Ethridge nominated for Canadian Country Music Association award
Ethridge nominated for Canadian Country Music Association award

Sarnia’s Eric Ethridge has been nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association’s Rising Star award. The CCMAs are on Sept. 8 in Calgary. Submitted photo.

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Sarnia chiropractor turned Nashville-based country music singer Eric Ethridge has been nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association’s Rising Star award.

“It’s really surreal. It’s still sinking in,” Ethridge said.

He said so many things have happened after releasing his EP in July 2018, including winning an international song competition, which had 6,000 entries from 95 countries, for the album’s opening track, Girl on Fire.

“It’s been a pretty crazy year leading up to finding out I’ve been nominated for rising star,” he said.

Ethridge also quit his job in Sarnia, moved to Nashville to focus on his country music career and signed a record deal.

“For me, it was just like ‘you know what, no matter what happens I’m going music full time and I’m going to make it work,’” he said.

It took a good six months for it to sink in that Nashville was actually his home now.

“I’m still wondering when someone’s going to call and tell me I’m late for work,” he said with a laugh.

However, the change is worth it when he hears his music on the radio or streaming sites, calling it both a reality shock and humbling. Ethridge hopes his songs playing everywhere will translate into touring his music all over the world.

“I’m always looking ahead and to the next challenge,” he said. “You can’t stop there – you got to put your foot on the gas pedal.”

The nomination also follows the success of Ethridge’s single, If You Met Me First. The song has 4.7-million views between two videos, the audio version and the official music video, posted on Ethridge’s YouTube channel.

The single also played in the top 40 on Sirius XM Radio’s country station, The Highway, for 24 weeks straight.

“It’s been pretty mind blowing,” he said.

The song connected with audiences more than any other song on his EP, and people message Ethridge saying the song is exactly what they’re going through.

“That’s the mark of a great song in my opinion, when it connects to people,” he said. “I hope it’s not the last time I have a song like that, but you never know and I’m grateful it happened.”

Ethridge said he’s proud of his EP, but is even more excited now that he’s working on music for his first full album.

“I think it’s a better reflection of who I am as an artist, a singer and performer, and I just can’t wait for people to hear it,” he said.

This year was all about writing new music and setting himself up for the next couple of years, Ethridge said. He’ll be recording the new album in Vancouver this September and hopes to release some tracks by the end of 2019.

“I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can to keep it going.”