Throughout his lengthy career singer/songwriter Charlie Major has achieved many things, including Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Association Awards. But on Saturday the country singer will be making another first in his career. On Saturday (March 1) Major will be performing in Nanaimo for the first time in his lengthy career. “I’ve never played there,” he said. “I actually worked at a sawmill in northern Vancouver Island when I was 18.” Major is no stranger to performing on the road. Since his breakthrough into the Canadian music scene in the early 1990s, he has performed throughout Canada and around the world.
“I look forward to playing everywhere all the time. Seriously, I know it sounds corny but I do. The audiences are great. I love it,” he said.
Major, who was born in Quebec, became involved in music when he was a young boy. “I think it kind of picked me,” he said. “I started playing piano when I was about eight and picked up the guitar when I was about 10 or 11 and it just took off from there. It’s just what I’ve always done.”
In 1993 Major released his debut album, The Other Side, with great success. The following year the Quebec native took home his first of three Juno Awards.
Major was eventually signed to a major U.S. label and was forced to relocate to Nashville. Eventually, things didn’t work out. Major explained that the label wanted him to totally change his creative direction, which was something he didn’t want to do.
“I just wanted to do what I wanted to do,” he said. “I never wanted go on stage and every night thinking that I feel stupid wearing these clothes and I don’t want to be singing this song, even if it is a hit song.”
Major decided to leave the label and return to Canada. He recalled an interview he saw with country artist Waylon Jennings, which played a factor in his decision.
“I remember him doing an interview once years and years ago and the interviewer ask him if he had anything that he didn’t like singing on stage and right away he said ‘Luckenbach, Texas. I hated that song. I hated recording it. I hated singing it.’ And that’s his biggest hit ever. And I thought I never want to be like that,” Major said. “That was my thinking when I turned them down.”
Fortunately for Major there isn’t a song of his that he hates singing. Since 1993, Major has recorded six albums. His most recent, Shadows & Lights, was released in 2004.
The country singer said that of all the albums he’s recorded, his fourth album, 444, was the most challenging to put together.
“You’re busy touring and interviewing … so you don’t have all the time to sit down and write and work,” Major said. “So that was probably the most challenging one. The ones after that came a little easier but 444 that was the hardest one to do.”
Over his career, Major has performed around the world and with artists such as ZZ Top. He won three Juno Awards and seven CCMA Awards.
“As a songwriter I really enjoy getting the songwriter awards,” Major said. “They are all amazing though because you work so hard to get to a certain point. As a kid growing up, you have dreams and you watch these shows of people getting awards and your heroes and all the sudden you’re standing there getting it. So, they are all special.”
In 2006, Major was on the HGTV show Holmes on Homes.
“It was fun actually,” he said. “I got on the show through some people I knew. I got to meet Mike [Holmes] and it’s funny it was Mike’s birthday right around the time I was suppose to be on the show. So I wrote a song for him for the show and so he ended up using it for the show.”
Since then Holmes and Major have become friends.
“He’s a real nice guy, and a busy guy. It was a great experience and a lot of fun,” Major said.
Charlie Major performs at the Queens with Jayden Holman on Saturday (March 1).