I recently had the opportunity to sit down with BLAKE HAVARD who has been a part of the fibre of the Vancouver music scene for a number of years. When I was first starting out, he was one of the first artists that I met and he always was encouraging me to continue plugging along with me my music. Blake is amazing live so be sure to go check out on of his shows!

1. Tell us about this new project — the video looks amazing!

Thank you Natalia. The song ‘Wanted to Believe You’ was a song I had
kicking around.
I got together with Seattle singer songwriter Pete Droge and he helped
be complete it.

We recorded it and I ended up adding some overdubs and had it remixed
by Mike Fraser (ACDC/Zac Brown Band). It was mastered by Richard Dodd
(Tom Petty/Dixie Chicks).

I did a video and a couple radio stations started playing it after
seeing it on Facebook. I rolled up my sleeves and started contacting
station all over North America. Lots of rejection but a few places
started playing it including CBC Country on Sirius XM and many more.
I am working on the next single right now.

2. How do you approach song writing? Does the music or words come first or
do they come together?

Songs usually come to me all at once. I walk down the street and a
lyric pops into my head with a melody. I start adding a beat in my
head and it comes alive. People must think I am insane as I walk down
the street humming a tune with a little beat box thrown in. That is
the easy part. I end up coming home and start strumming it on my
guitar and flesh it out. Eventually I do a demo with bass drums,
guitars and vocals. I keep tweaking lyrics as I go and get an
arrangement that works. Sometimes that takes a while. I jam the song
out trying different tempos etc. and fine tune it. The last 10 % of
the song is the hardest. Tweaking until it feels solid and then I can
let it go.

 3. What is the one thing you need most as an independent artist?

I think you need to really love what you are doing. It is a very
tough business.
You have to have a belief in yourself and have a great work ethic. If
you are not doing gigs and writing you need to keep getting your tunes
out to the world. Things don’t happen over night in most cases but
everything you do adds up over time.
Find out who is doing what you want to do and learn from them. Trust
your gut and be true to yourself.

4. As many of our readers are just starting out in the music industry —
what kind of advice can you offer them? Was there something you struggled
with a lot when you first started out?

I think you need to be realistic. This is not for everyone. Make
sure it is what you really want to do. Keep listening to your heart.
The industry has changed so much since I started I don’t think I can
give any great advice. Find out what it is you love and what you
really want to do.

5. Bands can be sometimes difficult with band players coming and going —
you seem to have that full rock sound but market yourself as a solo artist? How does that work?

That is a good question. I had an older brother and he had bands
and it was a great inspiration. They practiced in our parents basement
and worked hard doing lots of shows. I also saw the bands break up. I
had a band early on and it was so powerful to be a part of. When that
ended I was determined to keep going and I did. I am a solo artist but
I love to do live shows with a band. I have a few guys I have played
with over the years and they know where I am coming from. Always a
blast to do live shows. When I am doing demos at home I jam like I am
in band laying down guitars bass and drums. I try to make the song
sound like a band and be able to work in a live situation. I end up
using a live band in the studio on most occasions.