Tell us about your career, including your history, where you are from and how you started?
I’m from London, Ontario and started playing music around the age of four. I took piano lessons, but didn’t take to it very well. Years later, my family moved out to the East Coast of Canada (Newfoundland and New Brunswick), where I lived for over a decade and where I really started to take music seriously. Some of the first songs I actually began writing were rap songs, which then progressed into learning how to play the guitar around 11 years old.
Fast forward years later to high school where I discovered I could sing and write songs that meant something to me. I’ve always been passionate about appreciating music in all forms and genres, so to this day, it’s not uncommon for me to write a song after listening to artists in radically different genres, like Shania Twain to Bon Iver to Ray Charles. There’s always something new to learn.
Why did you decide to be a solo artist rather than form a band?
I began my career as a solo artist for the simple fact that it was just easier. I had all the creative freedom I wanted, I didn’t have to schedule practice times and I was in full control of all aspects of the business side. I didn’t have to really “rely” on anyone to be successful and I knew I could trust myself to get things done.
Do you have any recorded music available for fans?
Absolutely. My music is available wherever you listen to it – Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, all of the major streaming services. I have this ongoing joke at shows where I also say my music can be delivered “carrier pigeon” if requested. Still working on that one.
How would you describe your music?
“Alternative pop” would be the best categorical answer. I’m always trying to find new ways to create and innovate when it comes to making music. The wonderful thing about music in this day and age is that it’s so accessible. Anyone can grab an instrument or a laptop and begin creating something out of nothing. I think that’s a beautiful thing.
What makes your music stand out from the others?
This is an answer I try (and nearly every other musician out there tries) to figure out every time I go to make music. There are a thousand different “cliché” answers I could give, but truthfully, I don’t know. What makes my music “stand out” to me might sound like it “fits in” to someone else. That’s the subjective nature of art.
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your music?
I like staying active. I’m big into playing sports like hockey, disc golf or basketball. I would make a strong argument to anyone that disagrees that physical activity does indeed contribute to playing music / being creative. I’ve found that in certain situations, I actually get great results by not directly “thinking” about music. I shut my brain off for a moment and something comes to me I never would have thought of being in “music mode”. I suppose it’s a similar effect to thinking of an amazing lyric or melody in the middle of the night.
Name your two biggest musical influences and why?
I can’t choose just two, so I’m going to give you three:
1 – Andy McKee: My biggest inspiration for learning how to play the guitar. I don’t consider myself to be a fingerstyle guitarist by any means, but he has such a talent and unique way of conveying emotion by not saying anything at all. Beautiful work.
2 – Alexisonfire: Like Andy McKee, I got into AOF when I was in high school. For anyone that knows me well, “Crisis” will always and forever be one of my favourite albums for many reasons, one of which being their technical musicianship and songwriting as a band. More than that though, it’s easy to tell how passionate they are.
3 – Jon Bellion: Jon opened up my eyes to the world of sampling and “creating something out of nothing”. Nearly every sound you hear can be made from anything with enough modulation. A guy like that really makes you hear things you’ve never heard before. This is something I now, more than ever, consistently try to apply to my own music.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
I write my own songs most of the time, though I’ve been honoured to work with some amazing people on records with my own name on them. One of my most recent ones being “94 Corolla”, which I co-wrote and co-produced with one of my best friends UNBLOOM. I find it easiest to write about things that are happening in my own life, whether introspectively or otherwise, so I generally feed off that first.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Creating something I’m truly 100% happy with. I have to remind myself every day that I shouldn’t be doing this for anyone other than myself. Of course it’s important career-wise for others to hear and enjoy your music, but if you can’t stand behind what you’ve created, what’s the point? I have a quote on a piece of paper above the desk in my studio that says “REMEMBER WHY YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH IT”. That’s the end goal: Have fun and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
What current projects are you working on at the moment?
I have to keep this a secret for now, but I have a couple things in the works. Creating music is both exciting and terrifying, so I’m always trying to make sure that whatever I do is for the best and that I would feel proud having my name on. Some days are easier than others, but that’s the eternal motion we go through.