Conrad Bigknife’s new single is a rare ode to … being single
Award-nominated Indigenous roots artist Conrad Bigknife is embracing the sweet side of living solo with his new single, “Nothing But Me.”
The latest to land following the Saskatchewan-based artist’s fourth newly-minted album, the self-titled Conrad Bigknife, and its heart-wrenching lead single, “I Miss You,” “Nothing But Me” isn’t another ode to a “high lonesome” kind of life.
Instead, audiences will find a celebration of the peace and contentment that can be found in solitude, even when your heart may yearn for another from time to time.
“Now, I understand it’s me, all alone
Doesn’t mean my rambling heart is set in stone
I feel it beat. I’m here and I am free
Living on my own I’m meant to be – nothing but me”
From its honky tonk-ified opening riff to its closing twang and echo, “Nothing But Me” straightforwardly acknowledges that happiness is most often a do-it-yourself project. At a time when isolation has been acute for so many, Bigknife brings on a heartfelt, Haggard-esque reminder that being alone does not necessarily equate to being lonely.
The 2019 Saskatchewan Music Awards Indigenous Artist of the Year nominee is more than proficiently DIY when it comes to his sound; for his new album, released April 2, Bigknife wrote, sung, recorded, mixed and mastered the songs himself, adding a layer of precise skills to raw talent. Additionally, he’s proud to have collaborated with a host of multi-talented instrumentalists to bring the 12 studio and two live performance tracks on this contemporarily themed, classic sounding collection to life.
“I work with great people who put their hearts into these songs, and I’m so grateful because I think these songs show who we are at this point in time,” Conrad said. “We love making music, and I hope that shines.”
Conrad’s can-do confidence was instilled while growing up in a close-knit family of 10 on the Starblanket First Nation near Fort Qu’Appelle, SK. He remembers his father as the ultimate “jack of all trades” — a snowplow driver, carpenter and cattle rancher, all at the same time. His mother also balanced raising a family with being a school bus driver.
Conrad’s big love for classic country and its heroes like Johnny Cash, Freddy Fender, George Strait, and Conway Twitty was also cemented in childhood through his family’s record collection. His reverence for the greats combined with a “conscious decision to throw away any self-imposed guidelines I had adopted along the way of what makes up ‘real’ country music” has resulted in a new single and album that both pay tribute and push the thematic envelope.
“There’s a song for a friend who lost a child, there’s songs that take light jabs at the sometimes silliness of love, and there’s a couple of memories of honky-tonk nights.” Conrad explained. “What makes it a country album more than anything, I think anyway, is the instruments and feel.”
The new single, “Nothing But Me,” and the album, Conrad Bigknife, are available now.