Country newcomer Kris Barclay released his new single titled "Right Here". "Right Here" is a song that is all about being proud of where you come from. For Kris Barclay part of that pride meant growing up playing sports and representing his hometown, both when teams from other places came to your city or being in other places, and that has always stuck with him.
"Since transitioning from sports into music, traveling, and being on the road playing shows in all kinds of towns and cities, I've always found people are proud of where they are and excited to share a little piece of it with you. Whether it's a coffee shop or restaurant, a hometown brewery, or a well-known story about the town or people that grew up there, people are always ready to share. I wanted to try and capture that in this song, and I can't wait to continue traveling to more places and learn about other people's "Right Here" and what that place means to them.
Ironically, Barclay's friends knew and believed Kris Barclay was going to be a Country music star before he did. Kris, from Ajax, Ontario Canada, got his first guitar for Christmas when he was 13 years old and would sing along with his favorite Country songs when nobody was around. As he got older and a little more comfortable, he started bringing the guitar with him on his hockey team’s weekend road trips. It quickly became a team rule that Kris was not allowed on the bus without his guitar.
His friends and family eventually started trying to convince Kris to book shows but he always refused. With some persistence, a friend eventually convinced Kris to resolve this with the only option they had left, a bet. THE bet changed everything. Kris was watching a hockey game with a few teammates and they bet on the outcome of the game. If Kris won, his friends could never again ask him to perform in public. If Kris lost, he had to find a stage and book his first gig. Kris lost and the Country music world won.
Had he won, Kris may have never performed in front of an audience. He may have never entered and won a contest at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival. He may have never signed a record deal. And he may have never released his debut single. Losing a bet is responsible for the birth of Kris Barclay's Country music career.
Now in his 20s, Kris is ready to let the world in on his craft and let them experience the unique twist he puts on Country music. “I’ve always loved the lyrical side of Country, but I also love the fun, carefree side,” Kris says. “I want listeners to be engaged on different levels and feel different things when they listen to my music or see me in concert.”
Kris has been performing now for the past 8 years, opening for such artists as Brett Kissel, The Road Hammers, Gord Bamford and Dean Brody. At the 2018 Boots and Hearts Music Festival, Kris was voted by fans as the wildcard entry into the Emerging Artist Showcase, allowing him to compete against six other artists in front of a jury of Country music artists and industry execs. Kris went on to become the first ever wildcard artist to win the showcase. This earned him a spot on the mainstage to close the weekend’s festival, and a trip to Nashville to write with some of Country music’s top songwriters.
Also part of the win was a recording deal with Warner Music Canada, the label released his debut single 'Loved You Like That'. The song about the one that got away was co-written by Chris Kimmerer, Josh Reedy and Brian Bunn (Thomas Rhett). “This song is about seeing that person you wish you still had being as happy as you wanted to make them but with someone else and wishing you could go back and do things over,” he says. “ I hope people can relate to the lyrics of the song when they hear it.”
In 2020, Barclay spent the beginning of lockdown the way many of us did, carefully following health guidelines, taking only necessary trips, and admittedly playing a lot of video games. With limitations lifting, he was able to get out on the golf course often. Kris also spent much of his summer 2020 on the ice with the 3 Zones Hockey School, in Whitby Ontario, after training with 3 Zones in his minor and junior hockey years, Barclay traded in his equipment for a tracksuit, training athletes through weekly training camps.
This chance doesn't come often as Barclay's summers are hectic for artists travelling from outdoor stages to various festivals, so he’s typically a no-show to family gatherings and birthday celebrations throughout the summer. He’s been grateful for the additional time with his family and being able to celebrate those milestones but is anxious to be able to perform again. Kris was able to debut his single "360" in late July of 2020.
The song was actually delayed, a battle many artists are fighting with the pandemic. His co-writers pitched the idea of, what’s better than a 10/10 is someone who’s got it all. That’s 360, not just good-looking, and a good human, but all of it. The song has been great for lightening the vibe considering the pandemic. “360” let us escape the turmoil of COVID-19 for two and a half minutes. Barclay says he really wanted the tone of this single to be reflective of the vibe in the writing room the day that it came to be.
Barclay is also extremely passionate about supporting the many Canadians who have worn the uniform and served for our Country. For him, it’s not about politics, it’s about the individuals who made a tremendous sacrifice and put their lives on the line for our Country. HIs passion is fueled by his appreciation for his grandfather’s service and the extraordinary sacrifice made by so many Canadians alongside him. Kris is a proud supporter of Wounded Warriors Canada, and has along with other participants, joined in the Rucksack March for Remembrance wherein participants carry 50 lbs on their back, and travel 10km, raising awareness for the mental health of Canadian Veterans.
Kris sees success in the music industry as relative. For some people, it’s playing a pub or a patio, it takes a lot of guts. Getting out there is tough, and if you get out there, that’s successful. You’ve achieved your goal. Barclay sets goals for himself, and is following his dreams recognize the time it will take to get there, and set those smaller goals along the way. "Stop and smell the roses and appreciate the milestones or you’ll always be in pursuit of something else," Kris espouses wisely. Finally, be realistic and stay focused. Success is relative. Set your goals, and if you reach them you’re successful. Not everyone needs to sell out to be successful. If you love what you’re doing and you’re happy with it, you’re succeeding.
Over the years, Kris has become at home on stage and his exciting and energetic stage presence keeps bringing fans back to see him preform. “Time seems to stand still and everything else in life outside of what’s happening on stage seems to disappear,” he says. “When I’m looking out into the crowd, seeing people signing along with the songs, I truly feel like I am doing what I supposed to be doing.” Kris Barclay looks forward to being able to connect with music lovers soon, in person and safely. Don't miss the opportunity fo connect with Kris Barclay and his music as his talents should not be missed by Country music lovers.