Vocalist Dallas Smith is an artist who knows more than a little about the increasingly narrow divide between rock & roll and country music, having scored hit singles in both genres. Smith was born in Langley, British Columbia, Canada on December 4, 1977. He was raised on a steady diet of both rock and country; as a youngster, his favorite band was the Beatles, but he also had a taste for Nashville stars such as Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks. While Smith liked music and wanted to sing, it wasn't until he was 21 that he formed his first band, a group specializing in rock covers that he put together with his friends. When Smith was 23 he joined Default, a hard rock band with grunge influences based in Vancouver. Default's lucky break came when a copy of their demo tape found its way to Chad Kroeger of the band Nickelback; Kroeger liked what he heard and helped Default land a record deal, as well as serving as executive producer on their 2002 debut album, The Fallout. The Fallout included the song "Wasting My Time," which became an international hit single and pushed the album to platinum status in Canada and the United States.
Default went on to release three more albums, but after 2009's Comes and Goes, Smith became interested in a solo career as the group went on hiatus. Influenced by acts like Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban who were mixing classic rock sounds with country, Smith teamed up with Canadian producer Joey Moi, whose résumé included hard rock bands like Nickelback and Black Stone Cherry as well as contemporary country stars Florida Georgia Line and Jake Owen. After Smith landed a solo deal with 604 Records (distributed by Universal), he dropped his first solo single, "Somebody Somewhere," in November 2011. It was the first track released from Smith's album Jumped Right In, and while the single was modestly successful, it was nominated for the Single of the Year award at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Two other singles from the album, "Nothing But Summer" and "What Kinda Love," rose to the Top Ten on Canada's Country Singles chart, and Smith's new career was on its way as he set out on a co-headlining tour with Chad Brownlee. In March 2014 Smith released a six-song EP, Tippin' Point, which was released in the United States by Republic Nashville. November 2014 brought Smith's second solo album, Lifted, which included two songs that went Top Five on the Canadian Country Singles chart, "Lifted" and "Cheap Seats," and another that went all the way to number one, "Wastin' Gas." The Lifted album was edited to an EP for American release, and in September 2015 the Republic-distributed Blaster Records released a new song in the United States, "Kids with Cars," which was available as a digital single or as a five-song digital EP that also included four of Smith's Canadian hits. ~ Mark Deming