Following the release of his first song and music video, Paul Marier’s music career has turned upside down.
Marier’s song, “Upside Down”, with a video set in Wildwood Public House, was ranked fourth in Canada in downloads on the July long weekend for country singles.
“Seeing a top-five downloaded single in Canada is mind-blowing,” said Marier, who has lived in Powell River for 16 years.
Marier said “Upside Down” is the first promoted single from his first extended play (EP) release, featuring four songs. It’s available on music services such as Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes, and Amazon Music. The EP is called The Good Ol’ Days.
The first single was inspired by COVID-19.
“It was pandemic-influenced,” said Marier, who sings and plays acoustic guitar. “Everybody was living upside down. But even though all the bars were closed, we’re going to keep on going and drinking and doing our thing. It’s an original song.
“I wrote a lot of music during the pandemic. I had a lot more time to pick the guitar up and come up with ideas.”
In terms of the video, being a new artist and it being his first release, Marier said people want to get a visual of who he is as an artist, so his producer friend pushed him to produce a video. Marier wanted something right off the bat that would draw audiences. The “Upside Down” video features Marier singing in the bar setting, accompanied by a small group of partiers having a great time at closing time, with some dancers making an appearance.
“You want to have an upbeat song for a starter to catch the attention,” said Marier. “I had Kelly ‘Mr. Chill’ Hoppe, the harmonica player, who is arguably the best harmonica player in the country and a staple in Canadian music, playing on the cut.”
Marier said his producer had worked with Hoppe in the past and when Hoppe heard the song, “he loved it and jumped on the track.”
“That’s a big name so we figured let’s start with this one,” said Marier.
Next album drops in November
In addition to the four songs Marier cut for the EP, he has another album coming out in November. Over the years, Marier has written a number of songs and he handpicked the ones that go well together for the EP. While “Upside Down” has a country-rock feel, Marier has some more traditional-sounding country selections on his EP. One is a duet with his wife Kara called “Simple”.
The EP features two upbeat party songs; there’s the love track with his wife and the last song is a story about him growing up in Windsor, Ontario, by the Detroit River with his dad and some relatives who have since passed on. He said it features a whole generational story line and is a traditional country song.
“It’s very heartfelt to me,” said Marier. “It’s definitely my favourite song. I wanted to give everyone a taste of the depth of my writing.”
Marier is not a full-time musician by trade. He’s an electrician and was a commercial fisherman for years.
“This has just been a hobby for me,” said Marier. “It has progressed, obviously, with the release of my EP. It now streams daily and I’m actually bringing in some money.”
Marier now has more than 10,000 Spotify listeners.
“That’s just insane to me,” he added.
Marier is also getting some radio play on the Windsor country station but said nobody locally will play his songs because they have to play the hits.
What helps Marier to gain a following is for people to follow him online and like him, to share the music and to comment.
“It’s those things that pick up organic growth,” said Marier. “People going and listening is one thing, but having people interacting, that’s what helps build it.”
Videographer becomes a fan
In terms of the video itself, Marier said videographer Bryce Adams of ONE5 Films came strongly recommended, so he went to see Adams, played him a couple of songs and he “became a fan.”
“He liked the music and thought it was great, and obviously it’s a good opportunity for him,” said Marier. “Bryce gave me an outstanding deal on my videos and we’re working together to help each other build and grow.”
Adams said he listened to the song and came up with the idea for the video.
“I listened to what it was about – it was partying, so I wanted to incorporate a bar setting that we could use,” said Adams. “Because of COVID-19, we kept it short with a few actors and made it seem like the bar was at closing time. The actors we had kind of took over the bar.”
Marier and Adams were both really happy with the end result of the “Upside Down” video. Adams had shot a few music videos before tackling this one. He conceptualized the video before he shot it and said as a result, the editing went smoothly.
Following the release of the single and video, Marier said his fan base is growing across the globe. London, England, is his biggest fanbase, he said. His popularity is growing in Europe.
“It’s kind of crazy that people in London are partying to my song,” he said. “Music is music. A fan is a fan. The whole point of me putting my music out is for people to listen. That being said, though, it’s hard to fly to Europe every year to perform.”
Marier does, however, hope to perform his songs live. He said he has a number of originals as well as some covers, so he could perform a mixed set. He’s hoping that by the fall, he can perform some local acoustic sets.
Marier and Adams have a second video completed and they are working on a third. A fourth will follow, so there will be videos for all of the cuts on the EP.
“Because it’s my first EP and the songs give the fans a range of my style, we decided that for this particular first EP, we would put a video out for each song and style, for a chance to pick up fans,” said Marier. “Hopefully, by mid-August, we’ll be releasing the second video, and then four to five weeks later, the third. Depending on how far we can push the four songs, I’ve got another album ready to rock.”
For those subscribing to streaming services, Marier’s EP can be found by entering his name into the search engine on those services. To watch the video, readers can follow this link: youtube.com/watch?v=cS-9nUw0aOQ.