I am back with another interview, this time with Canadian Singer-Songwriter Graham Scott Fleming. Hailing from the small town of Elmvale, ON, Graham has been honing his performance skills for the past nine years working as a theatre and film actor in Toronto and on Broadway in New York City. After winning first place in a competition called North of Nashville star in 2011, Graham’s career as an independent artist was launched and from there he began writing his own music leading him to open for acts like Derrick Ruttan, High Valley, and Jason Blaine. He has also had the opportunity to collaborate and co-write with such names as Jason McCoy, Jane Bach, Phil Barton, J.T. Harding, and many others.
The singer-songwriter recently talked with ai love music over email about the behind-the-scenes of his latest single “Better Man”. Check out what inspirational words Graham incorporated with this single. Also, check out the song below. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Hey! Can you tell us a little about yourself? Any fun facts about yourself?
Hey! Nice to E-meet you! A little bit about me: I am from a small town in Ontario called Elmvale. Fun Fact: We are surrounded by the largest fresh water in the world and we are known to have some of the purest drinking water. I rescued a beagle puppy at 8 weeks old, called him George and now he is turning 7!
How did you get into music? What has that journey been like?
I started singing and playing guitar when I was in grade 12. I always loved music but never had really thought about it as a career. I entered myself in a contest that year called “The North of Nashville Star” contest and I ended up winning. That gave me the opportunity to open up for some notable Canadian Stars and the passion I felt from that performance led to my journey of this career. I actually shifted into acting and spent about 10 years building my name up from tours to starring in ‘Kinky Boots’ as Charlie Price in 4 different productions including the Original Canadian Production.
I have performed on Broadway and on the big and little screens as well. Once the pandemic hit, I really was able to shift into the position I am now. Being able to write and tell my own story has been really cool! I released three singles last year and my current single is sitting at #37 on the Media Base charts for Canadian Country Radio.
What musical genres and/or artists influence your artistry?
A)I am inspired by all types. I would say when I write my music I am heavily influenced by Country, pop, R&B, and soul. Influences would be Dan & Shay, Dolly Parton, Kasey Musgraves, Johnny Cash, Ed Sheeran to name a few (I could go on forever).
When it comes to songwriting, what part of the process is natural for you? And what is the most important part for you?
Hmm, that is an interesting question. I spend a LOT of time in my thoughts. Inspirations come from everywhere and at any time, especially when it is 3 am and I am trying to sleep. The most natural part when I am writing these days is really trying to stay truthful in my feelings. Sometimes it is scary to be so vulnerable, but I have learned that I now have a voice to share an emotion that someone who isn’t a singer or songwriter may not be able to say, but by listening they can connect to it.
So, if what I am saying is able to influence or spark emotion from someone who can connect, then that is winning the lottery. Being honest and vulnerable and putting out music that I believe in is the number one. SO long story long, the most natural part is just being honest with myself. Feeling connected to the music/ lyrics I am writing.
What have been some of your musical goals for 2022?
LOT’S of goals! I am a big dreamer and a hard worker. I have lot’s that I would love to accomplish including recording/ releasing new music. With new restrictions lifted, I am excited to get out and perform. I would love to reach new audiences and connect with music lovers everywhere!
Let’s talk about “Better Man”. Tell me something about the track?
This track actually started out as a journal entry and ended up one of my favourite songs I have written. It was from a time when I was just being a little self-destructive and not really allowing myself to see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how many times I reached out to friends or vice versa, I wasn’t ready to hear what anyone had to say. Being able to reach out is super important, but you have to want the change. You YOURSELF have to want to get up on your feet again and make the changes you need to find that happiness you may have lost.
What inspired you to create the track?
It was just a feeling of relief. Finally seeing that light. I wrote it the day before we were going into the studio and sent it to my producers and they agreed that we should record this song. It was one of those natural processes that just kept unfolding and turned into something I could never have imagined!
How was producing the track? What was the most important element you wanted to express in this track?
My producers ‘The Agenda’ are four super talented guys who have incredible visions for their work. We work super well together defining ideas and directions for the songs. This one again was a very natural process and came together in the studio as we were recording it. I LOVE harmonies and I knew I wanted big-sounding harmonies on this track. We spent a lot of time deciding the sounds we wanted and we knew right away what we liked and started to build off that!
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Currently, it is Dan & Shay. They are inspirations and idols. I love their energy when performing, their writing, and their vocal agility is incredibly inspiring.