Country Music Explosion:Thanks for doing this interview,Let's first start off by giving us a little background of your life.
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BACKGROUND Q&A SEGMENT

Country Music Explosion:Did you live in a small town or big city?

Hicks:I grew up in Helsingborg. A small town in the southern part of Sweden.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you attend church?

Hicks:Wasn't much of a church goer growing up.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you have any brothers or sisters,?if so,Are you the oldest?middle?youngest child

Hicks:I have two brothers and one sister.I used to be the oldest.But twelve years ago our older sister called and said "Hi I'm your big sister".Dad was married before he married our mom.We knew about her but we didn't have any contact.But now we do and that's really cool.
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Country Music Explosion:Did you finish school?

Hicks:I finished high school. But never went to collage.
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Country Music Explosion:What were your fondest memories in school?

Hicks:Playing with the band I was in at the school prom.That was the coolest thing I've ever done up till then.I was only twelve years old.It was my first professional gig as a musician.I really love being on stage playing.and the best thing was..Somebody paid me to do it.I also have great memories from playing handball(the European kind not the American style)soccer basketball. I played for the school team in all three. That was just such a blast.
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Country Music Explosion:What did you like to do growing up?

Hicks:I was into sports a lot.When I didn't play music I played handball.I trained four five times a week and played games on the weekend.I was really focused on handball.Until I injured my knee.Then it was music all the way.Me and my
friends played a lot of beach soccer in the summers and that was also something I enjoyed doing.Hanging out with my friends as much as possible.
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Country Music Explosion:When it comes to friends at school,Do you still stay in contact with them?what kind of things did you all like to do together?

Hicks:There are a few that I still stay in contact with.One of them plays bass in my band when he has the time.We do a lot of different stuff together.Go to concerts.Go out and have a beer or two.Hang with their families either stay in and cook or go out to a restaurant.Discuss life in general.Now that we are parents we ask each other for advice and support.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of hobbies did you have growing up and have right now

Hicks:Music has always been my thing.So that is something I still do.I have always been in to sports and training.I go to the gym four five times a week.I love to stay healthy.Listening to music.I could disappear into great music for hours growing up and I still an do that.Not as often but sometimes.
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Country Music Explosion:What is your biggest goal in life? Name three of your biggest weaknesses.

Hicks:My biggest goal is to land one of my songs top ten on Billboard.That is a childhood dream and I still have it.but that is a career goal.I try to be a good dad and a loving husband.I also hope to inspire other people to live a healthy lifestyle.

My biggest weaknesses:Red Wine I love a glas of good tasty red wine.Favorite right now is Gardo&Morris from New Zeeland.Chocolate is another weakness.Here it is the Belgian chocolate Guyliane my favorite.Combining the chocolate and the wine. Mmmmmm now we're talking.Ice cream made of coconut milk instead of dairy. Mint chocolate chip rules...
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Country Music Explosion:What is your favorite color?"

Hicks:It's a toss up between orange and red.I love colors in general.I don't have that many black clothes.Other than my leather vest and leather jacket and off course my extremely cool hat.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of music do you listen to today?

Hicks:Mostly country both old and new.Rock,classic rock,AOR.Some classical music.Big fan of Bach.Sometime I listen to ambient music without lyrics.
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Country Music Explosion:What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?

Hicks:I don't know if I have any embarrassing songs.I think it depends on who you ask.Most of my friends think that country music is pretty embarrassing.So if you ask them they would probably say every song...But if they're in my mp3 player they are there because I like them.
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Country Music Explosion:Where would you most like to perform?

Hicks:Big arenas is really my thing.Both my music and me as artist really thrive in front of 20 000 people.I don't mind playing clubs.There's something really cool with that intimacy.But a big stage and a big crowd there's where I really come alive.Nissan Arena (former LP Field) to play there would be such a dream come through.And Madison Square Garden wouldn't hurt.
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Country Music Explosion:Who would you most like to open for?

