The former lead singer for the Canadian rock band Default burst on to the Canadian country music scene in 2012 with Jumped Right In, an album that straddled the line between country and rock. Smith followed with Tippin’ Point, an EP released in March 2014, along with full-length albums Lifted (November 2014) and Side Effects (September 2016).
While each of the albums produced quality singles that garnered strong radio airplay and success on the charts, each stood on its own as a unique record. When asked if he purposely set out to make each album sound different from the others, Smith confirmed that was his plan.
“Yes, if you go back to the first album, it’s a different as night and day,” said Smith in a recent telephone interview to advance his appearance Saturday at Country Thunder Saskatchewan.
“Every once in a while I’ll get, ‘I wish you would go back to what you did on the first record.’ You’re not going to make everybody happy, everyone’s going to have their own opinion, but for the most part, I haven’t really had any push back. It’s been really great that way.
“My fans have come along with me on this journey and they’ve been really good.”
His journey has been impressive. All 16 of his singles have reached the Top 10 on the charts with three — Wastin’ Gas, Autograph and Side Effects — hitting No. 1. When Side Effects hit No. 1 in April, it made Smith the first Canadian male artist in the Broadcast Data System (BDS) era to have three No. 1 songs and the only Canadian male country artist to have consecutive No. 1 singles. With Autograph and Side Effects reaching No. 1 consecutively, Smith became the first Canadian artist to have back-to-back No. 1 singles since Shania Twain in 1997 and 1998.