Musician has 'no regrets' leaving the corporate world
Taped the bottom of Greg Drummond’s computer monitor at home is a fake cheque he made out to himself for $100,000 with the signature: “It will happen!”
“Hey, I’m a tenth of the way there,” the Port Moody resident said last week with a grin, referring to his $10,000 win for the Best of BC song contest in which the Shore 104.3 FM awarded him for his original Johnny Cash-sounding track, titled Walking Man.
Truth be known, the Port Moody secondary graduate had a cheque written out to himself about a year ago for $10,000, just after his debut album, also called Walking Man, came out but he rewrote it recently after scoring the radio station cash.
The accolade has meant the world to him and is especially poignant given that Walking Man was penned the night before he quit and walked out the door from his corporate sales job to pursue music full-time — a risk Drummond said he was confident would one day pay off.
“Leaving that job was a big thing for me,” Drummond said, “but I knew I had made the right decision because afterwards it felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders.”
“I have no regrets leaving a corporate job behind for music.”
Trained in audio engineering at the Vancouver Film School and Douglas College, Drummond said he was ready to make the plunge into the non-structured — though often financially struggling — arts lifestyle.
His start, however, was a little bumpy.
After quitting his employer in November 2010, Drummond wrote more songs for his first album and, while recording them in Port Coquitlam in May 2011, the studio burned to the ground.
Luckily, he was able to salvage his music files and continue to mix them at home on his own recording gear.
Since the album — 10 tracks of lovely storytelling through various genres, with a sound comparable to Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire and Eddie Vedder — was released last September, Drummond said he’s been able to live on the sale proceeds as well as from gigs around Metro Vancouver as well as a B.C. and Alberta tour last winter.
Still, clinching the monthly radio contest in November “has opened so many more doors for me,” Drummond said, noting the frequent play on 104.3 FM as well as the extra performances tied to the win have pushed things along faster. “It’s so nice to have the title. The attention is especially nice because I’ve worked so hard.”
Last Friday, Drummond was part of the 12 Days of Christmas at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, a 104.3-sponsored event to raise donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. And on Friday, Drummond and his band will play in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,100 people for the 11th annual Ugly Sweater Party at the Commodore Ballroom, another charitable benefit show.
Next month, Drummond will tour Vancouver Island with Towers and Trees and, currently, he’s writing songs for his sophomore album.
And then there are the results of another contest. Recently, Drummond’s Walking Man was shortlisted for the Rocky Mountaineer Train song competition; the winner, who will be announced next month, will get $5,000 and a chance to record their tune with producer Garth Richardson. The song will be used in the company’s promotional videos.
“So, there’s a lot of things on the go now,” Drummond said.