Hicks:Brooks And Dunn I know they've parted ways but get 'em back together and let me open and we have the best country show ever.Add Van Halen to that mix with Sammy and Mike back in the band then that would be the event of the year.
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Country Music Explosion:If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

Hicks:I would probably work with something in the fitness/health field.I go to the gym four five times a week.And I try to live a healthy lifestyle.I love to inspire others to change their life an become healthier.Many of our diseases comes from eating wrong,smoking,drinking too much alcohol,drinking too much soda,eating too much sugar,not exercising and taking good care of yourself.These days there's sugar in almost everything.So my advice is.Read the food labels.Now the manufacturers are some sneaky guys.They have a lot of cool names for sugar.maltodextrin,High fructose corn syrup or HFCS,modified starch,maltose,sacchrose and a bunch of other clever names so you don't think it's sugar.Bottom Lineis too much sugar makes you sick.And I love helping people get healthier.So cut down on the sugar.
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Country Music Explosion:If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?

Hicks:Rock, hard rock, blues in one form or the other.
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Country Music Explosion:What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

Hicks:Rap,hip-hop that talk down to women and objectify women.Calling them bitches and ho's.I just don't get that.Some metal music where it feels like you're getting a scolding by the singer or screamer.I don't know what to call that.
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Country Music Explosion:What hidden talents do you have?

Hicks:I'm pretty good in the kitchen.I love to cook.And my favorite thing is to make up new dishes just cook what we've got home without any recipe.
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Country Music Explosion:When & where were you born?Did you grow up to adulthood there?

Hicks:I was born in the southern part of Sweden in a mall town called Helsingborg.I grew up there but 2001,I packed up my things and moved to Stockholm.The capitol of Sweden.One of the most beautiful cities in the world.Here's so much history. Yet it's a very modern city.
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Country Music Explosion:What was the most common group in the area?

Hicks:It was a typical working class area.Blue collar all the way.Hard working folks taking care of their families.Nothing rich or fancy but not poor either. Middle class I guess.
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Country Music Explosion:What year were you born?

Hicks:1962
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Country Music Explosion:Did you go to college,if so What is your major? How supportive were they about you going away to college?Did you get along with your roommate?Why did you go into that major?

Hicks:No I never went to college. I was dead set on playing music.
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Country Music Explosion:How far back can you trace your ancestors?

Hicks:I thought a lot about that but I haven't done any research.One of my uncles have done some real searching and he traced us back to Algiers and Russia and if I remember right there were some native Americans in that mix too.But I'm not quite sure
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Country Music Explosion:What was a typical weekend like growing up?

Hicks:A typical weekend would consist of a few handball games.Hanging out with my friends.Practicing guitar or bass.
Listening to music. Maybe going to the disco for us kids. Go to the movies.
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Country Music Explosion:What language do you speak?

Hicks:English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and I can understand some German if they speak slowly.
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Country Music Explosion:What schools did you attend? Where located?

Hicks:Hogasten, Norrehed and Ronnowska skolan. All located in Helsingborg.
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Country Music Explosion:What kind of activities or organizations were you a part of?

Hicks:Being a kid I was in the boy scouts.But it wasn't really my thing so I quit.I was so focused on my handball and playing music so there wasn't really much more time do do a lot of other stuff.And I played a lot of soccer with my friends.
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Country Music Explosion:If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

Hicks:I would probably work with something in the fitness/health field.I go to the gym four five times a week.I try to live a healthy lifestyle.I love to inspire others to change their life an become healthier.Many of our diseases comes from eating wrong,smoking,drinking too much alcohol,drinking too much soda,eating too much sugar,not exercising and taking good care of yourself.These days there's sugar in almost everything.So my advice is.Read the food labels
Now the manufacturers are some sneaky guys.They have a lot of cool names for sugar.maltodextrin,High fructose corn syrup or HFCS,modified starch,maltose,sacchrose and a bunch of other clever names so you don't think it's sugar.Bottom line is too much sugar makes you sick.I love helping people get healthier.So cut down on the sugar.
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MUSIC Q&A SEGMENT

Country Music Explosion:What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?

Hicks:I don't know if I have any embarrassing songs.I think it depends on who you ask.Most of my friends think that country music is pretty embarrassing.So if you ask them they would probably say every song.But if they're in my mp3 player they are there because I like them.
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Country Music Explosion:How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a singer?at the time did you know what Genre you wanted to sing ?

Hicks:It's been in my blood as long as I can remember.Ma'told me that when I was two years old I used my grandpa's big shoehorn as a guitar and played to Johnny Cash. And they all said that "He's gonna be a musician"
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Country Music Explosion:Tell us about the selection process you go through when doing a gig?or in the studio?How do you decide which song to perform or record first?

