Cory Marks: Crafting a Different Kind of Year Through Music

Interview by Rebecca Clark

In a world still emerging from the shadow of a global pandemic, artists are finding new ways to connect and inspire through their music. Cory Marks, the talented Canadian musician known for his unique blend of country and rock, offers a refreshing perspective with his latest single, “A Different Kind of Year.” In an exclusive interview, Marks shared insights into his creative process, upcoming projects, and the essence behind his latest anthem.

Marks’ inspiration for “A Different Kind of Year” stemmed from a reflective moment amidst the chaos of 2021. “I wrote this song in 2021, up in the hills of Mount Charleston, NV with my producer Kevin Churko and his son Kane Churko,” he explained. “Things were just kind of happening at that point with the whole pandemic, and it just made us all really feel and think about not taking those little things for granted, like time and time with your friends and your family and your loved ones. “

The song serves as a reminder not to take life’s simple pleasures for granted and to approach the future with positivity and resilience. “We’re all looking forward to a different kind of year,” Marks emphasized.

“I’ve been, I’ve been working my ass off now for three or four years, writing and recording music,” Marks said. “I’m currently on the Liquored-up Tour with Aaron Pritchett, which is 32 dates across Canada, coast to coast to kick off this year, I have a new single out of course. I have a new rock single coming out next month and followed by a 20-track album, which I’m really excited about. It’s going to be something completely different. I can’t wait for the world to hear it.”

Marks’ upcoming album promises to be a departure from the norm, blending influences from country legends like Merle Haggard with the energy of rock icons like Ozzy Osbourne. “It’s 20 tracks, and they just take you on a ride,” Marks shared excitedly, hinting at the eclectic mix of emotions and sounds listeners can expect.

In a departure from traditional music video production, Marks is inviting fans to be part of the creative process on the official video for “A Different Kind of Year.” By submitting videos of themselves singing the song, fans have the chance to feature in the official music video, offering a unique opportunity for connection and collaboration. Fans can submit their videos through Marks’ social media, which he personally manages.

“Sing the song, sing the chorus whatever your favorite part of the song is and if you record it and send it my way there’s a good chance that you will make it in the music video for ‘A Different Kind of Year,’” Marks explained. “We’re going to mix that in with footage that we’re capturing on this tour right now for the song. So, it’s going to be great mix of the tour life and mix of fans and a little bit of everything for that music video.”

As Marks embarks on his Liquored Up Tour across Canada, he reflects on the joy of being back on the road and connecting with fans once again. “Just being out with Aaron’s crew again and seeing all the old boys, it’s just good to be back,” he expressed. “It’s like a big family on this tour. And most importantly, I think it’s the dynamic and the fun that we have on and off the stage. But obviously seeing these crowds and a lot of these venues starting to sell out is an exciting moment for me to be on a tour.”

Marks radiates so much gratitude for his journey in the music industry, reminiscing about memorable moments like touring with Toby Keith and sharing the stage with fellow artists who inspire him.

“Getting to spend time with Toby Keith and talking Merle Haggard and his songs and sharing our favorite songs, was certainly special,” Marks said. “But opening to sold out arenas to 5 to 10,000 people for a country music legend like Toby Keith was certainly something I won’t forget. It also led to my opportunity to work with Kevin Sugarcoat when we played the Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.”

Marks and Kevin Sugarcoat have cultivated a longstanding partnership in creating music together. “Kevin flew in to see his family and came out to see my show,” Marks recalled warmly. “After the show we had a shot of Jack, we shook hands and we couldn’t wait to work with each other and the rest is history, so we’ve been working together ever since. He’s changed my career completely.”

When prompted to recall one of his most cherished moments with a fan, Marks graciously recounted a heartwarming tale of his enduring connection with the dedicated supporter, Keegan Reva. “Keegan’s parents own a local family-owned restaurant Burger World and he’s my good buddy,” Marks said. ”He has Down Syndrome, he’s just so much fun and is such a sweetheart and loves country music. ‘A Different Kind of Year’ is his favorite song so that makes it really special.”

“I think of Keegan every night when I play that one, but in particular there was a show just the other night at this theater and this little girl with a cowboy hat on who also has Down Syndrome came right up to the stage and gave me a big hug and blew me some kisses,” Mark recalled. “And it made me think of Keegan and she was just so sweet. She met up with us at the meet and greet after the show and that, to me, was a very special moment. A very humbling moment as well, she was just such a beautiful little soul that just put a smile on my face and certainly made my heart feel good.”

Marks said his favorite song to perform live is “A Different Kind of Year.” “It’s a new one and there’s a fun twist at the end that I’ve added on,” Marks explained. “I’ll just say that I am a huge Rush fan and that’s all I’m going to say. So, you have to come see the show to see what I’m talking about.”

Despite the challenges, he remains committed to staying true to himself and his craft, offering advice to aspiring musicians to “keep doing what you’re doing” and to have faith in their journey.

In a world where music serves as a beacon of hope and connection, Cory Marks stands out as an artist who not only entertains but also uplifts. With “A Different Kind of Year” leading the way, Marks invites listeners to embrace change and approach life with a renewed sense of optimism. As he continues to make waves in the music scene, one thing is certain – Cory Marks is here to stay, delivering his unique blend of country grit and rock swagger to audiences worldwide.

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