Q & A: Tim Albertson Pays Tribute to Late Father With New Single, “If You Only Knew”

After a successful 2022 season spent performing live on stages across Ontario, Thunder Bay’s resident country artist Tim Albertson is kicking off the new year with a heartfelt new single, “If You Only Knew”. Written by Jessie Slack, Jude Toy & Marika Hallendy, the song is an open thank-you letter expressing all the things we wish we could say to all the fathers that are no longer with us. A song that resonated with Albertson, who knew he had to record it as a tribute to his late father.

Recently, I spoke with Albertson about his journey to becoming a country artist, his latest single and his goals for 2023.

Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with you and your music, can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a country artist?

Tim Alberston: I grew up in the small town of Hurkett (Her-kit) Ontario, population of maybe 250 people I had always had a knack for singing at a young age, taking the stage for the first time when I was 7. I always knew I wanted to sing because even at that early age it seemed to be the only thing I was good at, that made me stand out from all the other kids. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I saw George Canyon in concert with my mom, beside her was a 90-year-old grandmother, and beside me was a 9-year-old kid, and both of them were ROCKING OUT! It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to do this for a living, to be able to hold the same impact with multiple generations, I had found my calling.

Kyla Pearson: What message do you want to share through your music? Why is this message important to you?

Tim Alberston: Mostly my message is about having fun, almost all of my songs are about hanging out and having fun. After the Covid era, it’s something I don’t think any of us will take for granted. The other side of my music is gratitude, to everyone who has helped me reach where I am today. It takes a village and that village gets just as much praise as I do.

Kyla Pearson: Recently, you released your debut single of the year, “If You Only Knew”. Written by Jesse Slack, Jude Toy and Marika Hallendy, the song is an open thank you letter to expressing all the things someone wished they could say to their late father. It also speaks to the difficult emotions that come with losing a parent- Something you’ve mentioned that you’ve experienced. What made you want to record this specific song to convey this very personal story/experience?

Tim Alberston: My dad was my hero, he and my mom taught me everything! He was a long-haul trucker, a real ROADHAMMER! He would blast my songs from his truck in every province, state or county he went to. He taught me that dreams are achievable because he achieved every goal he ever set out to do. When he passed on my 30th birthday, I was ripped to pieces, not sure how I was going to be able to keep moving forward without him in my corner. On the third anniversary of his passing, Jesse Slack sent me this song as a way to lift me up out of my hole and it was PERFECT! Every single word was me and dad and exactly what I wanted to say to him, which started my healing process and really paid the ultimate respect to him.

“Featured: Official cover art for Tim Albertson’s single, "If You Only Knew"." Photo courtesy of Tim Albertson.

Kyla Pearson: On a related note, can you tell us a bit more about the production/recording process? Was it difficult to record a song you relate to on such a personal level?

Tim Albertson: First off I have the best producer and friend in the world, Mr Shawn Moore, and when you work with Shawn, there is no pressure. We both knew the emotions of this single, as he himself had suffered a close loss as well during this time, so we both put our full hearts into the song and it truly shows. I don’t think this song would be as heartfelt and raw emotion without him.

Kyla Pearson: What is one piece of advice /one reminder you’d share with someone who is currently going through the loss of a loved one/parent?

Tim Alberston: Celebrate the memories, not the loss. Like i said earlier my dad was my hero, so losing a hero was the worst feeling I have ever gone through. Lean on your family and friends, they helped me more than I will ever be able to thank them for, and they probably don’t even realise what they did, but they were just there! Dads always been with me, and now instead of being in front of the stage, he’s on stage with me.

Kyla Pearson: Last year, you opened for Lee Brice, in addition to playing on stages across Ontario. What is one stage you’d love to perform on and/or a music festival you’d love to be a part of this year?

Tim Albertson: Last year was dream come true, to open for Lee Brice at the inaugural Country on The Bay festival in my town of Thunder Bay, in front of THOUSANDS, it was a dream come true! If it’s a stage, I mean I think all of us dream of the Grand Ole Opry, but in terms of festivals, Boots and Hearts, Cavendish Beach, and Dauphin Countryfest are at the top of my list. The atmosphere those festivals bring are the reason why I want to play those festivals so badly!

Kyla Pearson: Can fans expect new music from you later in the year?

Tim Albertson: We are currently in pre-production for a new single coming around summertime, and possibly an EP in the works as well! In terms of a hint….. The party keeps going with me!

Kyla Pearson: Lastly, what is one piece of advice/guidance you'd give to emerging artists?

Tim Albertson: If you’re an artist just starting out, reach out! I would have never gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for my friends in the industry. One message to a well-known Canadian artist, Aaron Goodvin changed my entire future in this industry. So thank you, Aaron! But from there it’s maintaining your friendships and being there for one another. THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION, THIS IS A FAMILY! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

Listen to "If You Only Knew" Now:

 

Stay up to Date With Tim Albertson:

Instagram: @timalbertsonmusic

Facebook: @timalbertsonmusic

Tik Tok: @timalbertsonmusic

Apple Music: Tim Albertson

Spotify: Tim Albertson

Works Cited

Albertson, Tim. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Feb 15, 2023.

 

Unknown. “Featured: Ontario Country Artist Tim Albertson.” Photo courtesy of Tim Albertson. Accessed Feb 15, 2023.

 

Unknown. “Featured: Official cover art for Tim Albertson’s single, “If You Only Knew”.” Photo courtesy of Tim Albertson. Accessed Feb 15, 2023.

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