Lyfstyl caught up with singer/songwriter Craig Stickland before his concert at the Drake Hotel, Toronto on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012.
Stickland was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but moved to Markham, Ontario at the age of 3. He realized that music was his passion when he was 16, as he became less interested in sports and school and gravitated towards playing instruments. He alternates between playing guitar, piano and the harmonica at his shows but also plays bass and trumpet.
When and how did you know that music was it for you?
It’s something you discover; I’m not sure when it actually happened for me but definitely around puberty. I wrote my first song when I was 16 years old.
How do you describe your sound?
Harmony driven introspective pop.
Is it frustrating to have to cover artists like Taylor Swift to help promote your own music on YouTube?
I don’t think it’s frustrating, there’s opportunity there for sure. I feel like the state of the music industry, the popular mainstream, is at a very strange place, and dealing with those same experiences with people in bars… I have a hard time relating to the music being played in bars. But it is that music that has the most search-ability on Google and YouTube. So it works; I mean, it’s slowly working. If you look at a band like The Beatles, they barely have any YouTube traffic at all compared to someone like Justin Bieber, but they’ve sold way more records.
So it sounds to me like you’ve had your heart broken. Is that what has inspired most of your recent music?
I have! A large number of songs were written after a heartbreak. There’s times when you can be in love with somebody and be let down by them and have a moment of weakness where I find music pours out more so than when I’m in a happy go lucky mood. I’m not the guy that sits down and writes the happiest songs all the time. But my inspiration changes week to week. It’s not all about heartbreak, a lot of it is just my take on situations and things I’ve observed.
What can we expect from you in 2013?
World domination. (Laughter) …and my debut album in the first quarter and I want to shoot a music video for every single one of my songs.