We had the chance to speak to up-and-comer Joel Crouse before his birthday show with Taylor Swift in Toronto. It just so happened that Joel, a singer-songwriter with Show Dog Universal in Nashville, turned 21 while here in Canada. It’s a big birthday for Americans – as 21 is the legal drinking age in the United States (it’s 18 or 19 in Canada depending on the province). After joking about how he can finally go out on the town without having to perform at the venues to get in, we discussed what it’s really like opening for a superstar as big as Taylor, what he thinks about Canadian country music fans, and his debut single “If You Want Some.”
Joel is a fun guy with a great voice. Get to know Joel in our second interview with the rising young star. He’ll be releasing a full length album with Show Dog Universal later this year – and reveals a few details about it with us!
Check out our exclusive interview with Joel Crouse below and don’t forget to tell us what you think!
Last time we spoke, you were just sending out your single to radio. How’s country been treating you since?
It’s been crazy. It’s kind of been insane. I’m totally thankful for the success the single’s been having. Also, just heading out on this tour has been such a blast! It’s been so surreal that it’s been happening, we’ve been gaining new fans, and that’s kinda been happening with the single too. It’s gotten all kinds of crazy since we last talked.
What was the first thing running through your head when you first walked out on the stage opening for Taylor Swift?
That was just insane. I was definitely more excited than I was nervous. I remember the lights turning down and the screaming starting just as we were walking out on that stage. That’s gotta be one of the better moments of my career, beside playing at the Grand Ole Opry.
You did just play at the Opry recently, didn’t you?
Yeah! It was back in May. It was so awesome; my whole family came in from Massachusetts for that. It was so cool to get to share that experience with them. I used to watch the Opry as a kid, and now to get the chance to play on it… it’s insane.
Was this your first CMA Fest as an artist?
Well, I did last year a little bit, but this was my first one with a single out. It went great! We did a couple of signings and played on a few stages including BMI and the Show Dog fan party. So, yeah, it was a blast! I love CMA Fest.
So you’ve been kind of all over the place this year, haven’t you?
I have! I’ve been to a lot of places over the last six months; it’s been insane.
Have you had the chance to sit back and reflect on everything so far, or is it all still just a blur?
It’s kind of been a blur, but you do get a few moments where you can sit back and say “wow” to yourself.
How’s the album coming along?
The album’s done, it will be done at the end of Summer or early Fall. It’s been done for a little bit now, we’re just waiting to release it after this tour.
Is it a full album or an EP?
A full album with ten songs. Everything I co-wrote. I’m really excited for people to hear more music from me.
How has reception been on the Taylor tour?
It’s been really, really great. The crowd has been cool with digging my songs; that’s the biggest compliment you can get at the end of the night when people are Tweeting that they like your songs. That’s been awesome. I’ve been able to gain a lot of fans on social media too.
You’ve been really active on Twitter with your fans – is that something that’s important to you?
Yeah, I think, you know, when I have time it’s usually on airplanes when I have wifi when I’ll be interacting the most. I think it’s important just because it’s people that support you and people that support your music, so why wouldn’t you spend a little time interacting with the people that enjoy your music?
Do you have a big goal for the year?
The goal is to get the album out and keep working the single and release a second single. That’s kind of what’s in front of us right now.
And this is your first time in Canada, isn’t it?
Yeah! Yeah, I’m pumped. I haven’t seen much but I can’t wait to get into the city tonight. It’s my first stadium show.
Has your family been able to see you yet on tour with Taylor?
Yeah, my Dad came out to my first couple of gigs. My brother and my Mother are going to come out to some of the East Coast gigs. Actually, the end of the tour is for me in Boston and I’m originally from up there. I can’t wait to go home and play two sold-out shows there.
Now, if you could write with anybody from any genre of music… who would you pick?
Hm, that’s an interesting question. Any genre, huh? That just opened up the door. (pauses) You know what, I really dig Ed Sheeran, he’s out on the tour. Him and Taylor are really great writers. I guess I’d love to write with Adele, I think that would be insane. She’s a great, great songwriter. I’m trying to think of who I’ve been listening to a lot lately. I’d love to do a tune with Mumford & Sons! They write some really great songs and I dig their music a lot. They’re just cool. And Eric Church! That would rock too.
Do you have any other major tour plans for the year?
Yeah! We’re going to be hitting the road with The Band Perry this Fall and we’re working on something big for next year. There’s some Festival dates, Band Perry Dates, and Darius Rucker dates all in the Fall. Next year we’ll be doing a lot more with The Band Perry.
Will you be coming back up here to Canada?
I’m not sure yet! I am on the whole Taylor run in Canada.
Joel Crouse’s debut single “If You Want Some” is out at country radio in the United States and Canada right now!
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