Canaan is an intriguing blend of the everyday working man and rowdy thrill seeker with a poet’s heart and pirate’s ambition. A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, he grew up singing along to everything from George Strait to Rage Against the Machine. He relocated to Nashville during college and began to perform around Music City’s local bars. He landed a publishing deal with Disney Music and teamed with Brett Beavers (Dierks Bentley) to produce his Mercury Records debut.
“I’ve been on the road for two and a half years since‘We Got Us’ and I’ve grown so much,” he notes. “I’ve learned from the audiences how to talk to them. It’s my job to make sure the crowd has a good time, and that’s so important to me because my live show is such an integral part of what I do. And that connection with the audience influences my songwriting.”
In addition to writing for his album, Canaan co-wrote Love and Theft’s top ten hit “Runaway” and co-wrote Jason Aldean’s “Black Tears” with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard. “Whenever I show up to write a song, it could be either for me or somebody else,” he says. “I feel like 95% of the songs that I’m writing on a daily basis I can see myself doing, but obviously I’m not going to have 100 songs on an album, so I have no problem pitching them to other artists.”
Canaan Smith is a songwriter of considerable depth and authenticity, and he possesses a voice that drives audiences to their feet, dancing one minute and crying in their beer the next. “I’m an everyday guy, but I want people to see the layers,” he says. “I’ve known my share of pain and I’ve got a lot to say.”
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