It’s always a pleasure when serendipity plays a role in connecting me to incredible people. Not long ago, I made a comment on Facebook in response to a certain … umm … presidential candidate. My comment was something like “Wow, that’s crazy!” accompanied by a cartoon face that expressed the sentiment.
Little did I know I posted that comment on the wrong thread. It landed on a post about musician and songwriter Voyce*, whom Casey Ryan, creator of the popular podcast, The Cutting Room Floor was promoting. When Casey sent me a note about it, I was absolutely mortified and apologized profusely!
I’ve interviewed Casey, and he’s had me on his podcast several times. We are friends, so fortunately, he didn’t take my comment out of context. Instead, he introduced me to Voyce* and said I should get to know him. As an avid music fan who blogs about music weekly, I was more than happy to talk to Voyce*.
Thank you so much for the introduction, Casey!
Let me say that Voyce* is every bit as charming as he sounds. Please learn more about this very talented man, his music, and why the moon holds special meaning for him.
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Voyce*, welcome to Eden’s Exchange. It was difficult to choose just a few pictures of you since you are so photogenic in each one! Tell us how you came to be known as Voyce*, and why you use the asterisk after your name.
Sure, so about the *. Initially my artist name was just Voyce. But I soon learned that another Artist in Toronto was using the same name. Initially I thought about changing the name altogether but it just embodied everything that I am so I couldn’t let the name go. I decided to add the * after my name much like *NSYNC had done years before after they faced a name dispute. But the * is more than just a symbol, I like to refer to it as “The Silent Star”. It embodies what my music is to me, my guide, much like the Sun guides our lives.
That is a powerful symbol indeed. How would your best friend describe you in 20 words or less?
I actually have 2 best friends, Sookz and Jess Abran. They are both amazingly talented musicians that I regularly collaborate with. More than friends, they are family to me, not just because we share a common love for music but because we understand each other, and we do so without judgment. But back to the question… How would they describe me? They’d probably say that I’m an emotional mess and extremely dramatic lol.
Most artists I know are a tad dramatic, and it’s not a bad thing! Where do you call home and what do you love and hate about it?
I live in Montreal, Canada. Montreal is a multicultural city, filled with people from all parts of the world with different beliefs, traditions and ideologies and because of this it is rich in art. That’s what I love about Montreal, and it is especially beautiful in the spring and summer, heck even the fall. But then there’s the winter. Montreal winters are brutal, terribly brutal and that would be what I hate about it.
I grew up in Montreal and get cold just thinking about the winters! If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My completely illogical fear of spiders, urghhhhhh. I mean do they really need to have 8 legs? No, but in all seriousness, there was a time when I was insecure about myself, and I would have jumped at any chance to not just change myself but be someone new altogether. But in time I’ve grown to understand myself more and see that that desire for change came because I didn’t love who I was, not necessarily on the outside, but on the inside. So would I change anything about myself now? Yes, but not because I don’t love that part of me but because I want to improve on it. As an example, tattoos have become a part of my lifestyle. When I get a new tattoo I’m changing myself but I’m doing so to better reflect who I actually am, so my body can reflect my mind.
I like spiders 😉 and that’s a great answer regarding your tattoos. I don’t have any, but I can relate to how they represent who you are. Do you have a motto you live by?
I have my motto tattooed on my chest “Born on the Moon, Raised on Mars, Stuck on Earth, Reaching for the Stars”.
Beautiful. 🙂 Let’s talk about you as the musician. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My music is a reflection of my life, the life I’ve led, the life I am leading and the life that I believe I’ll lead. In my music I am simply telling my story and in doing so sharing that story with the world. In my life I’ve experienced pain and sorrow and in sharing this part of me, others can find peace in knowing that they are not alone, that like them I’ve been where they may be standing now.
I love your introspection and how you channel that into your music. What is the best advice you’ve received as a musician?
The best advice I’ve received as a musician came to me not necessarily from any one person but as an indirect response to my music from listeners. And I believe that advice applies to all facades of life. The first time someone wrote me to tell me that my music helped them survive their hardships it made me realize that by being honest about my world in my art I was connecting with others, I was helping others. And so indirectly a message was passed on to me, to always remain honest and true.
That’s a wonderful testament to how you connect with your listeners. Name one of your favorite musicians.
When I was a kid, my mum was obsessed with Michael Jackson. So naturally I was exposed to his music. I was fascinated with how he could convey his emotions through his art and how those emotions then affected those that listened to him. It was beautiful and it made me want to do the same thing, to touch the world through music.
How do you market yourself and your music?
In today’s world social media allows artists to not just advertise themselves but also have closer connections to their fans. As a musician you are able to show the world who you really are and that to me is extremely important. It forms the basis of how I market myself. On my Instagram profile for example, I don’t just post about my music. I talk my love for videogames, tattoos, coffee and absolute fear of spiders. I do so because it makes me real, it makes me approachable, and not just an icon that people look up to but can never “touch”.
