Grande Prairie, Alberta may not be the first place you expect to discover a reggae band. But it was there that Caleb Hart & Al Peterson first climbed an open mic stage together and improvised three songs. The crowd’s response could not be ignored, and while people gathered around them to ask where their music could be found, Caleb quickly made a Facebook page with the name Tasman Jude and directed people there.
Three months later they found themselves with a committed fanbase and an EP charting on iTunes. As they began to tour (now with a full band including Derek Wilder & Bethanie Earle) and word about their energetic live show spread, they released a second single “Family” which quickly began to find a home on radio stations around the world and pick up multiple songwriting awards.
Table of Contents
6:34 – If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
10:24 – How did you get started in the music business?
14:58 – Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
19:30 – What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
26:40 – Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward
If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
That is a very interesting question. I definitely would say I’m not a genre, because that would be putting me in a box. There is only a few bands that I could think of that I could say my personality is like. I would probably have to say a song, because even though there are ways to pattern a song that have been proven to sell more, there is no right way to write a song.
So that is Caleb. There is no right way. You don’t know if I’m going to sing a verse next, or if I’m going to do the bridge, or if there is going to be a guitar solo in my life. That is just who I am. I’m unconventional. I’m a free person. I’m just living life and spreading the love.
How did you get started in the music business?
I’ve been singing since I was four years old. I think it was in church—there is a picture of my with my mouth wide open and the mic six inches away from my mouth, because I was singing that loudly apparently.
I don’t remember it, but my mom says that when I got off stage, everyone was shocked that I could sing that well at four years old. And I walked up to mom and I said, “Mom, I want to do that for the rest of my life.”
Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
To be completely honest with you, there are so many different aspects or levels of that question. I can tell you when I felt most fulfilled as a singer, and that was last summer. It was May long weekend and we got hired to play at a birthday party for a little kid who was blind, deaf and disabled. But we were his favorite band, because he could feel the vibrations.
So his parents hired us. So we showed up to play a gig, we didn’t know the details. And we’re an original reggae band, that’s not a normal hire for us. Parents aren’t running over and saying, “Oh my gosh, we love original reggae music.”
So we showed up to do a gig like we usually do. And we start meeting these children. There were about 30 or 40 kids under the age of ten that, according to doctors, shouldn’t be alive. So we played for a six year old that had had four heart surgeries. And eight year old without an immune system. A four year old that wore a pacemaker. And hear we were, there I was, singing for them. And man, I don’t give a crap about 50,000 spoiled, crazed people that get to go to concerts all the time, as much as I care about those 30 that may never hear a different type of music or get to go to another concert in their life.
And now I see pictures of them, and their parents have put our lyrics over their pictures. And I just ball my face off man. I sit in my hotel room, or wherever I am and I just cry. “So live each day like it’s your last, because every breath is a second chance,” is our lyrics and they are posting it to Facebook and everywhere else. They won’t go to sleep unless they are listening to Tasman Jude.
The messages we get are just phenomenal. So I would say that as a singer, there has been nothing more phenomenal and more fulfilling then playing for the next generation and inspiring them to know that love is the answer.
What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
This industry is full of failure and setbacks and stuff like that. But every time I think of something that used to be or maybe even is right now, I immediately see the solution. For instance, we don’t have a tour vehicle. So we’ve toured in a Kia Agentis, which is like, well, you could call it a sedan, but it’s like a mini cooper size-wise. And that’s without the trunk space. And then we’ve toured in a 15-passenger van. But none of that we’ve owned, except a minivan that we then sold on our Australia tour. So, when it comes to setbacks, the only people that can hold us back is ourselves.
Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward:
If you listen to our song, Follow Your Dreams, the chorus will literally tell you what I believe. “It’s follow your dreams, let your spirit free. Anything is possible if you believe. You can be who you want to be, so work hard. Work hard.” And those are the things that matter.
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Follow Your Dreams