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PRESENTED BY NOEL COPEMAN
BALCONYTV TORONTO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN ASSOCIATION WITH INDIE WEEK AND THE UNDERGROUND GARAGE
Chris Assaad is a man on a mission with an unwavering commitment to reaching new heights, both as an artist and in his life. This progressive mentality and resolve are evident in Glory Fire, Assaad's debut album. Not only does Assaad manage to strike spiritual and harmonic chords throughout Glory Fire, he does it with a remarkable ease. Seamlessly blending elements from folk to rock to reggae, the album is a cohesive work unified by the voice and sounds of an artist coming into his own.
True artists, however, must continue to challenge themselves and keep expanding in order to maintain originality and appeal. Assaad knows that. In fact, he hasn't stopped expanding his horizons since he began playing music in his early twenties.
"Around that time, I started listening to Ben Harper, Bob Marley and Jack Johnson and I really connected with music on another level. Especially when I got to experience the music live," says Assaad. "I felt an awakening inside myself that I hadn't known before. I came to believe in the healing power of music. I realized that my musical journey is parallel to my spiritual journey. They go hand in hand. I knew then that music would be a huge part of my life and that's how it began."
It is this journey which has taken Assaad and his warm brand of folk-roots music throughout Canada and Australia, enticing listeners with his passion for his craft and his soulful approach. And lucky for those listeners, Assaad has something tangible to share.
Glory Fire is an album rich with texture and substance. Co-produced by Assaad along with Justin Koop, the album is full of musical surprises, full of life and full of soul. Assaad displays his ear for melody in "Pave The Way" and shows off his playful side in the more up tempo groove of "Better Left Unsaid." These two tracks demonstrate Assaad's versatility as a songwriter and his eclectic sound. With lyrics rich in wisdom and imagination, Assaad touches on themes of life, love and humanity from the perspective of the individual and that of community. His narrative is vulnerable and its greatest strength lies in the beautifully honest and simple communication of a persistently optimistic message.
"I draw inspiration from what I see around me. I seek to live a peaceful life where I can constantly be surrounded by love and positive energy. I'm on a path to realizing my dreams. And it's all about shedding light on everything I encounter along that path."
Traveling has always been a big part of Assaad's life. From backpacking throughout Europe with a guitar in the early days of finding his voice, to having toured throughout Canada and independently organizing tours throughout Australia, these experiences have remained essential to Assaad's growth and development. Still, this constant exploration has kept Assaad humble.
"I feel so blessed about all the places I've been. And the magic of this journey really does happen when you take a leap of faith and trust that things will work out. When you leave your comfort zone and go out into the unknown, amazing things happen. When I talk about synchronicity, I'm talking about the people I meet when I travel and the way things line up in a way that makes me feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I live for those moments."
These are the moments that Assaad has captured and will continue to do so on his mission. Fresh off a fall West Coast tour and with plans to return to Australia later this year, Assaad is developing material for his next offering and has hinted that he will be venturing into new territory and collaborating with a few friends that he has met along the way.
"I'm excited to see what's coming next. I have a lot of different ideas and I'm ready to take my sound in a new direction. I will definitely be working with a few different people on this next one because I know the importance of dialogue in the creative process. In that spirit, I'll also be trying songs out on the road before going into recording to see what kind of reaction I'm getting and what sticks."
With undeniable vision and his sights set for the sky, Assaad has set out to make a difference by sharing himself, his experiences and his music. Assaad isn't just thinking about the future; he's stepping into it with purpose, right now. Come along for the ride and let his music guide you.
Tune in again!