums). As the old adage goes, “you have your entire life to make your first album,” and Smith’s impressive bow (via Mercury Nashville and produced by Brett Beavers, who has worked with Dierks Bentley) could propel him into the starlight after years of working the corporate machine.
Of course, his journey began several years ago. He’s an underdog, you could say, as his music pierces the core of the American Heartland, possessing a blue collar charm and doused with a universal appeal. He landed a deal with Disney Publishing in 2009; later that same year, he co-penned a Love & Theft hit. In 2012, Jason Aldean cut one of the most emotional and powerful songs of the year (“Black Tears”), and it was recently revealed he landed a cut on Cole Swindell’s forthcoming new album. Smith is a testament that sooner or later, hard work pays off in the end. Now, fans get to sit back and enjoy the roller coaster that comes next.
Here are some notable facts about Smith:
- Growing up, he belted along to a rather eclectic plethora of artists, from the living legend George Strait to alternative heavy metal outfit Rage Against the Machine.
- After high school, he moved to Nashville to study at Belmont University.
- He competed on The Amazing Race with then-girlfriend Mika Combs in 2009. They were the sixth team to be eliminated that season.
- His first official radio release was 2012’s “We Got Us” (written with Stephen Barker Liles and Tommy Lee James; and produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten).
- New single “Love You Like That” is now gold, with sales exceeding 500,000 digital downloads
- He’s toured with such country staples as Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley (currently on the road), Dan + Shay, Jana Kramer and Florida Georgia Line.
- He co-wrote Love & Theft’s Top 10 hit “Runaway” (from 2009’s World Wide Open), Jason Aldean’s “Black Tears” (off 2012’s Night Train) and “Party Wasn’t Over” (on Swindell’s new record).
- Last summer, he partnered with The Boot Campaign to honor and raise awareness for the troops and their families.
- On a personal note, he married Christy Hardesty in August 2014.
- His Bronco title track came from rather emotional place.“‘Bronco’ is a song I wrote in honor of my brother who I lost when I was young,” he recently shared to Radio.com. “Songs like this are important to me because though fads come and go, stories last forever. He was my hero and I wanted to put out something in memory of him. I think it symbolizes his wild spirit and I’m really proud of it.”
- Speaking of Bronco, it features all five songs from his 2015-released self-titled EP (you can listen below).
Image Source: UMG