Music Interview: the Fisher King

By Sherri Shergill

Let’s admit it: the majority of Canadian entertainers are rarely taken seriously or given celebrity status when compared to the rest of the world’s performers. People are likely to equate the amount of money generated by an artist to the quality of his/her music, forgetting fame and fortune have nothing to do with musical talent. But the blame cannot be entirely deposited onto these philistines. There’s a fair chance a part of this problem are musicians like Jeremy Fisher, who could care less about what others think of him and more about the personal rewards of his music.

Leaning back into the couch and restringing his guitar, this self-proclaimed Canadian folk artist is the essence of relaxation. Fresh from a day of travel, sound checks and performances, this is Fisher’s first chance to soak in the intensity of his work and evaluate his day.

“Success is enjoying everything and every moment,” claims Fisher, “Today was a successful day.”

Born in Hamilton, Fisher is a singer/songwriter freshly signed onto Sony Records. But considering Fisher spent several years busking on the streets, it’s not hard to see why he’s grateful to be signed to a major label and given the chance to perform indoors.

Tired of playing bars, Fisher decided to play on the streets and perform for everyday people as a chance to develop as a musician. This allowed him the opportunity to meet intriguing and unusual characters, that not only changed his music, but also his life.

“It was a very rich experience that was inspiring to me. It’s a lot of rejection, but that’s a part of it,” says Fisher of busking. “It’s a good exercise in controlling your ego and realizing you’re out there doing it ’cause you love to do it. That’s the reward.”

This insight into a different life left Fisher with an abundance of experiences for his second album, Let It Shine. He realized his music needed to be more meaningful to him before it could mean anything to his fans.

On the first listen, some may describe the lyrics on the album as terribly bubble gum and superficial. However, as Fisher explains, the simple lyrics make for a deeper and more powerful understanding of the album’s sincerity, humour and self-expression.

“I think the big challenge is to express things a lot of people feel,” says Fisher. “Music is such a mysterious thing. It stirs up all sorts of emotions. For me, it’s the most powerful art form.”

Now based out of Vancouver, Fisher travels on his bike carting his guitar across Canada to perform for fans throughout the country. Originally a bike mechanic, this musician is addicted to the humility accompanying a basic bike ride.

“Every time I go out onto my bike, I realize that humanity and people and the world are inherently good,” he explains. “It’s easy to get caught up in yourself, and the bicycle gives me a sense of freedom.”

This is the freedom allowing Fisher to be thankful for his life, appreciate his career and success as a musician, as well as a person. According to Fisher, looking around for approval is much less fulfilling than enjoying the moment. And if in the moment means being signed to a major label and performing across the nation, then here’s to hoping Fisher feels fulfilled.

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