Sony Music Canada announced earlier this week that they signed Australian-born Canadian country music singer Gord Bamford to a recording contract with the major label. Gord is one of the most successful independent artists in Canada, who will be releasing his major label debut album on March 6th, 2012. His blue-collar party anthem “Is it Friday Yet?” was released to radio earlier this week with great reception. It’s the title-track lead single from his upcoming album. He previously released four albums independently.
Gord took some time to give us a call to talk about the signing today before heading to Mexico to film the fun music video for the single. Get the details on what to expect from his album, the music video, and how he feels about finally scoring a major label home in our exclusive interview with the Canadian singer-songwriter below.
First of all, congratulations on being signed to Sony Music. How excited are you to be joining their roster?
It’s kind of a great Christmas present for us. We’ve definitely been looking for a partnership that would fit with what we’re all about, and obviously Sony has a great track record. I’ve known a lot of the people that have worked there for a number of years and I have a great respect for them. It’s a great place for me to be in and I just couldn’t be happier. We’re extremely excited about the deal and we know that its going to be taking us to the next level.
You had the most-played Canadian song on Canadian radio in 2011. Why do you think people connected with “My Daughter’s Father” so well?
You know what, I’m not sure. I never really sit down to write stuff about myself, except obviously that song was about family. Most of my stuff I try to make sure people can really relate to it. “My Daughter’s Father” obviously tugged at a lot of hearts. I was surprised when I heard it was the top song. I was a little bit shocked to hear how well it really did on the charts. Anytime you can have something like that it’s a notch on your belt, and something you want to try to achieve again. The toughest part is trying to do it over again. It’s very exciting and we’re glad that people liked it and that radio played it, and that they supported us the way they have been.
How has reception been for your new single that you just released?
Well it’s been out for two days and the Sony team has been doing a good job and pushing it hard. So far we’ve been getting a great response. We’re looking forward to see where it goes next week. It’s a typical anthem that anyone can relate to, “Is It Friday Yet?”, even if it’s a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… (laughs). I think its going to be great, it’s a great lead single. We’re actually shooting the music video in Mexico in a couple of days here, so it’s been doing tremendous.
Any hints for what that music video will be like?
You know what, it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s a fun song and it’s going to pretty much be blue-collar sort of fun. Think of a Kenny Chesney / Billy Currington sort of thing with a big cowboy in it.
You do a lot of charity work, why do you feel it’s so important to give back?
I come from a small community and I still live there. Growing up I had the opportunity to work jobs come and go, and pursue my dreams and had everybody behind it. I really think the country music business is a big family, even the fans. In order to make a living and do what I do, people have to buy tickets and come out to my shows and buy records. This makes a lot of sense to get to a point in your career where you can make a difference in other people’s lives. It just made sense for us to develop our foundation which is right around the $800,000 mark now in four years. Our big event is our golf tournament which we have here in Alberta, and it’s year five this year. It’s been great and the money we’ve made has been directed back to the organizations that either I have a soft spot for or that I’ve been involved in as a kid growing up – Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Make A Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald Houses – all of those have either impacted my life or the lives of my family and friends somewhere along the way. It’s been great to have been able to do that, and there’s nothing better than giving a $10,000 check to a little girl whose only dream is to swim with the dolphins and to see the look on her face puts life into perspective. It’s something that’s very important to me and something that we’re going to build for a very, very long time.
Do you have any advice for anybody looking to get into the industry?
You know what, I get that question quite a bit. It’s not easy; this is a long effort and a long time coming to get lined up with the great people at Sony. I think it’s just a matter of persistence and believing in yourself. I compare it sometimes to going into a car lot and a salesman trying to sell you a car that you just don’t like. You aren’t going to buy it, so you gotta have the music. The song has to be there and the quality has to be there, then you have to have the drive to continue to do it and believe in what you can do. I’m sure Sidney Crosby had this dream his whole life of being a hockey player and playing in the NHL, and if he didn’t have that he wouldn’t be there. Then you have to surround yourself with great people, have a great team, and I know I’ve got a great team over at Sony. I think the sky is the limit for us and this is the best record that I’ve been able to put together yet. It should be some exciting times.
Speaking of your new record, what can fans expect from it?
Well it’s definitely what you think Gord Bamford would do. There’s two things on the record that are a little outside of the norm and might surprise people. The lead single is blue collar, working class kind of song. It’s got everything for you: uptempo, ballads, songs that will make you laugh, songs that will make you cry, and songs that anyone can relate to. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer or an accountant in a big office in Toronto, or whether you’re a farmer on a tractor you can relate to my stuff. That’s the way we try to do things.