Brownlee sticks with music after hockey
Country music singer Chad Brownlee will release his third studio album, The Fighter, June 3.
Earning critical acclaim as a rising country music star, Chad Brownlee will release his third studio album, The Fighter, June 3 to coincide with Tim Hortons Camp Day, with all proceeds from the track We Don’t Walk This Road Alone going to the cause. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the affable singer.
24: You were a draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2003 so hockey obviously was the goal initially. Was singing something you were always pursuing on the side?
CB: It was. I played piano when I was eight years old and that’s what gave me the music bug. Then I went on to a jazz band and played tenor sax. I originally wanted to play electric guitar or drums, but my parents said it was too expensive. When I played junior hockey in Vernon my parents got me an acoustic guitar for Christmas. I taught myself on the computer and learned how to play cover songs. Music was always there while playing hockey, but the NHL was definitely the number one goal.
24: Being a B.C. boy, it must have been pretty cool to be on the Canucks’ radar.
CB: It was awesome. My whole life I’ve been a Canucks fan. Getting that phone call from my agent and Brian Burke was pretty cool. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
24: When the NHL dream ended, was music a close second to pursue?
CB: It was and I don’t think I realized just how close it was until my first and last year of playing professional hockey. When I was sitting on the bench and had just come back from an injury, and I was counting down the seconds and just didn’t want to be there anymore. That’s when I realized how close music was because my whole life I was chasing something that I loved and now there was a void. Now that thing that I loved was no longer what I loved. So I went to music because I had a passion for that. Really it was a no-brainer, but it was also the easiest and hardest decision I had to make in my life was to quit the game of hockey because it was who I was. It was my identity.
24: As you evolve do you constantly strive to reach new heights as an artist?
CB: The one thing that I learned from the game of hockey was the reason I excelled at it was because I enjoyed it and I never want to lose that with music. I still want to be a fan of music and I want to enjoy it for its authenticity and for what it is. My passion for music has grown every year because the main reason I got into it, honestly, is for the impact it has on other people. When you see that reaction to one of your songs or to hear the testimony after that one of my songs inspired someone is really the M.O.
24: Country music has changed radically over the years. When you write, do you try to break new ground or do you try and keep everything in a similar vein?
CB: There’s a happy medium between the two. As an artist you want some familiarity for your fans because that’s the reason they like you, but at the same time you want to keep challenging yourself. There has to be some sort of evolutionary process on the creative side of things and as somebody in the creative world, you constantly have to find new avenues — fresh sounds, fresh lyrics and that’s what’s exciting about the music industry. It’s an open palette, it’s a landscape for entrepreneurs and it’s a lot of fun.