Ottawa-based Rory Gardiner is a successful music publisher, reality tv contestant, comedian and singer/songwriter. You may have heard his work playing in the background of your favourite tv show or television commercial or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to catch him playing a live show.
Rory’s had several singles on the radio, he has recorded three full-length albums out of Nashville, he’s even got a couple of co-writers that we’re super familiar with including Tim Hicks and River Town Saints, and he keeps a very busy touring schedule across Canada, the US and Australia.
We’ve been listening to his new record, Be You which was released on September 18th and we wanted to know more about him. So we asked a few questions and Rory kindly responded.
Q) Tell us about yourself, where you were born, where you lived as a kid, what you do when you’re not making music and anything else you think our readers would like to know.
RG) Born in PEI, but grew up in Ottawa. When not making music I perform stand-up comedy. A few years ago I needed a break from writing songs, so I started writing jokes and turned out I was funnier than I thought. I still do stand-up weekly, but I’ll never stop writing and performing music.
Q) Let’s talk about the new album Be You… can you tell us about the writing and recording process?
RG) The album Be You came out of years of trying to write songs that I thought would be popular at radio. I don’t own a pickup truck, so found it hard to relate with what is current. I decided to write an entire album of country music that I would want to hear. I found that when I wrote songs relate to my own real life, it would often resonate with other people in similar situations. “Be You”! This album is my first country album since 2013. Since then I have released a children’s album (We’re all Rockstars-2016) and Americana record(Roots-2015). It’s the direction my creativity took me, so I just rolled with it!
Q) Will you be touring through the fall to support the album?
RG) The tour will begin this winter, starting in Tampa Florida, then headed north.
RG) These days I can’t play a live show, without my comedic side sneaking into the mix….
Q) Tell us something about you that would couldn’t find with a Google search.
RG) I secretly avoid eating bread and other gluten because I’m afraid of getting a “yeast” infection…
Q) Who are you listening to?
RG) I love anything with a good hook or clever lyrics. I am consumed so much by country music every day that, when I work out or drive around, I prefer listening to podcasts.
Q) What’s the best advice you were ever given and what advice would you give to someone just starting out?
RG) Best advice I ever received was “make money while you sleep, so you can do what you want while you’re awake”. It encouraged me to start pushing my music into TV shows and commercials, which isn’t what I originally set out to do with my music, but as a result, turned out great. Something I’ve learned over the years is that if you try to be something or someone you’re not, it will cause frustration, disappointment, and you will never be truly satisfied. Sort of like the movie “Rockstar” with Mark Wahlberg. Just “Be You” and the rest will come organically.
Thanks to Rory for taking the time to answer our questions and if you want to know more about Rory, check out his website and socials.