… You are and will always be your biggest fan. The support from friends, family, and fans are great but at the end of the day, it’s your music and you can only keep progressing if you are driven in your dream. Believe in yourself, set goals, and you will succeed.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Canaan Bryce. In October 2018, Waxahachie TX native, Canaan Bryce released his debut full length album HWY 287 that racked up over a combined 300k+ streams. This album put this up-and-comer on the map in a big way. If you happen to ever catch a Canaan Bryce show, you will 100% understand why they have opened for everyone in the business. Some of those ranging from Bret Michaels of Poison and Wynonna Judd of The Judds to Parker McCullom and Koe Wetzel. Bryce himself coined their sound as “Texas rock and roll” which is described as a mixture of the Texas sound and southern rock with influences of traditional rock & roll. Bryce is set to release his highly anticipated sophomore record that has a new and refreshing sound in 2023.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series Canaan! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Growing up in small town Waxahachie, Tx, football was everything to me. I spent a lot of time focusing on becoming the next big NFL draft pick. From peewee to high school, it took up a lot of my childhood. Young Canaan Bryce was with family most of the time. I grew up in my grandparents house with my mom. My mom raised me as a single mother 95% of my life and I was the youngest of 3 so my mom was kind of my best friend growing up. Fast forwarding into the high school lifestyle, I spent a lot of time schooling and at football practice but when I wasn’t, me and my close friends were finding the next field to build a bonfire and do things high school kids do. It was a happy balance of building a dream and living life to the fullest.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was younger, my aunt always took me to a small baptist church in Italy, Tx where she sang in the church choir. I stayed with my aunt and uncle a lot so she would always be singing around me ever since I was a small child. To this day, she still sings out loud from time to time. From 2012–2014 I attended Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Tx. While signing up for my 2nd year of classes, I was approached about a scholarship to join choir and I thought, “why not?” and signed up. I didn’t know I could sing at the time but a scholarship sounded nice. After an interview with the teacher, I figured out I was a decent singer. I spent half of my second year in choir learning to become a better singer. It definitely wasn’t my kind of scene seeing that I was training to play college football for my first year. I started learning guitar from YouTube after dropping the class after a semester. Shortly after, I started booking acoustic shows around my hometown and writing songs. Not much has really changed since then other than everything’s on a bigger scale now and a lot more eyes are on me. I found a group of guys that believe in my music like I do and now we tour around the United States with bigger artists. Even some bigger shows as the main act.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
While getting into music, I had big dreams of opening for a lot of people. A lot of these artists I’ve looked up to or I’ve listened to growing up. I’ve had the pleasure of playing with phenomenal musicians that have influenced my music and some that I never knew until the show day. Never in a million years would I have believed that we would get the chance to open for Bret Michaels of Poison. I was stoked about the show but my mom grew up on Poison so it blew her mind more so than me. To one up that story, Bret watched our show and loved it. He invited us on his bus and we got to talk and take pictures with him. I remember watching “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels” on VH1 with my mom. That moment still doesn’t feel real.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My family and I went on a destination wedding to Mexico for my sister and her now husband’s wedding. On our last night out before we left to come home the following morning, I decided to cut my favorite and only pair of jeans into jean shorts. I didn’t know the next day we would miss our flight and be stuck in Mexico for an extra 5 days. After finally getting back on the morning of a show day, I didn’t have time to get a new pair of pants so the weekend of shows I wore my favorite pair of jeans as jean shorts. I would say the lesson I learned was, always have 2 pairs of favorite jeans in case you cut one of them into shorts on a destination wedding in Mexico.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
We are currently working on our sophomore record right now. We plan to debut it in 2023 with a lot of new singles to come before that release. It’s exciting, the new and fresh sound we have. The direction we are going is something me and the band have been looking forward to for awhile now. You will get to experience that with the new single “3AM” coming out July 15th, 2022. We’re just ready to get everything out for the fans to hear as fast as possible. I think our fans deserve that.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music, film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity in entertainment isn’t only important but I believe it is key. Especially in music. It’s the only way to hear new and fresh sounds that we hear every week when bands release music. The same ol’ same ol’ is nice because we are familiar with it and we know we like certain types of music but you will never know what you like or don’t until you hear it. I pull influence from multiple different genres of music. For example, the pop genre has really catchy music but when’s the last time you actually pulled up the lyrics and read the words. Post Malone makes amazing music but he has some really heavy songs when you actually take in the words without the music behind it.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- The music industry is pretty cut throat. If you come into this industry, make sure to have thick skin and take everything with a grain of salt. It’s a small world of its own but just like the world, there’s good and bad. Surround yourself with the best people possible.