Hicks:I don't have a certain selection process.In both cases it's all about feeling.How I feel,how the band feel.How it feels at the venue..
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Country Music Explosion:Music-sharing sites and blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today?

Hicks:I think in many ways music has lost it's value. Since most people expect it to be free.
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Country Music Explosion:Which instruments do you play?

Hicks:My voice is my main instrument add guitar, bass and a little bit of drums to that.
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Country Music Explosion:What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Hicks:Like everybody else who got their first guitar it was Smoke On the Water.And I felt like a million bucks playing that riff.
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Country Music Explosion:Is your family musical?

Hicks:Yes
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Country Music Explosion:Describe your family member's musical interests and abilities.

Hicks:My ma' used to play the accordion and organ. She stopped, I don't really know why. I have to ask her.
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Country Music Explosion:Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Hicks:I’m leaning more towards Sammy Hagar.I read his bio.I really liked it.A few weeks ago I saw Dan Rathers Big Interview with Sammy on Youtube.To me he comes across as a very happy humble guy.Like he has his shit together,as an artist,entrepreneur,dad,husband…I love the way he thinks and operates his career.And it seems like he’s very down to earth.It’s not all about ego.My gut feeling tells me that we would get along just fine.He’s actually on my bucket list as one of the people I wanna write with.We both love the good things in life.Good wine,great food,classy tequila
and not in excess.Everything in balance.I think that we would write some amazing songs together.Fun and catchy as
hell…
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Country Music Explosion:Which famous musicians have you learned from?

Hicks:I've been so fortunate to write with the legendary Steve Wariner.And there I learned a lot.He's one of the nicest people in the music business.So down to earth and just the sweetest and funniest guy to hang with.No ego at all.Erik Martensson lead singer from the Swedish rock band Eclipse.Incredibly talented.As a writer,producer,arranger he's one of the best in the world at what he does.
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Country Music Explosion:What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Hicks:There’s so many…Gotthard(from Switzerland)at Sweden Rock Festival.They just owned the whole festival.Steve Lee their former lead singer.(Who tragically died 2010 in a motorcycle accident).Fantastic singer and front man.Prince in Copenhagen when he just put New Power Generation together.Magic…Chris Janson at Hardrock Café Nashville.What an entertainer…Thin Lizzy in Lund with Gary Moore. Phil Lynott was a genius.
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Country Music Explosion:Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

Hicks:Oh yes..Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin.First time I heard it I was to young to understand the lyrics.But I could tell from the feedback from the crowd that what he was singing was important and touched everyone of them.Frank Sinatra,Jim Reeves, Dean Martin the crooners. I'm a sucker for great voices.
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Country Music Explosion:Who are your favorite musicians? Groups?

Hicks:"Brooks And Dunn"-The way they mix country,soul,blues,rock and sometimes a little gospel is just off the hook
"Steve Wariner"-Great guitar playing great singing great song writing.What more can you ask for?"Van Halen"(The Sammy Hagar years)-They just had the whole package.Musicianship,songwriting,
entertainers and I love Sammy Hagars voice."Eric Church"-a modern outlaw that does it on his own terms."Def Leppard"(especially when they worked with Mutt Lange)-Great great melodies and hooks.Larger than life choruses.What they all have in common are strong melodies.I just love great melodies
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Country Music Explosion:Have you been in competitions? Any prizes?

Hicks:I've won the following awards
Global Music Awards 2015:Fan Favorite, Best Male Vocals, Best Video “Mamas Kitchen”
The Akademia 2015:Best Country/Rock Song “I Belong To You”
IMC Awards Los Angeles 2015:Best Country Video “Mamas Kitchen”
ICoMA Country Music Awards Nashville 2014:Best International Country Artist
British CMA London.2013:European Country Act Of The Year
IMN Country Music Awards Nashville. 2012 Favorite Country Group
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Country Music Explosion:Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV.online?

Hicks:I perform in public.It's been everything from big stadiums to small writers venues in Nashville.Done a few tv-shows and I have some booked later this year.There's also been a ton of radio gigs. Mostly me and a acoustic guitar.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you think about when your preforming?

