INTERVIEW: Blake McGrath

These days it is common to hear about multifaceted artists, those that try their luck at different areas of the entertainment industry, but Canadian artists are only just beginning to get into that groove. Blake McGrath has excelled in the world of dance and performance, and has now kicked off his career as a singer in a seamless transition. His debut album “Time to Move” came out only a couple months ago, but McGrath has already gained respect in the industry for his versatile track list.

asapmusicblog.ca had the chance to catch up with Blake in his recent stop in Vancouver to talk about the new album, his hectic schedule, and the holidays. Enjoy!

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asapmusicblog.ca: So you just made an appearance at Joseph Richards here in Vancouver last night, and this morning you were doing auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Canada. What’s it been like so far, with all the appearances and everything?

Blake McGrath: It’s been really busy! We’ve been on the tour right now just for the past. I’ve kind of been piggy-backing with So You Think You Can Dance, kind of just doing meet and greets, doing some small club shows. I’ve been getting ready to set up my bigger tour across Canada come end of January and into February. So it’s kind of just been a little bit of a set up right now, but it’s been very busy.

A: How do you juggle all of that? Like between the music now, and dance and everything?

BM: I always have to be on the go. I always have to be moving and always doing something. So I honestly, people ask me that all the time, they’re just like, ‘How do you do it?’ I’m just, I don’t ever ask myself that, I just kind of go, I love it. It’s my passion right? And when you love to do what you do, I think it’s easy.

A: So our site mainly focuses on Canadian artists, are there any Canadian artists that inspired you?

BM: Yeah, I love Fefe Dobson and I love Shawn Desman, I think he’s very talented. Hedley for sure, I love [Jacob Hoggard’s] voice, I think he’s very strong, and an amazing artist, very creative and a very good writer as well.

A: I was reading on your album liner notes that you worked very closely with Dan and Ryan Kowarsky from RyanDan..

BM: Yeah! They are so talented.

A: Tell us a little about that connection and what their role was in the album.

BM: Honestly it was through my old management, and he was like, ‘Have you heard of these boys RyanDan?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah of course, I think they’re incredible but I mean I only knew them kind of by the music that they do,’ so when he told me to work with them and start writing with them, I’m like, ‘Are you serious? No, that’s not the kind of music I want to do!’ He’s like, ‘Dude, trust me they do everything.’ So when I got into the studio, I was blown away how talented they were because they literally can write anything, and we just had so much fun, they’re amazing at everything.

A: They’re one of my favourite artists.

BM: Their voices are insane. “The Face” is like one of my favourite songs ever.

A: Oh yeah. Even their new song, “Is Love Enough (To Save the World)” is amazing.

BM: Oh I haven’t heard it!

A: Yeah it’s their latest single, and it was supposed to be on their newest album, which hasn’t come out yet, but it’s amazing. Definitely check it out!

BM: Cool, I will for sure!

A: So your album came out not too long ago, for fans who haven’t heard your music yet, what are you hoping to achieve with this album?

BM: I really want them to feel something and see the versatility in the album. You know as a dancer, I think what has made me so successful is how versatile I am, so I think with the album, it’s very cohesive, but yet there’s still something on it for everyone. There’s a lot of different sounds, it’s not just that same sound from the top to the bottom. It’s R & B meets pop, meets dance, so there’s something on it and I just want them to respect and appreciate every single track that’s on the record for a certain reason.

A:  That’s so true, it really goes from dance, and then with your last track ‘Lullaby,’ it’s so different.

BM: It ends on a different note. Yes, thank you.

A: And I just wanted to comment on the intro as well. Normally I don’t really like when artists have intro’s, but the intro on this album was so amazing.

BM: Thank you! Yeah we were debating actually making it a track, and we had basically just needed to turn in the album because I had been working on it forever, and the record label was like, ‘Get it in, we need to finish it and master it!’ So we ended up just making it an intro, but thank you.

A: Yeah, no problem. Another thing I noticed about you is that you own your presence so well. I think with a lot of new artists, you kind of know that they’re a new artist, but with you, you can’t really tell, and you seem to do it so well.

BM: Thank you, I mean I just love performing. I don’t know, there’s just no reason to be shy or nervous because again, I love taking myself outside, and stepping outside of myself and realizing it’s really for other people. It’s not about myself anyway, I kind of feel like it’s a gift that I’m being able to open and share with other people.

A: Through dance, you’ve been able to share the stage with the likes of Janet Jackson, Madonna, Britney, Jennifer Lopez and others. Are there any artists that you’d want to work with or collaborate with musically?

BM: For sure! I always say Janet [Jackson] and Justin [Timberlake], would be the two artists that I would love to collaborate with. It’d be really fun, hopefully in the future! I mean not hopefully, yes in the future!