It is becoming more and more important to be accessible to fans, and you seem to do it very well. How would you define your style of music?
At surface level it’s easy to simply say I make R&B music and call it a day. But that would be a disservice to my craft. Honestly I just make emotional music and I’ll use whichever genre to best convey my feelings. It could be R&B, Soul, Rap, Acoustic Rock, truthfully it doesn’t matter. I’m just making music.
I agree. It’s less important to categorize the music when it touches someone at their core. As for crafting your songs, is it important for you to know the title of a song before you write it?
Most of the time I don’t even know what the song is about until I’m about half way done. For me only one thing is clear right off the bat, the emotion that I am transferring. Everything else just falls into place, almost as if I fall into a creative trance. Music is an emotional response that is triggered by a need for release.
That’s a wonderful explanation. Can you tell us about your latest CD?
This is always an interesting question to answer because of the very nature of the release. On October 20th 2015 I released my debut album ‘Alone in a Crowd: Angels | Demons’. On December 15th 2015 I released its pseudo sequel ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: King of the Sand Castle’. Unlike the first project which was self-produced, this one was produced by Montreal-based producer Sookz. On April 1st 2016 I released the sequel to both albums namely ‘Lords of Gemini: Somewhere between Worlds’. This project was produced collaboratively by Sookz and myself. And now you’re probably saying, why on earth would you release 3 albums in such a short amount of time? Short answer would be: I’m crazy. Long answer is as follows: The 3 projects are all part of one giant story, a story that began in 2010 when my mum passed away. In that time my mind became fractured and I was split between the part of me that was healing and the part of me that needed to tell his story. Stephen (my real name) was hurting but Voyce* needed the world to know that pain. AiaC is Stephen’s story while HiPS is Voyce*’s. LoG brings both sides of me back together as one and marks the end of that journey and the beginning of what’s to come.
I love the history behind your album. Why do you think people should buy it?
I’ve coined the 3 projects as ‘The Voyce* Trilogy’. In many ways each part of the story is one book in the collection. In them I am simply telling my story and I think people will connect with the raw emotion behind them and draw parallels to their lives. I think people will see themselves in my words and that will connect us to each other.
How long did it take for you to put it together?
As a whole this has been a story 6 years in the making. It’s a story that began with the passing of my mum. It’s a story about finding ones way out of darkness. It’s a reflection of my mind and hence a reflection of the human condition.
What an incredible way to honour your mother. What is next for you?
This year alone I’ve had music released by Warner and eOne Music. The close of the Voyce* trilogy has set me free from the shackles of my past, allowing me to set my mum free and hence set myself free. In many ways it marks the death of Voyce* figuratively, in the sense that he can now be reborn as something new. I am already working on a new project, a collaborative one with Jess Abran. Everything else is a book I haven’t written yet.
So well said. Let’s finish the interview with a fun lightning round!
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My hard drive with all my music or wait maybe my videogames…
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? The Moon, as you may have noticed I am obsessed with space.
Name a food you can eat everyday. Popcorn, but without butter.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Coffee or tea or something else? Cofftea.
Cat/dog/other pet? Wolf.
Favorite genre of book to read? Whatever genre ‘Le Petit Prince’ is classified as.
The best gift you’ve ever received? Anything with Batman.
Your most guilty pleasure. Popcorn ha ha.
Favorite season. Fall, because I love how artsy the world looks.
Name something you cannot go a day without. Oxygen.
My sincere thanks again to Casey Ryan for connecting me with Voyce*. Readers, please feel free to comment and ask questions of Voyce*. His media links are below, and he is simply lovely to talk to. You can also preview his music on iTunes, Soundcloud, and via his website.
“Born on the moon, raised on Mars, stuck on Earth, reaching for the Stars”
With this tattooed on his chest, Voyce* -an award winning Montreal based singer, songwriter and music producer- defines how he lives and more importantly the music he creates, by these words. Winning a prestigious songwriting award, he officially embarked on his journey in 2008. Just two years later, he found himself signed to a Nashville based record label.
His career, mimicking his life, has taken him through peaks and valleys, and led him to collaborate with worldly renowned musicians and achieve national radio play.
Well respected in the music industry, his work has now reached over half a million views on VEVO.
Pain -in one word- he will tell you, is his greatest motivator. Through the valleys of suffering he’s experienced, he is relentless in finding himself, in becoming not only better than he was yesterday, but expanding way beyond who he is today.
Driven by the simple belief that, even through darkness, there will always be hope, ultimately, Voyce*, wants to serve as a catalyst for who we, humanity, through our individual and collective suffering, choose to become.
– Written by Kim Mecca