Hicks:Having a good time as humanly possible. I don't try to think at all. Just have fun and enjoy myself.
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Country Music Explosion:How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Hicks:I laugh at it.Sometimes it's funny to tell the crowd that I made a mistake.If it is possible me and the band make a thing of it.Maybe after the next song I do the same thing again but this time on purpose.And there's always someone in the band that will pick up on that.We have a great chemistry in the band.trying to throw a big party every night we play. Mistakes or not...
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Country Music Explosion:What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Hicks:Try to relax.I know that's hard to do when your legs are shaking.But It's not the end of the world if you make a mistake. It's just music and music is supposed to be fun. So go out there and have as much fun as you possibly can.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?

Hicks:The only sessions I attend are writers nights in Nashville.That's really cool to play your songs with other writers and artists.And hear the different stories how they came up with the songs,what was inspiration behind them.A good session is when the energy is high and people are really listening. Totally different from playing an arena.
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Country Music Explosion:How often and for how long do you practice?

Hicks:Around an hour a day.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you practice - exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Hicks:Singing and playing guitar.The closer to a show I come the more I practice.It's usually a mix of playing new and old tunes and sometimes a cover or two. You learn a lot from playing other artists songs.
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Country Music Explosion:How do you balance your music with other obligations - friends,family, job?

Hicks:That puzzle is sometimes hard to fit together.But somehow with the support from my family and good friends,we make it work.Planning is key,to make all the logistics work.I took a little break after"I Belong To You"my previous single.To recharge the batteries and hang with my family.I'm trying to take short brakes.Take a trip to Spain or Greece.And then back to work.I think taking time to wind down is really important.A few months ago I started doing Shaolin Qi Gong.And I must say that has been a total life changer.I feel more calm even when it's a little stressfull.
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Country Music Explosion:Are you currently looking to be signed to a label?If your signed,can you give us a little insight on how you see the way things are done?is it like a big family?

Hicks:I have my own label KashKow Music.Sometimes it would be nice to have a bigger label behind your back.I'm working with Michael Stover at MTS Management and that takes a load of my shoulders.I wouldn't be where I am today without him.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you have any new releases coming out soon?if so,what is the name of the song,Album and is it available now for pre-order?

Hicks:I've just released my new single Stomp A Little Louder https://youtu.be/oldib_KV3K4 A Song that I co-wrote with one of my musical heroes Steve Wariner.The coolest thing is that Steve and his son Ryan plays the guitars on the track.I am so grateful.I mean what are the odds for that happening. Just incredible.It's out now on all the digital down load sites. iTunes Amazon...
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Country Music Explosion: Any earlier releases?

Hicks:Stomp A Little Louder is my 6:th single, my 4:th in the US.My first single was Mamas Kitchen and that song started this whole crazy thing.Hayride did follow up the craziness.Bad Call After All,Unreachable Dream and I Belong To You all available on iTunes.
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Country Music Explosion:What else can we expect from you in the future?

Hicks:Going to London Tuesday the 25:th of Oct to do a Tv-show called Country Sessions.It's gonna air in December.
Going back to my hometown for a big Christmas show.Being out on the road a lot more.Doing some more TV-shows.I have a killer album in the making.So many amazing songs.So proud of every song.Right now I'm having a hard time picking the ones that should be on the album...But that is a real luxury problem.Working on a UK tour next summer.
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Country Music Explosion:Do you and/or band have social media accounts where fans can reach out to you?if so,what is the URL for them?

Hicks:I can be found at the following

Webpage: hickscountry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hickscountry/

Twitter:@hickscountry

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/user/hickscountry

Instagram:@hicksathickscountry
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Country Music Explosion:When it comes to your music,Do you have one that You're most proud of?If so what is the name of it?

Hicks:Toss up between Mamas Kitchen and Stomp A Little Louder.
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Country Music Explosion:Can you tell us if there is a story behind the song?

Hicks:"Mamas Kitchen" is a song about me and my brothers.We don't get to see each other that often.I live in Stockholm and they live in Helsingborg.And we travel the world in our different lines of work.I was on the plane on my way to Nashville and I thought about my brothers how I miss them and I said to myself "well we always meet up in Mamas Kitchen.."and boom..That's a song..I wrote it down immediately.It's a homage to Ma' for taking such good care of us boys and spoiling us rotten when we come home.It's here we tell our stories share what's going have tease each you know just being family.

