Eric Ethridge is hanging up his chiropractor’s licence and taking his music career to the next level.
“We’re going full steam ahead,” said the Sarnia musician, fresh off a record deal sighing in November — a milestone he’d been dreaming of for years.
“We’ve been working towards this for a long time and it’s been quite a process; now it’s finally set in stone.”
Ethridge’s deal is with the ole management company, under its Red Dot label. It involves exclusive publishing and recording rights, administration of all properties on YouTube, and the acquisition of his self-titled debut EP, which debuted at the top of the iTunes Country charts and was streamed three million times the first six weeks of its release, according to an ole press release.
“So I will be a paid songwriter with them, which is really cool,” he said, adding he’ll continue to travel to Nashville and Los Angeles to write and record.
For Dr. Eric Ethridge, that means giving up his Sarnia chiropractor practice — a move he calls ‘bittersweet.’
“I loved being a chiropractor and I worked with great people,” said the St. Patrick’s grad, who played football while studying at Western University before setting up shop in the city.
He has since juggled work amid traveling, performing and recording. “But I am looking forward to getting more sleep, being more rested, and focusing my attention on one thing.”
From humble beginnings playing the bar circuit in London, Corunna’s Captain Kidd Days and the Boots & Hearts Festival; to winning a coveted Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) ‘Discovery’ Award in 2016, and the ‘Unsigned Only’ competition’s grand prize just this past summer — Ethridge’s hard work is paying off.
After a pair of successful singles (“Liquor’s Callin’ the Shots” and “Makin’ Me Crazy”), his cover of Wave’s “California” was the 6th most streamed Canadian Country Song in 2018.
His most recent single, “If you met me first” has been streamed more than four million times, was just added to Apple Music’s ‘Best of 2018’ list, and was featured on Sirius XM’s ‘The Highway’ for 16 weeks straight.
His goals for 2019 include pushing “If you met me first” to radio, and performing across Canada.
“I haven’t really played in other provinces yet — mainly because it wasn’t affordable to do,” he said. “Now we are hopefully at a point where we can do that, which I am really excited for.”
He’s also planning a vacation for the first time in seven years — along with his family, who he calls his biggest supporters.
“It’s been a team effort; I definitely didn’t do this alone,” he said. “So many people have believed in me along the way.”
As for his next goals, Ethridge says he’d love to win another CCMA award, tour North America and land a chart-topping radio single.
“I am just really excited to get to work.”