Q & A: Canadian Country Artist Brian John Harwood on his Latest Single, “Good Boy”, Songwriting & his Goals for the Year

Hailing from the small-town of Innisfil, Ontario is Canadian solo country artist and founding member of country rock/band Kansas Stone (Wax/Universal Records) Brian John Harwood. With catchy lyrics paired with a pop-country sound, his music has quickly amassed fans across North America, 1M+ collective streams and several top 100 charting singles on the Canadian Country Airplay charts (Harwood). Recently, the CMA Ontario award-nominated artist released his single, “Good Boy”. The song is dedicated to his dog, Lincoln and speaks to the strong bond we share with our dogs.

Recently I spoke with Harwood about his latest single, songwriting and his goals for the year.

KP: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing country music? What made you want to become a country artist?

Brian John Harwood: I fell in love with country music at a young age. I remember listening to Randy Travis, Alabama and Dolly Parton in the back seat of the car on long drives with my family. You could say my mom is responsible for that!  Becoming a musician myself in my early teens, I fell in love with all types of music, but the songwriting in country music is something that really draws me in and attracts me. 

KP: Your most recent single, “Good Boy” was written by you & long-term collaborator Dustin Bird. The song is about your own dog, Lincoln, and speaks to the strong bond we share with our dogs/pets. What inspired you to release a song about your dog? What do you hope fans will get out of the song?

I wrote the song in my office one day when I was at my computer and turned around to see him laying on the couch watching me. I picked up my guitar, and the words and melodies just came out of nowhere. I had the song about 80% done, so I called Dustin to show him my idea and he helped me finish it. I hope it makes people appreciate their pets more if they have them, or remember all the good times if they have lost them. And come on, what’s country music without a song about your dog? Haha

KP: Since the song is about your own dog, what is one of your favourite stories about/memories with Lincoln?

Brian John Harwood: Honestly, he is the most amazing dog! Every single day there is a new memory that is created that always puts a smile on my face.  If Linc isn’t sleeping and snoring, scaring himself when he toots, or watching tv (his favourite movie is The Lion King), then he is taking walks around the waterfront with his sunglasses on making people smile and spreading joy wherever he goes. I am so lucky to have him in my life!

KP: What is one thing you’ve learnt through dog ownership over the years?

Brian John Harwood: Don’t take them for granted, they aren’t here for a very long time. Enjoy every minute like it could be your last. Treat them with respect and love and you will get the same from them in return. 

KP: Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song? How did you come up with the hook for the song?

Brian John Harwood: As I mentioned earlier, I was in my office and I just picked up my guitar and the song started writing itself. I find with my more personal songs, they are almost effortless because they come from the heart. When my eyes water while I’m singing, I know it’s something special. When I brought the song into the studio with Dustin, I knew I wanted more of a traditional country sound-something that really triggered my roots. 

Featured: official single cover art for Brian John Harwood's single, "Good Boy"
Featured: official single cover art for Brian John Harwood’s single, “Good Boy”

KP: You do all your own graphic design. Can you tell us a little bit about the process that went into designing the cover art?

Brian John Harwood: With every single cover I design, I make three or four different options. I then listen to the song while looking at each one individually to see what really feels right. The one I designed last ended up making the cut. I felt as though it showed Lincoln and I in my red pickup truck taking our Sunday drives as we usually do. It captured the exact thing we love to do most together. 

KP: You also recently released the music video for the song, which was filmed by Aj Astle of Roadhouse Productions. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration/creative vision that went into the project? Was it difficult to shoot a music video with Lincoln? 

Brian John Harwood: If you have seen my Instagram account, you know Lincoln loves the camera, always has! This was the easiest video we have ever filmed. When AJ asked what my storyline was for the video, I literally said, “there isn’t one”.  AJ just jumped into the truck with us, we played baseball like usual, and just hung out. It was natural and all about Lincoln and I think he killed it!

KP: You also co-write often. How has co-writing with fellow country artists and songwriters impacted your own music? What is something you’ve learnt from it?

Brian John Harwood: I feel like you can learn something new from every different person you write with. You might not hit gold with every song, but you can take away something from each one. Whether it be a new tip or trick, or a new way to write, it helps make you a better songwriter yourself. 

KP: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Good Boy”?

Brian John Harwood: After getting a charting song in Australia with my song “Hotter Than Summer” at the beginning of the year, it would be great to have one here in my own country. I would also like to find a label, a home where I can build a team that can help push my music farther than I’m able to do on my own. I have lots planned for this year and next year! With solo releases coming out in June, September and November, and another song from Kansas Stone, there will be lots to listen to!

Listen to Good Boy now:

Stay up to date with Brian John Harwood: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brianjohnharwood/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/BrianJohnHarwood/

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/c/BrianJohnHarwood/videos

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2RE0y3x

Website: www.brianjohnharwood.com


Works Cited

John Harwood, Brian. “About.” Spotify, open.spotify.com/artist/1G1bUq811pgPU3TAlPavy4?si=IAjEPKHOSWSDgJiAdvjjdw. Accessed 25 May 2021.

John Harwood, Brian. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Apr.17 2021.

Unknown. “Featured: Canadian country artist Brian John Harwood”. Photo courtesy of Brian J Harwood. Accessed May. 20 2021.

Unknown. “Featured: official single cover art for Brian John Harwood’s single, “Good Boy” ”. Photo courtesy of Brian J Harwood. Accessed May. 20 2021.

Unknown. “Official cover art for Brian J Harwood’s latest single, ‘Good Boy’ ”. Photo courtesy of Brian J Harwood. Accessed May. 20 2021.


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