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INTERVIEW: Stouffville’s own Evan Farrell to play for hometown crowd at Wintersong Music Festival

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Evan Farrell is a young up-and-coming country music singer/songwriter—an energetic and engaging performer who appears to have been born to be on stage.  

To date, Evan has released four singles. His 2021 release, “Out There Somewhere” garnered traction through streaming playlists and landed in the Top 20 on Sirius XM CBC Country. Evan’s current single, “Had To Be There” has been rising on Spotify and is also currently spinning on Sirius XM Top Of The Country. We sat down with Evan to discuss his musical journey, and his fire to take 2023 by storm.

Born in California, raised in Stouffville, you first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and have since performed at many Ontario venues, festivals, and writer’s rounds. This Friday, you’ll be performing at Chuck’s Roadhouse in support of the 4th edition of the Wintersong Music Festival. What does it mean to you to be able to not only be a part of the festival, but have the opportunity to perform in front of a hometown crowd?

Evan Farrell (EF): “It really means a lot to me. I play all around Ontario during the summer, usually for strangers, so it’ll be great to have my friends and family out. I’ve played the festival before but never had this prime time placement, so I’m really excited to bring everyone out to have a good time at Chuck’s.”

Cutting your teeth on the bar circuit, you’ve crafted your live show and earned many opportunities, perhaps most notably, opening for Canadian treasure Blue Rodeo, in front of a sold-out arena. With thousands upon thousands hearing your songs, I’m sure it felt like a movie. Take us through the night, and how the opportunity came together. 

EF: “That whole day just kind of built itself up. I got to the arena early and when I walked in, it was immediately a ‘wow this is actually happening’ moment. I helped set up chairs and everything while I waited for my band to show up. After that, Blue Rodeo did their soundcheck and it felt like a private concert which was surreal and also the second ‘wow this is happening’ moment. My band and I did soundcheck and that was the third ‘wow this is happening’ moment. Finally, I was lucky enough to be introduced by the legendary Joe Bowen who I’ve been lucky enough to know for years now, and the rest kind of blew by in the blink of an eye. I was trying to just take it all in throughout the day and I’m incredibly grateful to Blue Rodeo, the bookers, arena staff, and promoters – everyone who made that day happen and was kind enough to let me be a part of it. They didn’t have to do any of that. They let me do that, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I’ll never forget.”

Having written songs since the age of 15, you’ve had the opportunity to work with some pretty esteemed talent; 2019 CCMA Rising Star award winner, Jade Eagleson, and country star, Jason Blaine. In what way(s) have you found working with these gentlemen has positively impacted your career as an emerging country artist? 

EF:  “Just incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to not only work with people like that, but to get to call them my friends. Any time you get a chance to be in a room with someone as accomplished as Jade or Jason you basically just go in trying to be a sponge and learn everything you can from them. On the other side of that, I love being able to write with the people who don’t have a #1 song or are selling out theatres or any of that. We’re all coming up together and the people I write with are some great friends, so I’m really grateful to write music with everyone.”

Splitting your time between Canada and Nashville, how has the Nashville music scene challenged and/or benefited you artistically and individually? What more have you come to learn about the culture of country music?

EF: “It’s been incredible. Just being around music everywhere I go. Being able to walk into any bar and talk to music people about music is something I just can’t do in Canada. The only time I get to be around music folks is at industry events or shows during the summer, so to be immersed in it in Nashville is something that I really appreciate.”

In addition to your passion for music, you’re also a competitive athlete; having played high-level hockey and baseball your whole life. As a homegrown kid chasing your dreams, what have you learned as an athlete, that you look to instill within your music career?

EF: “There’s a lot of things that translate from sports to music. In a way, your band is essentially your team, and gigs are essentially the games. Communication is key. I pass the information for the gig along to the band and we all work as a team to put on the best show possible for whatever venue we’re playing. There’s also the accountability aspect of it – playing sports you’re not just playing for yourself, there’s a whole team counting on you to do your part and do it as best you can. Music is the same way. The venue is counting on us to put on a good show, everyone in the band is accountable for learning their parts and doing the best we can.”

To date, you’ve released four singles. Your 2021 release, “Out There Somewhere” garnered traction through streaming playlists and landed in the Top 20 on Sirius XM CBC Country. Your current single, “Had To Be There” has been rising on Spotify and is also currently spinning on Sirius XM Top Of The Country. With more music recorded, what can you tell us about what’s to come, here in 2023? 

EF: “2023 is going to be a big year. It’ll be the first year that I release multiple songs and booking season is going nicely so far. If all the pieces fall into place, I’ll be able to give everyone lots of music to listen to and lots of places to come out and sing along.”

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    Written by Matthew Patania

    Hi, I’m Matthew, and I am the Founder of Pulse Music Magazine. Having attended my first live show in the Spring of 2015, I realized just how much joy music brings to my life. As my love for music continued to grow, I decided to create a publication that serves as an outlet to share stories told through life's grandest medium.

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