Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Artist Feature: Liam Sturgess + His New Upcoming Single "We the Kings"

I am very excited to introduce Liam Sturgess, singer & songwriter from West Vancouver, BC. I have known Liam for some time now and had the opportunity to get to know more about him and his music career. He will be releasing his new single, titled "We the Kings" on June 13th, 2015. I also had the chance to talk with him and asked him a few questions. You can read a little bit more from the short interview below:

Please tell me about yourself.

LS: My name is Liam Sturgess and I am 19 year old singer/songwriter from West Vancouver, BC. I run Four Destinations Entertainment through which I release my own original music, and work with a large variety of musicians across Vancouver. I'm very lucky to be surrounded by so many other people with similar passions and ambitions, which has allowed me to pursue a life and career in the arts!

What was the first instrument you've ever played?

​LS: Truthfully, it would have been the recorder - that seems to be the first instrument the school system introduces to kids around Grade 1 or 2. That didn't really grab me but by Grade 6, they had begun to teach us acoustic guitar in music class and I had a significantly better time with that! Soon after that, I had a bunch of other instruments introduced to me from a variety of sources but the next most formative one would have been the trumpet in the Grade 7 school band.

What is your favorite instrument?

LS: In terms of what I play the most often, the guitar is my instrument of choice. However, I find that I connect the most with my grand piano (which I am the least trained on out of all of my instruments!) I find that I'm able to convey the most emotion through the keys, whereas instruments like guitar and trumpet are much more about the energy I can mount up.

When did you get into songwriting?

LS: I wrote my first song soon after I broke up with a high school girlfriend at the time, in 2011. It was a rap song that I spent a lot of time trying to articulate with just the right words, and though I didn't wind up pursuing rap more seriously, it set the bar for the folk songs I would write later. I wrote my first "real" song (called After Midnight) in late 2012, soon before I graduated high school.

What is your typical songwriting process like?

LS: ​It's different for every song. I used to start with a chord I liked, then I would pair that with other chords to form progressions from scratch, and that would eventually spawn a melody which would turn into a song. Nowadays I reverse the process, and I also write much more rarely. I'll wait until I hear a melody (the real spirit of the song) in my head, then I will translate that into chords and eventually into a full-band piece.

(Photo courtesy of Liam Sturgess. Image credit: Olivia Lewis)

Who have been some of your favorite collaborators over the years?

LS: ​I love this question! I would be in the wrong if I didn't give huge credit to my music and business partner Alex Balanko, without whom I have recorded either one of my albums. We also recorded Soldier, which was that rap song I mentioned previously, and we always have a blast playing that one together live - he sings the chorus. Apart from that, I recently recorded a soon-to-be-released song called (Wish You Were) Mine with my friend Amy Williams which holds a special place in my heart.

Who is your favorite celebrity?

LS: In terms of the music industry, I am most heavily influenced by Coldplay, Jason Mraz and Eminem - however, in terms of overall celebrity, I'm really fond of Ryan Reynolds (Vancouver resident), Leonardo DiCaprio and Conan O'Brian.

When did you discover you could also sing?

LS: That was in Grade 10, when I auditioned for a lead role in my school's production of Oklahoma! I wound up being cast as Andrew Carnes, which allowed me to sing several solos onstage, and I figured out I was half decent. But it's always been about practicing and improving, even up to today.

What inspired you to write "We the Kings"?

LS: As inspires most good songs, it was a girl! I was dating a wonderful girl at the time I started writing it and she inspired me to just write one that was low-stakes, but high energy and fun. I wound up finishing it after we broke up, so sadly she probably will never know it's about her!

What other projects are you involved in?​

LS: As I mentioned at the top I run my startup music production company, Four Destinations Entertainment, which is my full-time job. I'm very busy with that currently as we're in the middle of a big development (more news coming soon...) But through 4D, I am producing a number of musical projects including my own album and the debut album of the label's first outside-signed artist, Amy Williams.

What are your other interests and hobbies?

LS: My life ​is composed of three main disciplines: Music, Comic Books and Tae-Kwon-Do. When I'm not writing, playing, teaching or recording music, I am working on the Foreign Comic Collector Magazine that I help produce, including the database project that I administrate. Additionally, I'm a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo (testing for my 3rd degree shortly!) I've had the honour of being an instructor in the art since 2010, and I'm now a Senior Instructor under my good friend Chris Woo at Community Taekwondo.

I see you also really enjoy doing martial arts and teaching Taekwondo. How do you manage to keep up with so many different activities?

LS: ​That's the question people never stop asking! It's not necessarily easy, but I have found them each to be just as important to me as the others and because of that I've managed to find ways to make them all complimentary to each other as opposed to conflicting. A big part of that was making educational and career choices that would allow me to be the master of my own schedule, dedicating just the right amount of time to each area. It's become the case now that each area of interest crosses over into the other; for example, some of my Taekwondo students have now become music students, and the people involved with the Foreign Comic project are supporters of my musical career.

(Photo courtesy of Liam Sturgess. Image credit: Olivia Lewis)

Any final words for our readers?

LS: Yes! Always do everything you can to set yourself up for a life that you will enjoy and that you will be able to be most successful in. More than anything, take the time to sit back, relax and dream. And of course, if you get the chance, I would love it if readers gave We the Kings a listen!

Thank you, Liam, for your time! We are inspired by your talent.

LS: No, thank you! :)

As you now know, Liam is releasing a new single, "We the Kings", and will be celebrating with a launch event at North Vancouver's Capilano Grind Coffee Shop. Everyone is welcomed! If you're in the area, come drop by on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 between 6pm and 9pm. Tickets are $5 in advance or at the door (includes a download of the full song on MP4). There will also be door prizes at the venue.

You can find Liam Sturgess through the follow website and social media:

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