Airdrie singer-songwriter hopes to become Big in a Small Town
Airdrie resident Quentin Reddy is one of 30 Canadian country musicians competing in Country Music Television (CMT) Canada’s newest summer music contest, “Big in a Small Town.”
Reddy was featured in the first of two semi-final episodes of the series, which will culminate with the finals on Sept. 6.
In the episode, which was filmed in Jasper and aired on Aug. 23, Reddy faced off against 14 other singer-songwriters from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in hopes of being one of six performers selected for the finals – three from Western Canada and three from Eastern Canada.
Reddy submitted his song, “Beautiful Crazy Life,” which he wrote with friend Darren Crone, to earn himself a spot on the show.
“The song is about coming of age at 34 years old,” said Reddy. “It’s about just taking advantage of life, living for the moment and the time that you’re in, instead of wasting time and letting life get away from you.”
Reddy, who lives in Airdrie with his wife, Jennifer and their three-year-old son, Michael, originally hails from Newfoundland, where he grew up in a musical family.
“The influence was all around me,” he said. “My uncles and aunts were all musicians and singers and I grew up singing in choir. My mother was also a big influence on me. It was my whole life.”
To set himself apart, Reddy began writing music at the age of seven, taught himself to play guitar at nine and began performing at 11.
In 2006, Reddy moved to Alberta to be closer to the country music scene.
“I wanted to work as a musician and pursue that dream on a more permanent basis,” he said.
“It took a few years to get things rolling, but when I got enough venues and connections behind me, I went out and started doing it full time.”
Reddy regularly performs at rodeos and other events in Cold Lake, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Whitecourt, has played at the Calgary Stampede and has opened for Dean Brody, Julian Austin and April Wine.
He was also one of many musicians to perform at the 2011 Concert of Hope in Slave Lake, along with Charlie Major, Dwight Yoakam, Ashley MacIsaac, Stampeders and Nazareth.
Reddy is currently writing and recording his first album with Calgary producer Greg Gunhold and other local artists. The album’s first single, “Rest for My Body” was recorded with award-winning Canadian producer Bart McKay.
Despite these recent successes, Reddy said he was surprised to learn he had made it on “Big in a Small Town.”
“I was shocked more than anything else, I didn’t really expect it,” he said. “You get used to the struggle because after you’ve been doing it so long, the advances in your career come along very rarely. It’s quite amazing. It’s probably the opportunity of a lifetime.”
The top six contestants will be announced during the finale on Sept. 6 before being narrowed down to two performers, who will be flown to Saskatoon for the Canadian Country Music Awards on Sept. 9, where the winner will present the “Video of the Year” award.
The winner will also receive a singles-based recording contract with Slaight Music, production of two music videos funded by CMT and an opening slot on the CMT Canada Tour. The value of the prizes is estimated at roughly $100,000.