Courtesy of Twelve High Chicks
This month, Twelve High Chicks invites you to read one of our more humble interviews, with Vancouver-based musician David Morin. David is a talented musician known for busking the streets of Vancouver and grabbing the attention of random strangers as his audience. While interviewing David Morin we talk about what his influences are, and what drives his passion to be both a street performer and a recording artist. I hope you enjoy this piece on this amazing up-and-coming Canadian musician.
Jade Ridge – Describe your childhood. Where did you grow up, go to school, etc.?
David Morin – “I grew up in borderline poverty in New Westminster, BC. As a child to a single mother working two jobs, I was usually with the babysitter. My mother was also pursuing her own music career and so I was often surrounded by musicians at their rehearsal.
“I remember getting kicked out of class in grade three for singing all the time, but I just couldn’t help it. It may have had a negative psychological effect because I never really wanted to pursue music until high school. I was a loner and spent most of my [free time] in the practice rooms making beats during lunch, and before and after school. It was good for me because I didn’t excel in scholastics, and it gave me purpose and kept me out of trouble.”
JR – What were some rules you had at home growing up? Did you agree with them?
DM – “I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted. Mom was always working and when she came home she was usually exhausted. I didn’t have a curfew and often spent time playing and sleeping at friends’ houses.
“I think it gave me a confidence and a sense of responsibility that have been useful in my life. I don’t require much oversight and I am very independent.”
JR – What values did your mother/guardians teach you growing up that you carry today?
DM – “Love and respect. Compassion, patience, and understanding. The Golden Rule was something that always stuck with me. I believe it shaped me into a good person without the use of much discipline. I think the freedom my mother allowed me to have made it difficult for me to be subservient to authority if just for the sake of being subservient. I have always believed that respect is given when it is [earned] and I think that got me in a lot of trouble in school and in post-secondary. I think being a free thinker gets anyone in trouble in this day and age. But what good story doesn’t have any conflict?”
JR – How did you find high school? Did you fit in easily?
DM – “I moved to four different elementary schools and three high schools so it was difficult to make solid friends. I was sort of in a place of limbo, never really being bullied but never being truly accepted into the pack. It didn’t bother me so much after I had found my love for music. I just made sure I had my guitar with me at all times.”
JR – Did you play any sports or do any extracurricular activities in school, like soccer, track and field or band?
DM – “Never. I only played street ball. No rules just unwritten ones. I played a lot after school and got pretty good, but playing on official teams seemed a little too “try hard” for me. I preferred playing without a ref. Even now I don’t even watch sports. I would much rather play.”
JR – What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
DM – “I wanted to be a singer. Nothing gave me more purpose than when I was singing and making music. I never wanted to be a fireman basically.”
JR – Did you have any other gifts or talents as a child or teen?
DM – “I was always good at drawing and sketching. I was fascinated by drawing at a young age and would always prefer sketching than doing school work. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I picked up a paintbrush and some oils and realized I had a gift for that as well. I actually spent several years making a living as a visual artist selling my work on the beach and taking commissions. I was never really successful at it financially though.”
JR – How/when did music become a bigger part of your life?
DM – “When I joined my first band. I met two people who really help me realize my gift and contributed to the development of my musicality.”
JR – How many musical instruments can you play, and have you mastered any of them?
DM – “I can play around on drums and keys, a little violin and bass, but my main focus is guitar, though I wouldn’t say I was a master at any of them.”
JR – Have you ever had professional singing lessons?
DM – “I am untrained but I have taken one opera lesson. The teacher told me that I didn’t need much work and that I had pretty much taught myself well enough for what I do. I think that it’s more about learning what your voice is capable of and developing on that.”
JR – Have you ever taught music?
DM – “I haven’t. I am not trained in music theory so it has never been something I would feel confident teaching. I have taught a few friends how to use a loop pedal before, but that’s about it.”
JR – What inspires you? It can be anything. Describe?
DM – “Seeing people do what they love despite criticism and self doubt. Watching people who have become successful from [that] and lead by example. I am inspired by the entrepreneurs who have started from nothing. I want that to be my story.”
JR – How old were you when you first used cannabis? Describe your first experience.
DM – “I think I was thirteen. My neighbour’s kid was a little tyrant and he got into his parents’ stash. We all smoked on his trampoline and I just remember laughing profusely and not really remembering much. All I knew was that I was infatuated with the smell and I had the time of my life.”
JR – How does cannabis affect you as a performer (either good or bad)? Can you perform stoned?
DM – “To be honest it doesn’t help me that much when I am on stage. I prefer a shot of whiskey and a pint to get the blood flowing, but I have matured in my smoking and usually reserve a joint or two for when I get home to de-stress. If I play stoned, I tend to get too creative and deviate from my planned performances. It (cannabis) is actually more helpful when I am writing and recording.”
JR – How does cannabis play a role in your life today?
DM – “I suffer from anxiety and have mild panic attacks. Cannabis takes away the symptoms for me and helps me when creating new music.
“It has helped a lot with relationships too. If ever I am in an argument with someone, I recommend puffing one. I find that it keeps an open mind and an open heart. I feel like if everyone passed around a joint at the UN or in government, we would see a better world.”
JR – Do people generally know you are a cannabis user? Have you ever tried to hide it?
DM – “I don’t advertise it as it is a personal choice, but when or if I am confronted with it, I don’t try to hide it because I am not ashamed of this medicine. I do however have a song on the album called “MJ” which is about my love affair with cannabis. I love cannabis!”
JR – What is the name of your new album and what can we expect?
DM – “The name of my new album is Every Colour and it’s R&B with some hip hop elements to it.”
JR – What would you say were your influences for this album?
DM – “I have a friend, Randy, who has always encouraged me to finish my album and to get it recorded. He has been a huge motivational factor in my career and I am grateful to him for that. Also, I would say that other influences would be my experiences, my relationships with people, and how life is generally.
“In my new album I express love, peace, foundation, and family. I even sing about politics, because these are things that we have to deal with everyday.”
JR – If you had words of wisdom for your fans, what would they be, and why?
DM – “Nothing will grow if it’s not from the soul. I believe in finding your passion as soon as possible and striving for that feeling in everything you do. This is the actual reason we are on this planet having a human experience. Do it at all costs, and do it until the world can’t help but follow along. The sooner we can get to a place of a passion-driven life, the world will see more love and more innovations and more compassion.”
In a world as bold and intimidating as the one we know, we have things like music to sooth our souls, ease our woes, and to make us feel uplifted. It is music like David’s that can’t but paint a vivid picture while bringing the vibrations of reassurance and contentment back into our reality. Our escape into a better reality is where his music brings us.
David was recently nominated for the Aboriginal Artist of the Year award and Urban Artist of the Year for the Western Canadian Music Awards in Regina, SK. On October 15, 2016, David Morin took home the Urban Artist of the Year award at the WCMA. Twelve High Chicks congratulate him, and wish him luck in his new found success!
Editor’s note: This interview was copy-edited for readability. Style and content were maintained.