Central Alberta native, Matty McKay has been honoured with a nod at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA).
McKay, originally from Drayton Valley, has been nominated for Guitar Player of the Year for his work playing with Brett Kessel.
He says it’s an honour to be recognized for his work, though he awards is not what he is looking for.
“It’s hard to make a competition out of something so artistic,” he said in a recent interview. “Really he are just guys trying to make a living and be great at our instrument.”
He knows everyone nominated in the category, and says each is a talented musician whom has has known and worked with in the past.
He says it is nice to be recognized for his work and with the others in the category.
“We all work hard on what we do. Though it isn’t about the recognition, it is nice,” McKay said.
The road to where he is as a musician has been a long one.
To date he has earned seven CCMA nominations for Guitar Player of the Year, but unfortunately hasn’t won one yet.
Growing up in Drayton Valley, McKay says being a musician was difficult.
“It was tougher than a lot of other places. There isn’t as many resources and other musicians to call upon,” he explained.
Growing up in a small town in Central Alberta had it’s benefits.
McKay said he had plenty of tine to work on developing his talents.
“There really wasn’t anything else to do, but practise and work,” said McKay.
He called growing up in a small town an “almost blessing” when becoming a musician.
Because there wasn’t much else to occupy his time, McKay says he taught himself a lot, and was able to develop his own style.
“I wasn’t influenced by to many outside forces. When it came to music I was able to find my own way and my own sound,” McKay said.
McKay says he always wanted to be a professional musician, and the dream was realized when he was 22-years-old.
At that age MaKay began playing with Gord Bamford.
When he lived in Sylvan Lake he played with Bamford the entire time.
Since then he has played with a variety of musicians and artists. Now he plays with Brett Kessel, who is nominated for Male Artist of the Year.
“I haven’t really looked back since then,” he said.
The Guitar Player of the Year award will not be broadcasted along with the rest of the CCMA.
The award will be awarded on Sept. 9 and the industry gala dinner with the CCMA the following night.
“I’ll still be [at the CCMA]. I’ll be performing with Brett Kessel,” McKay said.
McKay said he is very fortunate to be a professional musician and to be nominated for the award.
“Playing is really rewarding, I love being able to create,” said McKay.
The awards will be presented in September in Saskatoon this year.