I definitely made my own path. In terms of starting my career, after graduating from the college of engineering from the U of S in Saskatoon, I worked as a full time structural engineer for 7+ years. However, while I was doing that and even before I started school, I knew that I wanted to pursue music as a career. So once I started working as an engineer, I really started to work at developing my passion for music into a career. Because of my engineering income, I had the ability to take a few more business and financial risks. At some point almost five years into being a full time engineer and a full time musician, the tipping point came where both were too busy to maintain and I had to make a choice. It was not really a choice, and I mean I knew what I was working toward so it was more of a finally moment than a choice. That being said however, it was one of the toughest things to do in a society that, I feel, sees more sense in an engineering career than that of a musician. My family and friends were always and continue to be supportive, but it was definitely a moment of continually answering the question “Are you sure?” Looking back at what I have accomplished and the person that I have become as a result of that decision, I don’t have any regrets!
I am releasing a highly-anticipated brand new solo double album Crazy Old Man and SKMB on
September 13, 2018
Crazy Old Man and SKMB will be available on all streaming platforms including Apple Music and Spotify.
September 14, 2018 Winnipeg, MB Centre Culturel Franco-°©‐Manitobain
September 15, 2018 Clearwater, MB Harvest Moon Festival
September 16, 2018 St. Lucipin, MB St. Lupicin Fundraiser
September 20, 2018 Regina, SK The Artesian
September 21, 2018 Saskatoon, SK The Broadway Theatre
What ignited the spark in you to start your career or to make significant changes in an existing career?
The spark for me to move from a career in engineering to a career in music was always there. I have played the fiddle since I was four years old, and have wanted to play music as a career for a very long time. I know that sounds a bit cliché, but that is the truth. The reason I went to engineering school is a two-fold answer. I think my parents had a lot of influence in that decision. But also, I wanted to have something to fall back on. Looking back on it now, the work ethic, business education, and creative problem solving that I got from my engineering degree is something that I use in my career as a musician everyday.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your career and how did you overcome them?
As a professional musician, there is no ‘first day’. What I mean to say is like any entrepreneur, there isn’t a first day of work. All the time, effort, personal growth, creative time, etc. spent to get to your ‘first day’ still doesn’t create a map for your first day as a professional musician. You have to work and work creatively to carve a business path for yourself. I think one of the biggest hurdles I faced was realizing you have to malleable in your goal setting. Those longer term goals need to be maybe a bit more moveable than in a more traditional, non-arts sector career.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Definitely. Support never stopped, however it was more of a concern in terms of being able to make a living as musician. And I appreciate that worry and questioning now. I have learned a lot that I wished I knew back then. But I would not change anything in my musical career. One of the things that I most value as a professional musician and really a small business entrepreneur, is the ability to be creative in my business. That creates unique opportunities and experiences that are really the magic of it all.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your career success?
Hard work. Whether it is in the business side of my career, or the artistic creative side of my career, good old fashioned hard work will always do you well.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The most important asset you can strive to attain is control of your time.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Always keep the perspective of yourself in your final days fresh in your mind. What do you want that future version of yourself to reflect on for your career.