Q&A with Canadian multi-genre artist Lyric Dubee, personalize his own style of music known as Revolution Rock

"It's a huge impact on it as it crossed over a lot of people to what was once called Race music. Today blues is mainstream with white young guitar players. Helped race relations and guys like Bonamassa carry on the memory of all the great African America players.

Lyric Dubee: Revolution Rock

Lyric Dubee is a multi-genre artist from Canada. Proficient and at ease playing Rock, Pop, Blues and Jazz, his deep appreciation and experimentation with all the genres led Lyric to personalize his own style of music known as REVOLUTION ROCK. At the age of 16 has recorded 4 full length albums. Lyric has performed at benefit concerts and large music festivals such as SXSW, NXNE and Canadian Music Week. Lyric is also involved in fundraising events and many charities. Many people consider Lyric to be an old soul with a sound that is new and refreshing. Lyric is influenced by many different genres of music which shape his unique sound appealing to a variety of all ages and Lyric writes all of his own music and lyrics. Since picking up a guitar 7 years ago, Lyric has come a long way.

Lyric Dubee / Photo by Robert M. Knight

His debut album, 'Broken Dreams' (2010) was released when he was just 12. Lyric has opened for artists such as Walk Off The Earth, David Usher, Wide Mouth Mason, Lee Aaron, Toronto, Steve Strongman and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. Lyric takes his guitar playing seriously and takes guitars lessons every day before continuing with his school studies. He is currently studying for his grade 8 RCM exam and loves to perform live. Lyric Dubee released 4 albums by age 18 and will be releasing a new album in 2017 by Mascot group's label Provogue.

Interview by Michael Limnios    Photos © by Robert M. Knight

What do you learn about yourself from the Rock n’ Roll culture and what does the blues mean to you?

For me blues music is the origin. It’s where I started and where I think most modern music gets its influence from in one way or another. Rock n’ Roll culture has taught me to musically express what I feel in all genres. As much as Rock n’ Roll is a genre, it’s also a style of playing.

How do you describe Lyric Dubee sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?

The Lyric Dubee sound “Revolution Rock” is one born from studies in many different genres from jazz to classical and far more. It’s the appreciation and study of all styles of music.

Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

I consider every acquaintance and person I meet important to my musical journey but meeting and spending time with the professionals in the industry is extremely important and helpful. Some of the best advice I've ever received has been given to me by many different people I've played and studied with. “Less is more”. “Music is more than how many notes you can play.” “It's about the sound and the emotion.” “There are times and places to fill the music with whatever you like but knowing when is key.”

"Rock n' Roll is more than a genre, it's a way of playing freely and expressively. The culture has had the same affect on my life as the music has on my playing. It's influenced me to see things in different lights. In ways things aren't always perceived. It's reminded me to think for myself."

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

There are so many I don't even know where to start! How about I start with where it all began. I was 9 years old when I played my first show. I had no idea what to do with myself on stage and it was all over before it even hit me that I was performing in front of an audience. I was nervous but in a good way, from that day forward I always loved playing live and couldn't get enough of it!

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

As much as I appreciate and miss the emphasis on guitar in older pop music, it’s not something I feel we are lacking in today’s pop music. Many genres still incorporate the guitar heavily, but as we know, pop music will always change. My biggest hope for the music and the industry as a whole is that it will keep evolving. For example, if we look at the best guitar players from 1960, as amazing and life changing as they were, we now have dozens of players who have learned from them and can play everything they can and more. So suitably my biggest fear is that we as musicians will reach a point of “that’s good enough”. Though I don’t think such a thing is possible for the artists and creative’s in the world, it’s something that I hope we never reach.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

If I could change one thing it would be the stigma of being a musician. It often isn’t considered a real job in the eyes of many academics and is not offered as an option in many of our early education systems. I would like to see the public accept the modern concept of being a working musician.

"For me blues music is the origin. It’s where I started and where I think most modern music gets its influence from in one way or another. Rock n’ Roll culture has taught me to musically express what I feel in all genres. As much as Rock n’ Roll is a genre, it’s also a style of playing."

Make an account of the case of Rock n’ Blues in Canada. Which is the most interesting period in local blues scene?

I'd say the most interesting period in the local blues scene is the current one. Blues in Canada is always evolving and growing! Though we don't have the same kind of history of blues music as the USA I'm sure we will one day.

How has The Rock n’ Roll Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

As I said earlier, Rock n' Roll is more than a genre, it's a way of playing freely and expressively. The culture has had the same affect on my life as the music has on my playing. It's influenced me to see things in different lights. In ways things aren't always perceived. It's reminded me to think for myself.

What is the impact of Rock n’ Blues music and culture to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?

It's a huge impact on it as it crossed over a lot of people to what was once called Race music. Today blues is mainstream with white young guitar players. Helped race relations and guys like Bonamassa carry on the memory of all the great African America players

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

I would want to go back to February of 1950 in Chicago at Chess Records to see Muddy Waters perform and record his hit song Rollin Stone. This has been such an influential track for so many artists all over the world and I can only imagine what it would have been like to be there.

Lyric Dubee - Official website

Photos © by Robert M. Knight

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