Taking a bit of time out of planning a hectic summer schedule full of festival performances, Andrew Hyatt is asking Greater Sudbury for its support once again.
Hyatt, who is currently signed to 604 Records, distributed by Sony Music Canada, is one of nine semi-finalists in SiriusXM's Top of the Country competition. He's putting up his latest single, "Habit,” against some of the best country music musicians in Canada.
It's not just for fun, either. If he wins, he'll get $25,000, as well as being able to play at Canada’s biggest country music festivals, industry mentorship programs, a SOCAN songwriting camp in Nashville, TN, and a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC.
The overall winner will play at the Canadian Country Music Awards in some capacity, Hyatt said in a phone interview.
“Habit,” released May 11, was written by Jaren Johnson of The Cadillac Three and Jimmy Robbins, “a titan of country music,” Hyatt said.
“The song came across my email through my management team, and I just couldn't turn it down,” Hyatt said.
“Habit” touches on the standard of a budding romance, and that you can't shake that thought of that person, he said.
“I know the competition, I know the songs, and there are some amazing musicians, but competitively speaking, (Habit) is a great song and it's proving to do well streaming wise, being added to four of the biggest play lists in North America,” he said. “So there's already an indication there that it has what it takes.”
On Spotify, “Habit” is seeing 1,000 streams an hour, Hyatt said.
That's not to say it's going to be all work, though.
“The country community in Canada is pretty tight knit, so there's a lot of friends in it as well,” he said. “Some of my good friends are competing, too. It's fun to just kind of throw jabs at each other, but also it's validation that we are all on the right track.”
“If we win, it gives us more credibility, and the $25,000 will go a long way toward gear for my live shows. After all, improving the live show is always our goal.”
Who the winner is is up to the fans, though. Starting May 17, country music fans across the country can visit topcountry.siriusxm.ca to cast their vote for their favourite video. Canadians are invited to vote for their favourite semi-finalist once per day.
The field will be whittled down to three finalists, all of whom will open for a headliner during the CCMA's Country Music Week, in front of industry professionals and big names in country music. Judges will then announce the winner of the $25,000 and title of SiriusXM's Top of the Country.
“If you like the song, come out and show me your support,” Hyatt said. “I've been playing in Sudbury since I was 12 years old, and I still play there all the time when I'm not on the road. The community of Sudbury is the reason why I've been able to go as far as I have, and I'd appreciate it one more time.”
For more information on Hyatt and his music, visit andrewhyattmusic.com.