Named iTunes songwriter of the year 2010, Canadian artist Royal Wood has been receiving a lot of critical acclaim. In the midst of his Canadian tour, Wood took some time to discuss his “Sneak Peak” tour, his song writing and how his music has progressed over the last few years.
How has your “Sneak Peek” tour with Danielle Duval been so far?
It’s been far, far greater than expected. I wasn’t sure how the idea would go because it’s a tour before the record’s actually out. The audience obviously wouldn’t have heard a bunch of [the new songs] and we weren’t sure if that was a concept people would jump on to. But the turnout’s been amazing. The feedback for the new material has been positive.
Your song “A Mirror Without” was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. How have you been dealing with the increased attention?
[Making music] is all I’ve ever wanted to [do]. Some kids grab a hockey stick. I wanted to play the piano at a really young age and everything else kind of happened along the journey. Making music has always brought the greatest joy in my life. Just the fact that I get to call this a career—I’m very fortunate.
Do you feel that your musical style and fan base has changed from The Milkweed EP to The Waiting?
Oh yeah, most definitely. It’s been a pretty exciting journey thus far, and musically it just evolved. I’ve gained more confidence and [have] had more experiences that found their way into my artwork.
Have you had musical aspirations for a very long time?
I’ve had that question before because I ended up going to university for business at McGill. The question always seems to be: “Why did you go for business if you wanted to do music?” There was parental pressure. My parents wanted to make sure that I experienced university but also had something to fall back on. But making my own music interested me.
Did you find it difficult to balance your musical endeavours with your classes at McGill?
No, I didn’t, actually. I realized that as long as you put the effort in, you could succeed in school. For me, education continued even after I left [university]. I’m curious about life. I’m fascinated by life and I’m always learning, I’m always reading and I’m always watching things that I find interesting. That’s the best education.
How has working with Pierre Marchand [producer for Sarah McLachlan] been?
He’s been amazing. He [produced] a few songs off The Waiting. He is a veteran and almost like a pillar in the musical community. He’s succeeded in ways that most producers couldn’t dream of. I’m going back to [his studio] this November to make a new record.
Is there a tentative release date for the new album?
It’s supposed to be around April 2012.
Royal Wood will be playing in London on October 23 at the Forest City Community Church. Doors open at 6 p.m. and advance tickets are $22.