UK country artist, and 20-year military veteran, Preston D. Barnes has had quite the breakout year since releasing his debut single “Add A Little You,” and following it with 6 more releases while landing in the #1 position four times. He recently delivered his brand-new single “Send It My Way,” his first stateside release, and we had the incredible opportunity to check in with him to chat all about the song, working with Steve Dorff, recording songs that Steve’s late song Andrew penned, working the US market versus UK, and much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

1) Tell us a little bit about your latest single “Send It My Way.” What can people who haven’t heard it yet, expect to hear when they hit play?

‘Send It My Way’ is a catchy, upbeat song from the amazingly talented late ‘Andrew Dorff’ - A great summery feel to get you in the mood for dancing. A story of heartbreak from a broken relationship, following a journey of a girl moving on, getting her mojo back and ‘sending it my way’ when she’s ready.

2) You worked on the song here in Nashville with Grammy and Emmy Award nominated songwriter Steve Dorff. How did that all come together and what was that experience like for you?

We met Steve a few years ago after he heard a track from my very first covers album back in 2017. Way before breaking into Country Music I may add! Steve has since allowed us to release a few songs from the Andrew Dorff catalogue and it’s been an amazing experience so far, especially visiting Steve at his home earlier this year and getting to know the person behind the songs. A truly inspirational guy that will always live in my memories and beyond. A huge thank-you to him for having the trust in me to release his dearly missed sons masterpieces.

3) Were there any additional pressures you felt with releasing a song that his late son Andrew had written, or was it a badge of honor that you proudly wore into the performance that you placed on the song?

Not at all. Steve has been a wealth of knowledge and a true supporter from the beginning. It’s nothing but an honour to release songs, not only from Steve but from his extremely talented son Andrew. To say we put our all into this song would be an understatement. We really wanted to make Steve proud with this track and from our latest conversation with Steve, he couldn’t be more happy.

4) This is your first official stateside release. What ways are you approaching the promotion for this song that is 100% unique to what needs to be done here in the states that you haven’t had to do in your homeland of the UK?

In all honesty, the PR for releases in the UK isn’t that much different in some ways… I think the only difference is the way in which the US buys into artists, especially UK artists. There is such a bigger market over in the US and quite rightly so because after all, this is where Country Music started right. I think it’s also key that every artist has to have an interesting story too which I’m hoping, with my military experience, is something the US audience will like.

We are working with Aristo Media in Nashville for most of our PR and teaming up with Stormlight Pictures for all video production too; all Nashville based companies. I think this is key for any UK artist who wants to release in the US, you just simply have to get the right team around you and keep pushing hard to be heard with the American machine behind you.

5) You filmed the music video here in Nashville at the popular Alley Taps. In what ways do you feel the visual piece has enhanced the song and how did you come to pick that venue for the right aesthetic?

Oh, interesting question. Well, let’s face it, there’s only one place to shoot a video in country music right? In the heart of Nashville itself, and that’s what we did. You simply do not get bars like this in the UK so it was a steal to film at ‘Alley Taps’ where the scenery and the vibe were perfect for the story. 

6) Looking over to this past year; 2022 was a huge year for you with not only your debut single “Add a Little You” releasing, but 6 other song releases as well. Can you fill us in a bit about the strategy of releasing songs in this fashion rather than constructing a full-length album or EP? Or is that something that you currently have in the works?

We decided to release 6 singles in 2022 in very quick succession in order for us to gain a bit of traction on the scene. Thankfully the fans have been absolutely amazing every single time a single has been released - Something I’ll always be forever grateful for because we simply cannot realize our dreams without the fans, right? Oh, and there may just be an album coming very soon… Shh, I didn’t say that lol!

7) Obviously, the benefits of this type of schedule were huge with high charting positions, including a #1 song. Were you expecting that type of support out the gate, and why do you feel that your songs have resonated so quickly with the fans?

Again, it’s been a whirlwind of a year and something I never expected to happen in reality. My fans are super loyal and always have been since the beginning. We’ve racked up 4 number #1’s and 3 top #5’s since we started and that just blows me away when this time last year we were only just starting out. I can’t thank my fans enough for their love and support; I really can’t. Writing songs that relate to people is the most important thing in my opinion. It’s like, a good comedian will always tell funny stories of real-life situations that people laugh about because it has happened to them or someone they know. It’s the same for music and to be able to do that for the fans is just a perfect gift for them I think.

8) All that hard work and success earned you a nomination for Best UK Male Vocalist at the 2022 BCMA Awards. Congratulations! What does recognition like that mean to you most?

Crazy hey! I think the recognition needs to go to the fans for all their hard work in sticking around and loving what I do. It’s amazing to be nominated for an award and humbling to know people love the voice, but in truth, the fans are the ones that deserve the credit in my opinion.

9) We can’t let this Q&A go by without thanking you for your incredible two-decade service with the British Army. What do you feel your experiences with the military taught you the most that you’ve since carried over into your budding music career?

I think any Veteran will tell you, it’s all about the ability to adapt to any situation no matter how hard it gets, the highs and lows, the rejection, the compliments. It’s something Military Personnel are used to through what we have to endure in service. Never Give Up is something I’ve always stuck by in anything I do…. Thank-you for your kind words, I really do appreciate that!

10) We always like to end with this one; What one piece of advice can you offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry?

Never stop chasing your dreams! Lets face it, every singer/songwriter is one song away from being recognized in some way or another, and for that reason, we have to keep making great music, keep sharing it with the world and always, always respect your fans! One day, something will happen where it will really make everything come to life - After all ‘Music makes memories’.


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