Country musician Ben Klick is fresh from performances at the Calgary Stampede.
Flick won his first British Columbia Country Music Association Award in 2016, alongside five North American Country Music Association International (NACMAI) Awards in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The Capital News spoke to the Kelowna musician about upcoming music, how he got into country music (it wasn’t his family) and his favourite cowboy hat.
Q: What are some highlights from the Calgary Stampede?
We always play a little stage called the Window on the West and it’s strictly acoustic which is really cool. So it was a guitar for myself, an upright bass for my bass player and a box drum for the drummer. It was really stripped down.
Q: How did you get into country music?
A: There’s no musical background anywhere in my family. I had a Fisher-Price plastic guitar and purple microphone stand and I used to sing Shania Twain’s Man! I feel Like A Woman at the top of my lungs for hours at my grandparent’s place. I got tickets to see her concert and my eyes were glued on her and her guitar player the whole time. As my family were driving home I said ‘I want to be like that when I grow up.’
Q: Have you also been influenced by the country lifestyle?
A: It was overall the music and story-telling behind it. The guitars, the steel guitars and drums that got me into country. In 2006, we moved to Kelowna and I was always listening to country radio. My goal was to play like Keith Urban and Brad Paisley. I spent years learning guitar and got blisters all over my hands. I named a song Blisters and geared it around those musicians’ influence. It took two weeks to write this thing because I had to stop for a few days at a time because of the blisters.
Q: Where do you get your song ideas?
A: I’ve always got my phone on me which has a notepad of song ideas, what I call a hook book basically. One of the songs written from that last album was from a story a friend told me in college about her truck ripping around in the bush and getting stuck. It’s a lot of life experience from the people around me.
Q: New music to look forward to?
A: What’s Going On has been playing across Canada on radio stations. It’s going to be riding that wave until the end of September. Mid-October, early November I’m looking to release the next single that’s coming. In December I’m looking at recording new songs in Nashville and to release a new album for the summer of 2018.
Q: What’s your ultimate goal to achieve as a country musician?
A: A huge dream of mine is to be asked to play the Grand Ole Opry down in Nashville because of the history behind it and how many artists crossed that stage and played in that circle.
Q: What’s your favourite cowboy hat?
Above all, it’s my white Justin cowboy hat. I’ve had it since I started country music when I was four years old.
Klick will be performing in Kelowna on Aug. 24 as part of Parks Alive! and Aug. 25 at the Ok Corral.
He is a part of the Capital News’ latest video project called Carli’s Corner. Every two weeks throughout the summer, reporter Carli Berry will interview local musicians in a quick Q&A on kelownacapnews.com. Email Carli at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.