Aaron Allen On His New EP “Highway Mile” and CMAOntario Award Nominations

Country artist Aaaron Allen and his tattoos

You know what tattoos and country music have in common?

They’re both an integral part of Aaron Allen’s life.

Aaron Allen is an incredibly talented artist… Not only is he a great singer/songwriter, he’s also a kickass tattoo artist.

It’s been an exciting year for this very talented emerging artist! While all of Canada has been stuck at home dealing with COVID-19, Aaron has released his EP titled Highway Mile. He is also nominated for 2 CMAOntario Awards: Rising Star, and Male Artist of the Year.

stream the EP highway mile by aaron allen

We had the chance to chat with Aaron to get to know him a bit. We talked about his latest EP, his nominations, and how he is coping with self-isolation.

Before we get to the interview, take some time to listen to his EP Highway Mile.

Stream the new EP Highway Mile

Interview With Canadian Country Artist Aaron Allen

Front Porch Music: Aaron –  Welcome to the Front Porch! We’re so happy to have you join us. Since this your first time on the Porch, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

Aaron Allen: I’m a country music singer/songwriter originally from Chatham Ontario but I’ve been based in London Ontario for about 15 years now.  I’m married with two kids and I’m a Leo lol. 

I’m also a tattoo artist.  My wife, Aimee and I own a tattoo shop called The Taste Of Ink.

Front Porch Music: It’s been an interesting month for you! We’re all practising safe social distancing and stuck at home, but you released a new EP on April 3rd, and then just this week it was announced that you are nominated for both Male Artist, and Artist of the Year at this year’s CMAOntario Awards. Congratulations! Tell us about the ups and downs of your month.

Aaron Allen: It certainly has been a rollercoaster for all of us.  I’ve been really trying to look at this serious situation as positive as I can.  With everything going on in the world I’m really focusing on spending as much time with my wife and kids as possible.

Appreciating what we have in our very small bubble right now is helping my family cope through this situation. 

As for the music side of things I’m just so grateful for how things have been shaping up.  We really made a record close to my heart and to have that connect with people is a dream come true.  I won’t lie, the CMAOntario awards came as a surprise.  There is so much talent right now in Canadian Country music and to be nominated alongside such amazing groups of artist is such an honour.  

I’m not sure I ever imagined I would be nominated for an award along side a legendary like Jim Cuddy.

Front Porch Music: As mentioned, Your EP Highway Mile was released earlier this month. It’s a great collection of songs! Tell us about the recording process with award winning producer Jeff Dalziel.

Aaron Allen: Jeff has been a huge blessing in my musical career.  Jeff kind of took me under his wing and mentored me.  The advice and guidance he gave me elevated me as an artist and a song writer.  With Jeff it’s not really about just going in the studio and laying down the song. 

There’s a whole process leading up to that so by the time you get in the studio it’s just easy and fun.  We were both completely on the same page.  He took the time to figure out who I was and what was important to me as an artist and in turn that brought out the best in our musical relationship. 

I think we created something we both will love and appreciate for many years to come.

Front Porch Music: We think so too! Speaking of the EP, you’re credited as a writer on every song on Highway Mile. You’re a really talented songwriter! What’s your creative process, where do you draw your inspiration?

Aaron Allen: I appreciate that, thank you. 

My creative process is usually the same everyday.  I leash up my dogs throw on my head phones and go for a long walk.  I listen to the words and melody in other songs and from that I’m inspired.  On these walks things will pop into my head.  I’ll write them down or sing them into my phone and when I get home I’ll sit down with the guitar and try to turn those ideas into songs.  I’m also really inspired by the world around me. 

My family and friends are a huge part of the story and make their way into most of what I write.

Front Porch Music: On top of being a talented singer/songwriter, you’re also a tattoo artist! Clearly you’re a creative person. Does creativity run in your blood?

Aaron Allen: Definitely.  Many people in my family play instruments.  My brother Myles is a great drummer and we’ve played together in various bands for close to 20 years.  As well my dad plays guitar, sings and is quite good at drawing. 

Front Porch Music: Right now, we’re all stuck at home trying to do our part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. What are you doing to pass the time while practicing social distancing?

Aaron Allen: I’m still writing and creating music.  It’s difficult sometimes because in this current state it’s really difficult to find inspiration but we are trying our best to charge through it and keep the art alive. 

Aside from writing we have some really cool music collaborations coming out as well.  Most of us have the means to record at home and plenty of time so we’ve been doing some fun collaborations that will be released very soon!

Front Porch Music: Thanks so much for joining us! We can’t wait to hear what’s next from you, and we’ll see you at the CMAOntario Awards this Fall.

In country music, the Front Porch has long been a place of reflection. A place where you can look at the life you have inside that front door. A place where time almost seems to stand still, where you can get away. It’s also a place where you can go to observe the world as it passes by you. To think about your place out there beyond the driveway.

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