By Alison Squires
What started out as an idea shared between former schoolmates ended in a tour of a lifetime and the beginning of a new relationship with fans on the other side of the world.
So it was for Saskatchewan’s country music sweetheart Codie Prevost and his industrious good friend Ryan Anderson, formerly of the Fosston area and now a resident of Australia, who took a leap of faith to participate in one of the world’s largest country music festivals in Australia.
In an interview last Tuesday with Prevost, reflecting on the experience from his home in Warman, he said he had just mentioned it to Anderson and it went from there. “I had talked to Ryan about it, suggesting that as he has his own company for DJing, maybe it was something we could try, and six, eight months later I was there (in Australia).” “It was a busy trip, but worthwhile,” said Prevost, who worked on building his fan base, releasing a song and gaining the experience of working with another company.
“The people there are awesome,” said Prevost. “There is such a country music following and if they really like you, they will follow you to the next show. By the end of the tour, it was like you were all family. It was incredible to see that kind of support.”
As for Anderson, the gamble of bringing Prevost across the ocean paid off. “Codie’s Australian debut went extremely well,” stated Anderson in an email to the News. “I have always been very proud of his achievements in his music career. I was excited and honoured the day Codie asked me to help him out with his idea of expanding his music across the world to Australia.”
Anderson managed to book Prevost for a whirlwind tour of 15 shows in 18 days, including the Toyota Country Music Festival held in Tamworth, Australia. “Seeing Codie Prevost and his Australian supporting band, Hurricane Fall, play on the main stage two times during the festival — that was a huge achievement for me!” According to Anderson, the 10-day Tamworth festival draws about 50,000 people and is touted as one of the world’s top 10 music festivals.
While he was there, Prevost released his first Australian radio single All Kinds of Crazy, said Anderson. “In its first week, it debuted in the top 20 most downloaded songs in Australia,” said Anderson of Australia’s initial reception to Prevost. “The single was also released in New Zealand and Europe and the music video was sent to CMC, which is the Country Music Television channel in Australia.”
“As an artist,” said Prevost, “it was incredible to see that kind of support. It was a little overwhelming, but they seem to really love music.”
Prevost said there are still a lot of CD stores in Australia, whereas here in Canada the stores are disappearing because downloading music online is becoming the norm. Having never been to Australia, his fans surprised him. Anderson recalled a time when he and Codie were walking down a street in Tamworth. “This fan came up to Codie and said ‘Excuse me, are you Codie Prevost? I have been listening to your music for years!” While Codie was signing his autograph, the fan said, “I’m sorry, but I am just a little starstruck.” Said Anderson, “Australia loved this small town showman.
His new fans are patiently awaiting his return here again.”
The whole experience has the two friends planning for an encore visit as soon as August. As a relative newlywed and brand new father, Prevost hopes to take the family along for possibly his third visit next January. As for taking the big leap, Prevost was pretty positive over the results.
“You just don’t really know what’s out there until you get out and see,” he said. Wise words for such a young man.