Here's my interview with singer Steve Jackson
I started singing in early grade school with choirs. That then turned into being the lead in a school musical at age 11. Transitioning to band playing lead tenor sax in a competition band really got me hooked - especially when we played at Ontario Place in Toronto. I then started playing guitar and piano and started writing my first pieces in high school.
I have many influences - especially in progressive rock, rock and folk rock. The performer that really changed the way I thought about stage performing and writing was the late Gord Downie - from the Canada's legendary band "The Tragically Hip". Lately I've been revisiting the catalogues from Genesis and Phil Collins and covering a lot of their ballads.
The biggest piece of advice I have for aspiring performers is to just go and do it. I've suffered from stage fright and self-doubt for much of my life and just getting out there and putting your talent on the line is scary but the greatest thrill. Honing your art with an audience is key to your continued growth as an artist.
I just released a new album called "Barking at Fireflies". This was written and recorded after a heart attack in 2019 and open-heart surgery in October 2020. Obviously, these were highly emotional and physically challenging moments in my life and the tracks are a reflection of how I had to force myself to refocus on what matters. The name of the album was inspired by a friend's dog literally barking at fireflies. I felt this fit because some of the political and emotional issues the album tackles sometimes feel like things that can never be fixed or conquered.
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