Every day for the first 17 years of his life, Powell River fiddler Matt Emig practised three to five hours a day. A singer/songwriter and master fiddler, Emig, now 26, is finishing his own record and playing on Lukah Bouchard Band’s new album. His expression is influenced by Celtic music.
What was it like moving here from Abbotsford when you were 16 years old?
It was a challenge. At that point I was playing and dancing professionally five days a week. It was a hectic lifestyle. Moving here, it slowed down considerably.
At what age did you know you wanted to play music?
I started playing when I was three. I saw Itzhak Perlman, a famous classical player, on television when I was a toddler. After that, I wouldn’t stop asking my mom to play. She ignored it for a while and finally gave in.
But you don’t play classical music?
I’m classically trained, but I’d call myself a fiddler playing that Celtic, French and east-coast-Canadian vibe. I’ve been in the music world for so long and played so many different styles, I have a lot of influences, so it’s difficult to define.
You seem to be a self-assured person.
I feel that my identity is secure, but life is a discovery of the things you love. I love all things bright, brilliant, artistic and expressive.
You’re busy with your record and Lukah Bouchard Band’s soon-to-be-released album with Bouchard and Ben Wayne Kyle. How is that going?
Lukah is a quality man and pleasure to work with; a very skilled writer, guitar player and singer. I love Ben and seeing how his creative process works. He’s a young leader in the making and I think he’s destined for success. I met both of them the first day I showed up to record.
Who are you listening to?
I’ve been listening to a record called Are You Serious by Andrew Bird and I always have a steady dose of Coldplay and love Chris Martin’s writing. I listen to a lot of U2 as well.
What is music for Matt Emig?
Music is a manifestation and expression of the longings of the heart. Whether there’s a message you want to convey or an emotion you want to process, it all comes from the heart.