If you’re looking for a song to dedicate to the one you love, Casey Barnes has you sorted with his latest single, God Took His Time On You.
The Gold Coast singer-songwriter wrote the track about 12 months ago with Nashville songwriting partners Kaci Brown and Sam Gray.
It’s appropriate I spoke to Casey this week about the song, as he and wife, Michelle, celebrated their 15th anniversary.
“This is the ultimate tribute to your partner because it’s saying that whoever made you took their time because you are perfect,” Casey said.
“Sam said he’d been tinkering on his guitar with different melodies and Kaci was riding on the ride-on mower when the idea came to him, so went in and said, ‘I’ve got this amazing idea for a song and we need to get Casey on Zoom’.
“When they played me the initial idea, I loved it and the song wrote itself; we all knew it was a special track.”
Since then, Casey has been racking up the No. 1 singles and streams.
“I’ve been waiting on the right time to put this out there,” he said.
“Coming off the back of the last single, Come Turn Me On, which is a really uptempo country crossover track, we asked, ‘do we back it up with a ballad?’ We’ve been blown away with the reaction.”
Although having only released the lyric video by Jay Seeney so far, it’s been the most-viewed video Casey has had so far with more than 100,000 views already and there’s still a full official video to come.
Overall, Casey has hit more than 20 million streams worldwide.
“It’s been great that we’ve been able to build the fanbase in the States and Canada and at least half of the people who have been watching the video have been in the US and streaming the tracks,” he said.
“Just before COVID hit, we were on a roll over there and we’d played at the PBR world finals in Vegas and signed with WME, a booking agent in Nashville, so the definite plan is to get back over there.”
Although his music is being embraced by North American audiences, the artist, originally from Tasmania, said he wasn’t looking at relocating permanently to the US at this stage.
“We’ll just wait and see,” he said.
“If the right opportunity came along, we’d maybe look at it, but I’m settled here.”
Anyone who’s listened to Casey’s music would know he didn’t grow up on a diet of pure country music, reflected in his contemporary take on pop country.
“I grew up listening to a real mix of genres – a lot of country and the reason I picked up the guitar was thanks to James Taylor, but also listened to Elton John, Dire Straits, Matchbox 20, Live, so everything from country, pop to rock,” he said.
“Mum had an amazing record collection that I used to go through all the time and then five years ago, I was introduced to Michael Paynter who is one of my favourite all time human beings and is the Icehouse guitarist.
“He has M Squared with Michael Delorenzi and when we blended my headspace of country music and their headspace of more contemporary sound, we wrote Just Like Magic and that set everything off after that – our sounds just seems to click.”
Casey still has M Squared do all his production.
Although COVID has reduced the number of festivals, Casey said he was learning to adapt and roll with the punches.
“It’s very easy to put the cue in the rack, put off releases and I understand why people feel that way, but I’ve gone the other way and thought how can we still move forward, engage with fans, put music out and work harder than we’ve ever worked before, so I put album out right as the COVID shutdowns happened last year, but it turned out to be the best thing we’ve done,” he said.
Casey will play The Squealing Pig Farm on the outskirts of Toowoomba this weekend and Country Music Raceday on September 11.
He’s also got four nominations at the 2021 Gold Coast Music Awards on Saturday, September 4 for Song of the Year, Release of the Year, Live Act of the Year and is defending the coveted title of Artist of the Year, which he won in 2020.