Fredericton musician David Myles wins Juno award for instrumental album

·3 min read
Fredericton musician David Myles has bagged a second Juno win. His album - That Tall Distance - won for instrumental album of the year. The album features a mix of jazz and funk. (David Myles - image credit)
Fredericton musician David Myles has bagged a second Juno win. His album - That Tall Distance - won for instrumental album of the year. The album features a mix of jazz and funk. (David Myles - image credit)

When David Myles found out he had won his second Juno award, his family leaped from their living room couch and burst out into cheers.

"I was totally shocked and astounded and super excited," said Myles. "It was a beautiful moment because I was with my kids."

His work That Tall Distance won instrumental album of the year.

Myles last won a Juno award in 2013 for his collaboration with Nova Scotian artist Luke Boyd, better known by his stage name Classified.

The single Inner Ninja took home rap recording of the year.

WATCH | Fredericton musician David Myles and his family react to his Juno win

Myles was unable to travel to Toronto for the award show as he was recovering from COVID-19.

But he says he tried to make the most of the announcement and still relishes the win. "I just couldn't believe the timing of it. But of course, that's how this works."

He describes the process of creating his award winning album as a time of immense growth.

"This was full-on pandemic time ... But many of the musician friends that I knew had studios at their house, and so this was a way for us to connect," Myles said.

"A lot of it was the process of me learning how to record myself and having the freedom to do whatever I wanted ... I wasn't thinking about putting this record out. I wasn't thinking about touring this record. I was just thinking about making something interesting."

The album features a mix of jazz and funk beats which Myles said were inspired by classics from the late 1960's and early 1970's like American jazz artists Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd.

"Funky, danceable instrumental stuff with big solos ... It was about creating something where the main melody was strong enough and the groove was strong enough to hold these songs for the soloists."

Myles also took the lessons he learned from his time working with Classified and applied them to That Tall Distance.

"Even though it was obviously quite different from my work with Classified ... I took a lot from what I learned with Luke about energy and about beats and groove," said Myles.

"I certainly always have that voice in the back of my head now that I didn't have before."

Fresh off his win, his next album — It's Only A Little Loneliness — is set to come out next Wednesday.

Myles said the title was inspired by the feelings of anxiety and isolation many people were feeling during the pandemic.

"It's one of those things that you say to yourself when you're feeling down and you try to diminish it, but then you realize that it's actually quite deep," Myles said. "It actually kind of nags at your heart because we're fundamentally meant to be in community with each other."

Myles hopes that when people listen to his new album, they'll be able to find a sense of connection.

"When I would make an instrumental record, sometimes I wonder if it was because I could express myself in ways that I felt like words weren't going to do it ... words were too limiting," Myles said.

"You want to know that you're connecting. You want to help people connect to emotions and to the feeling that they're not alone."

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