ECMA Music Week – Up close with Newfoundland artist Chris Kirby

Holland College journalism student Jillian Trainor sat down with Newfoundland artist Chris Kirby after his set at the Music NL showcase Friday night at the Factory Cookhouse and Dance hall.

This isn’t your first time at the ECMAs, is it?

C.K.: “I think my first ECMA was in 2007, so this is my eighth ECMA.”

Is there any particular one that has stuck out in your mind?

C.K.: “The last time in Charlottetown was pretty amazing. There’s something special about coming to Charlottetown, there really is. Tim Chaisson being here, and I’ve got a lot of friends here and whenever we come in anyway it’s a great time and ECMAs just seem to be that on 10, which is wicked.”

A couple of other people have said there’s something about Charlottetown that makes it a really good place to host the ECMAs. What do you think?

C.K.: “I find it’s not very different from St. John’s. You can talk to anybody, anywhere and there’s music everywhere, literally and there’s really seriously great music everywhere and it just comes from the small town/Island sort of vibe. Cape Breton is like that too.”

“To go back to the first question Sydney sticks out in my mind as well for the same reason. You go to a place where you’re in really tight quarters, so everybody is in this small space, they can’t spread out too far, so we can’t lose each other really easy, so we’re kind of just forced to get along and we get along well anyway, so it’s easy.”

Your showcase was tonight. Are you doing any more?

C.K.: “I’m done for showcasing. I showcased twice with Brianna Goss and twice with Kim Wempe and once tonight, so I’m done with those but I’m playing at the awards gala Sunday night with Tim Chaisson Sunday night, which I’m very excited about. We’re doing ‘The Healing’, which is a song that Tim and I wrote for his record, and we’re up for Songwriters of the Year for that track.”

Since today was your last showcase, what are you going to do on your time off?

C.K.: “Tomorrow, Saturday, I’m off so I’m going to check out as much music as I can. I’ve been talking to some musicians and some artists that are interested in working with me in some capacity, or I’m interested in working with them and I want to check them out and sort of be friends and see if I can make something happen.”

Is there anything so far that’s really made your week here at the ECMAs?

C.K.: “I saw Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson, I’m not sure where they’re from, it’s just drums and dobro. It was a man and a woman, the woman was drumming, she was an incredible drummer, and then she was doing some washboard stuff and her singing just blew my mind and his guitar playing blew my mind as well. That’s my big standout for the weekend so far.”

Is there anything you’re really looking forward to?

C.K.: “RocketRocketShip are my boys this year. They’re showcasing five or six times and I just finished producing their album. They’re on a great tour right now across the country and it’s nice to see them, see how far they’ve grown, because they’re a very young band, so I’m really excited to see how many heads they turn this weekend and I know they’ve turned a bunch of heads already, so it’s just really nice to see them doing what they do and people taking notice and I really want to see how many people they impress by the end of the weekend.”