Really, winning a Juno award for ‘Inner Ninja’ – a collaboration with Classified, comes as no surprise for New Brunswick native David Myles. After all, good things come when you get along with someone so well …
“We have known each other for quite a while and we really see eye to eye. He has this amazing ear. He performs music by feel which is unlike me. I learned with technique, I am schooled and we are a perfect contrast. He plays and writes music the way most people hear it.”
Myles, of course, is speaking of his recent 2013 award at the Junos. He won, along with the Hip – Hop / Rap sensation ‘ Classified’, the award for Rap recording of the year. A prize which makes Myles proud but is furthest from the type of music Myles is accustomed to performing or writing.
“I love learning about new types of music.”Says David from his home in Nova Scotia. ” This is what I love about working with different people. For example, I did the song ‘Whole to my Half’ with Measha Brueggergossman. She is an opera singer who performed during the opening ceremonies at the Olympic games. We could not be more different. We grew up together in Fredericton and her family is friends with my family.”
Just because the pair knew each other, it did not make it easy or comfortable for Myles when it came time for recording the song . He flew to Toronto where the song was taped in studio. The two artists were face – to face during the recording and David was a nervous wreck.
“I knew she was not going to make any mistakes.” Laughs Myles. ” If anybody was going to screw up – it would have been me! Thankfully, the song worked out well and it brought the best out of me”
David started playing music young. The trumpet and piano learned at the age of ten. He grew up in a musical family, everyone from Mom and Dad and his brothers – playing something around the family home.
“Funny …” Admits David. ” I only started playing the guitar around the age of twenty – one. When I picked that up – I realized this is what I wanted to do full time. Pursue a career in music.”
It was in Calgary, strumming his acoustic guitar in a coffee house before roughly fifteen people, when Myles realized the whole idea of earning a living through songwriting was realistic. A moment when – someone outside of his immediate family, commended him for his songwriting. A few words and David was starting a path toward a career as well as a new -found confidence.
“One day, I was at Mount Allison University studying Political Science with aspirations of maybe going to law school.”Says David. “Then, I was 23 and one of my songs won a Roots – Folk award in Nashville. I realized that maybe I should do something with this. Even though I was in school studying things outside of music – I was always obsessed with it.”
Myles’ early influences were mostly Jazz – related.
“Miles Davis was huge in my life because he played the trumpet just like me. Chet Baker was another one and surprisingly – Willie Nelson became huge after I listened to his album; ‘Red Headed Stranger’. I had never listened to country music and it was an eye-opener to me. Even now, I am the kind of guy who is twenty years behind in catching up to music. Especially rock. I did listen to and love the Stones’ album Beggars Banquet as well as Sticky Fingers. ‘Beggars’ is raw – country music. “
David’s current ‘guilty’ pleasures consist of listening to artists such as Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. The Beatles are also dear to his heart as they are to most artists (according to David.)
The Juno award and the ensuing popularity could not have arrived at a better time for Myles,
It coincides with the release of his new album; ‘In the Nightime’. A disc which David believes reflects the moods and feelings of his life right now. It is the reason the disc evolved from one CD into a pair. A double album indicative of his ‘duel’ personality.
Disc one contains the romantic ballads while the second disc is more upbeat – dance oriented stuff. According to David, the reason he believes the album is so good is that everyone involved in the process was very focused.
“It took only two and a half days to record. I was very fortunate to play with musicians with a lot of experience. Aaron Davis produced the album and he helped me to bring in the musicians. David Pilch is on bass guitar, Kevin Breit plays guitar, mandolin and dobro, Davide DiRenzo is on drums and Aaron himself contributes on piano. It is the first time I worked with any of these guys. They have worked with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones. They definitely raised the bar and made me a better performer on the album. I always have a tendency to over analyze my songs either recording or writing them. These guys helped to make it simple and I am very proud of the result.”
Disc two, the R and B, Hip-Hop, Rap – influenced songs, are produced by his friend and fellow award winner – Classified. The first single -‘How’d I Ever Think I Loved You’, is also a throwback to the days of the fifties, the early days of Rock n Roll via The Four Seasons and Frankie Vali.
David Myles continues to grow as an artist. He is open to all genres and is unique in that he is able to sing ‘crooner’ songs as well as ‘Hip-Hop’. David will never don a baseball cap backwards however. He prefers to be himself and believes it is a reason why his collaboration with Classified works so well. The imagery is opposite. David is the accountant and Classified possesses the classic Rapper look ..
The question is; will everyone else learn to grow as a listener and get along as well as David Myles does with every artist from every walk of life …?
Sure hope so. So does David.