"Stomp A Little Louder"We wanted to write an inspirational song.We had the title.Steve came up with that AMAZING guitar riff.And we were off.The song kinda wrote itself.We were just laughing and having a great time and all of a sudden the song was there.This song is also so special to me cause I got to write it with Steve Wariner.One of my heroes.
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Country Music Explosion:Which of your song's do you feel most people can relate to?Can you tell us the story behind the song

Hicks:I think most people can relate to Mamas Kitchen. How it feels to be surrounded by the people you love and who loves you back. Sharing food a cold beer and good times.

I believe that almost anyone has a dream of some sort. Stomp A Little Louder is about following that dream and give it your all. I mean really give it your all. I think people can find both inspiration and strength from that song.
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Country Music Explosion:What message are you trying to send with your music?

Hicks:I want people to have a good time listening to my music.But also be inspired to walk to beat of their own drum.
And maybe sometimes reflect a little...
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Country Music Explosion:What age group is your music aimed towards?

Hicks:It's not aimed at any age group at all. It is for everybody who likes Country with a little meat on the bones.
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Country Music Explosion:What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

Hicks:Country with a little meat on the bones.My Influences are Brooks And Dunn,Steve Wariner,Garth Brooks,Van Halen,Def Leppar,Eric Church
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Country Music Explosion:What are your songs about?(What specific themes do they cover?)

Hicks:They are about almost everything.I have love songs,happy ones and sad ones.Inspirational songs,follow your dream kind of songs.Questioning songs that ask questions'bout a lot of stuff.There might be a song or two that is a little critical.'Bout how the men in office and big corp are doing their best to ruin this world.
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Country Music Explosion:What image do you think your music conveys?

Hicks:Kick back have a good time and forget your troubles for a while. And I hope it's inspirational...
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Country Music Explosion:Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

Hicks:I have performed everywhere from hole in the wall honky tonks to big arenas.One of my favorite venues is CMA Fest. That was just awesome to play there. Another favorite was performing at the British CMA.
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SONGWRITING Q&A SEGMENT

Country Music Explosion:Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

Hicks:Since I'm a solo artist I write most of the songs.Either by myself or co write.It's all kinds of topics.Like life changes, the topic will change.
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Country Music Explosion:What are your main impulses to write music?

Hicks:I feel something.I see something.I have something to say about something.I do have a need to express myself.And when that urge is to big. I turn it in to a song.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments and pieces in your songwriting and/or career?

Hicks:Winning "Best European Country Act Of The Year"at the British CMA in London.That took my career to a whole new level.Writing songs with Steve Wariner.One of the best co-writes I've ever done.Fun,effortless,relaxed.I had the time of my life and great songs came out of it.
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Country Music Explosion:When it comes to song writing, what are your criteria for quality? What are currently your main challenges and ambitions as a writer?

Hicks:The song has to say something.Both lyrically and musically.It has to groove in one way or the other.And it has to move you both physically and emotionally.The challenge I have right now is to write with even more air. If that makes sense.My ambition is to land a song top 10 on billboard hopefully #1.
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Country Music Explosion:What do you usually start with when working on a new Music?

Hicks:I usually start with the title.But sometimes it's a guitar riff.It could be a melody.Or a topic.But when I have a title I usually write that song pretty quick.
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Country Music Explosion:Tell us a bit about the selection process for deciding on what to write about,please.What sources will you draw from for research purposes and how much time goes into research,information gathering and fact-checking in general?

Hicks:Someone once told me write what you know.And that is what I usually do.So my research is,being true to myself.I never wrote a song that need some fact check up yet.But maybe in the future that'll come.
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Country Music Explosion:Whom do you feel your obligation is to.. other artists or the fans, and how much do you feel is songwriting restricted by external factors?

Hicks:My obligation is to the fans.And of course myself.I write songs that I wanna hear on radio myself.And if somebody else likes them absolutely fantastic.
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Country Music Explosion:When and why did you start writing songs?

Hicks:I've been writing as long as I can remember.There's always a melody spinning in my head or a lyric line I'm tweakin' on.I just love music.It's who I am. It's how I express myself.
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This Concludes the interview,We hope you enjoyed it.