David Myles is an NB-born songwriter and musician who grew up in Fredericton. An independent artist, Myles has gained an impressive following over the last few years. He’s toured the world, earned multiple awards, including two Music Nova Scotia Awards, and was nominated for the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Best New Artist Award and the East Coast Music Awards. He is perhaps most well known for his song with rapper Classified, Inner Ninja, which won the Juno for Rap Recording of the Year in 2013. Myles’s songs are often folk jazz, but he prefers to call the genre “roots.”
“I’m inspired by conversations, my family, being in love, and especially nature. I love the outdoors. In terms of my creative process, I just try to be as open to inspiration as possible. It’s important to remain childlike in your curiosity. I try to keep that alive. I also really try to make sure I leave room in every day to create. It’s important to make space for that,” Myles said.
He says the music he creates varies a great deal. He loves writing songs in isolation but also gets a huge amount from collaboration.
“All of my projects have been in some form a collaboration, and therefore they vary quite a bit depending on who I am working with,” Myles explained. “When I work with Classified, the beats are heavy and there’s a real focus on hooks, so it tends more towards pop. My albums with Kyle Cunjak and Alan Jeffries have been more folk/country based. My newest project, which will come out in the spring, is like a jazz funk instrumental record. So, I like being open to change and variety. My goal is just to make sure just to make sure it’s all good, comes from an honest place, and is well performed.”
Myles never thought that storytelling would translate into a big part of his career, but now it is one of the many reasons why he has such a substantial fanbase. People leave his performances feeling like they know him because they really relate to the stories he tells through his songs.
Myles doesn’t feel as if he’s at his best though.
“I definitely think I could get better. Everyone can. That’s the beauty of the pursuit – it’s never-ending. Sometimes it’s the technical skills that need to be acquired through practice, and sometimes it’s listening, sometimes it’s a process of finding your voice. It’s really all of these things all the time. So for me, I try to work on all of these things consistently, and it can take many different forms. For instance, I think meditation has made me a better musician,” said Myles.
Meditation and isolation work hand-in-hand for this musician, as he says his best songwriting has often been done in isolation. He started writing songs when he was studying in China at university. He was alone frequently that year, and the guitar and songwriting were a major outlet. Myles said it feels like 2020 reminded him of that.
Fun fact: Myles says that if he could be a fruit, he would choose to be a banana.
“Practical, healthy, and enjoyed by both the young and the old,” he said.