HomeEF CountryInterview: Jade Eagleson talks 'Rodeo Queen', traditional Country and the Canadian Country...

Interview: Jade Eagleson talks ‘Rodeo Queen’, traditional Country and the Canadian Country scene

Canadian Country singer-songwriter Jade Eagleson has been making waves and achieved great success since breaking through with his single ‘Got Your Name On It’.

Having moved from his home Country to Nashville, Eagleson is gearing up for a new project as he prepares to add the American market (and likely the international market too) to his ever-growing fanbase. Eagleson recently released his uptempo catchy new single ‘Rodeo Queen’, a song that leans hard into the traditional and is simply irresistible.

I spoke with Jade recently to talk about the song, find out about his approach to making traditional Country music, and to discuss his upcoming project…

You recently released ‘Rodeo Queen’. It’s such a feel-good upbeat song. What’s the story behind it?

I’m not going to be pretentious and say that I was a rodeo star by any means (laughs) but I grew up and I got to see rodeos and experience them. I had my friend over, who’s my best bud but we also do a ton of writing together, to stay at my house. My wife, my buddy and I were all watching the ‘Yellowstone’ series and we got talking and we’re like, ‘there’s not a lot of the old Country’. You hear Lefty Frizzell and some of these old time singers like Roy Rogers, they’d sing about the Western themes and all the concepts that made western music so exciting. Although they didn’t always live the story, they told it. We just wanted to create something like that so we went upstairs, and we came up with ‘Rodeo Queen’.

Your music is proper traditional Country music. You could have so easily decided to follow what’s going on in the mainstream, but you didn’t. Why did you make that decision?

I grew up listening to a lot of that older stuff and when I mean older stuff, I was listening to the records my grandfather had. I was well-versed in all that stuff from the 40s, 50s and 60s starting with the Carter family, and some of that Bristol Session stuff, moving on into the Bakersfield stuff. I fell in love with the 90s country music because what that was, was just a combination of all of that done in a really cool way. Shania Twain came in there and took the themes of Western swing and made them catchy. Alan Jackson tipped his hat to some of that stuff as well, that’s definitely a tip of the hat to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. All that stuff so exciting to me and that’s why I love the traditional way.

Jade Eagleson - Rodeo Queen
Credit: Starseed Records

You moved from Canada to Nashville for your career. How does that align with your vision for your music moving forward?

It’s exciting because you get in the room with a lot of these guys to write or do sessions and I think they all moved here for the same reason I did, and that’s to pursue Country music. A lot of these guys moved here because they have deep-rooted passion for Country music. It’s cool. You can definitely bring that out in a lot of folk when you’re writing with them in these rooms.

You’ve already had so much success in Canada but now you’re pursuing the US market, is it like starting all over again?

Absolutely it is. We’ve had some really great support from some of the DSPs down here and that sparked our move. (It felt like) the American market is attainable. That’s always been a huge dream of mine but it definitely is like starting new. That’s exciting for me. Some of the best experiences I ever had in this business where when it was just myself an acoustic guitar and a song. There’s nothing to leverage your song in any way, it’s just the song and the words. It’s a really exciting and fun experience.

You mentioned Shania Twain before and we get a fair amount of Canadian Country stars coming over here to the UK. For a lot of people when they think Country music, they think only of Nashville. What’s the scene like in Canada?

It’s quite similar to Nashville in a sense, it’s just maybe less widespread, but it’s almost like there’san artist in every lane of Country music. I’m really lucky, along with a couple of other friends of mine in Canada to have more of the traditional side in our back pocket, and then we have artists that lean up to that more pop sound out. It all works out really well. (I know) the UK in general has such an incredible understanding of the very traditional country music, which is so amazing for me. I absolutely love going down there. You can whip out something from the 1960s and you guys know (laughs). It is so exciting.

We do have a different appreciation of Country music here in the UK and the likes of Midland do really well here. I think you would go down really well…

Oh, that’d be so fun! I got to go see what it was like in Switzerland. It was so incredible. As soon as you have some fiddle and steel guitar keys, rocking the stage, then everyone’s just loving. It’s so awesome to see.

‘Rodeo Queen’ is leading up to a new project for you. What is that looking like?

Yeah, we’re hoping to do a full album in the Fall and we’re going to be leaning very traditional on this. We’ve had some traditional stuff, we’ve had some more modern leaning stuff, but now I’m releasing songs that speak to me and who I am as an artist. I tell the production team and everyone that I’m working with, it’s like Shania Twain and Alan Jackson ran into each other and created some kind of sound. Those are two influences of mine that I’m really trying to capture here on this next project.

What else do you have planned for the rest of this year beyond new music?

The next few months, I think we’re gonna get right into rehearsals and then before you know it’s show season up in Canada so that can always look really busy. You’re just lucky to sleep a few hours a night if you can (laughs) and then you’re back into the writing season. It’s a really exciting business and I’m really excited to get out and play some live shows again.

Jade Eagleson
Credit: Ryan Nolan

How do you prepare for touring? I imagine it to be quite a gruelling and tough thing to do when you’re playing back-to-back shows for months…

I’d say your best friend is coffee during that season. My favourite thing is just getting in with the band and creating a new live show. We spend probably about a week or so in the actual rehearsals, but we talk about the live show all winter. How is it going to be different? How are we going to change things up from last year to bring something new to the table? Then we have that one or two weeks before the festival season starts up and we create that. It’s really magic to watch that happen. We might be playing a song, it might be one way on the record, and on the stage we’ll be like, ‘let’s have a fiddle solo here, let’s do something like that’. It’s really exciting to design that stuff and play it so I’m really looking forward to that.

Your music is so upbeat and catchy for the most part, I imagine your shows must be like one giant party?

A lot of the time! It’s really cool. The fun thing about Canada is that you can go into so many different different demographics and see a wide array of different folks. You might have your older crowd and your younger crowd, and they all react differently, but it’s quite similar. They’re all having a good time and dancing and two-stepping. That’s my favourite thing to see.

You need to bring that over to the UK because we would love that…

I’d love to come, trust me! That’s a dream. Anytime I’ve been that direction, I really enjoy it. I really do.

Which artists in the Country music genre right now are you listening to?

Right now? There is an up-and-coming kid named Jake Worthington that’s got that (traditional) sound. He’s got his own style but he has one of those magic voices that tie into like the Keith Whitley’s and the Randy Travis’ of the world. He’s really good. Another one that I absolutely love (is) Midland, obviously, you mentioned them. I absolutely love those guys. They’re so amazing. Those are probably my top two that I can think of off the top of my head but there’s a lot of artists I love.

Jade Eagleson’s new single ‘Rodeo Queen’ is available to stream and download now. Watch the music video below:

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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