- Not everyone is going to like your music. Your music isn’t going to be for everyone. I spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to get everyone to like my music but over time I realize that making music isn’t meant to please the world. It’s meant for the people that need it, to take it in how they want. Music is meant to move people.
- Always look for the next step. Being an independent artist in Texas, I’ve learned you have to always meet people, shake hands, make new fans, etc. I still head up to the local coffee shop and work to manage and book for me and my band, on top of touring around the US on weekends. The worst move you can make is not capitalizing on opportunities that present themselves.
- Don’t ever get complacent in your music. Always be around music and other musicians that will push your abilities. You never know when you’ll find influence and help in writing, vocal tips, and instrument skills. Push yourself to be the best musician you can be. I find myself enjoying shows and analyzing them at the same time to see how I can better myself and my crew. I see so many artists get stangnet because they believe they are the best they can be. Never stop moving forward.
- You are and will always be your biggest fan. The support from friends, family, and fans are great but at the end of the day, it’s your music and you can only keep progressing if you are driven in your dream. Believe in yourself, set goals, and you will succeed.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Burning out is something that happens. It’s inevitable to some and impossible for most. It’s impossible for me because I fell in love with the music and the lifestyle. Music saved my life in a sense. I feel like I owe it to music to try and change lives and move people like I have been moved and still do. I can’t see myself doing anything else in life so “burn out” really isn’t in the cards for me. I’m all in. So love what you do and give everything you have with whatever your dream is.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have always had a dream one day of putting on a festival that helps active and retired military and first responders. I’ve always had a soft spot for that line of work. Once upon a time ago I tried to join the military myself and couldn’t due to a hand tattoo I received in high school. Now that I’m doing music, when I’m able, I want to put on a festival to help wounded soldiers, deputies, firefighters, EMTs and their families in whatever way they need. I figured if I can’t help through serving then I can help by raising money and giving them a festival they can enjoy. There are a few companies out there that I truly love what they do and would love the opportunity to partner with on this idea when the time is right. Companies like Black Rifle Coffee Company, Til Valhalla Project, and Wounded Warrior Project. I can’t thank these groups of people enough.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Back in 2018, we played a show in Lubbock, Tx at a bar called The Bluelight. I called a friend of mine I had known for a few years to come open the show for us. Little did I know, him and his band were going to blow up the following year. In 2019 Pecos and the Rooftops released “This Damn Song” and overnight, started touring around the United States on a single song. Pecos has taken us on tour all over Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and many other states around the US. We’ve stayed close friends through the entire transformation of him and his band. He helps us in any way possible and we hit the golf course from time to time. He’s helped us more than he knows.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Something I have lived by since I started music was, “On a serious note, it’s music. On a more laid back note, it’s just music.” Meaning take music seriously and do everything you can to further yourself but also enjoy the music lifestyle. Everything doesn’t have to be completely serious all the time. Making music and being on the road is meant to be fun and enjoyable. I can’t express how much fun I have on the road with my crew. It’s undeniably the best part of my life at the moment. Maybe one day down the road when I have a family that will change but until then, my band is my family.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
It’s a hard tie between 3 celebrities I’ve always looked up to. Joe Rogan has always been at the top of my list. He’s helped open my mind to a lot of things I’ve never even thought about and I love his views on a lot of topics. Not to mention, he’s just a pretty intelligent person in general. Johnny Depp is up there as well. It’s always been fascinating to see someone do so many different things and most of it being successful. Between acting, producing, and writing movies, on top of playing music and touring with a band has been so impressive to me. I would love to pick his brain over where he pulls influence and how he doesn’t run out of creativeness. I would probably need more than breakfast or lunch. The third being Stone Cold Steve Austin because it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s some sort of a spirit animal to me. I have watched him wrestle ever since I was still in diapers and I’ve had just about every action figure a kid can have. I would do just about anything to get a chance to sit in on a podcast with Steve or Joe.
How can our readers follow you online?
I have social media just like every artist would. TikTok, instagram, facebook, all that good stuff. Just search my name and you are bound to find me. My great grandmother gave me a very unique first name. Most of my socials are connected to each other so it’s a pretty simple search. My music is on all platforms. Spotify, apple, amazon, etc. You can find show dates on our socials, as well as our website.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Rising Music Star Canaan Bryce On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.