Interestingly enough a lot of great country artists on the scene right now hail from Canada! Our Swag Spotlight artist this week, Cory Marks grew up in North Bay, Canada, outside Ontario. Although his musical influences and interests have evolved over the years, Marks has created an image and a fanbase that is unique to him and his genuine talent.
Marks grew up in a big hockey town and admits that hockey was one of his first loves; however, music was always a staple in his life. “Being from Canada obviously, I grew up on a great variety of music,” he shares with us, “My dad loved bands like Rush, Deep Purple, and Ozzy, and then he also had a deep passion for my hero, Merle Haggard.” The singer’s musical taste ran the gamut of genres from hard-rock to traditional country music. It makes sense why the singer gravitated to the drums at just ten years old, and later, dabbled with the guitar.
Throughout high-school, Marks sang back-up behind his drum kit in various bands with his friends, but it was not until his twenties that he actually considered being a frontman, after a push by his hockey teammates. “We would go out to his bar every Tuesday,” he began, “And really that’s how it all got started for me. I was starting to write more and do cover stuff on Youtube and Facebook [too].”
Honing his talent, playing at various bars in town, Marks realized that he had a passion for playing country-rock music and had a lot of support from his teammates, family, and friends. “I was playing every bar in town and even elsewhere, and that’s when I was picked up by my manager,” he recalls, “In 2017, I signed my [current] record deal as the flagship country artist. The first and only country artist on a hard-rock label.”
Flash forward to today, the singer-songwriter has released his debut record WHO I AM and even had his first hit song on rock radio with his break-out single “Outlaws and Outsiders,” which features legendary musicians, Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody, and Mick Mars. The debut project exemplifies exactly who Marks is. “The record is based on the story of my life from 2015 to the end of 2017 […] I like to say it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly,” adding, “A lot of the stories are about breakups or hardships or just having a hell of a good time. It’s as relatable and as honest as it gets.”
Although known as the country-rock guy, who revels in his outlaw exterior, Marks admits to loving Christmas and Christmas music. He let us in on a little secret that his next single to come out will be his rendition of a Christmas classic that was originally recorded by a 90s country band called The Tractors. The singer is keeping it a secret for now of which song he changed to fit his vibe, but we are sure that if his previous work is an inclination, that we are in for a real treat. Until then, fans can look forward to more music videos slated to come out soon and a lot of new music heading our way in 2021.
WHO I AM is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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