Canadian musician, songwriter, producer, public speaker and singer John Wiebe was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and his passion for music began at an early age. Music served as an outlet to escape a harsh reality of depression and anxiety, and John started learning the guitar and lyricism between 7th and 8th grade followed by writing and composing original music releasing his debut EP “Changed” in high school. John was featured in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in 2016 though people didn’t think he would ever make it in music as he was born 4 months early and with only one working vocal cord. He was then nominated for a People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Edmonton Music Awards and has been building momentum, refining his skills and talents over the years. In 2017, he released his album “Fearless” and dropped another single titled “Let Go” in 2019 in follow up to his upcoming EP entitled “Basement Tapes”. Planning to take his music career to the next level by touring, releasing new music and performing at major festivals nationally and internationally, John is always looking forward to the future and continues to be an inspiration to others.
“Let Go” is a soft, soothing song with a talented raspy voice and meaningful lyrics that are extremely well written. Leading with a piano and guitar duet that is serene, and eases the mind, followed by the refined vocals of John that have a beautiful tone that sweeps you off your feet. The lyrics sound very thought out, like they are trying to tell a story and touches the listener on a deeper level – I know it brought tears to my eyes. “If I let go, I’ll pray that I’ll be happy” is just one of the many lyrics that have deep influential meaning, and you can hear the physical emotion in John’s voice complimented with the subtle harmonies during each chorus. The style of the soft, serene guitar and piano melodies has remnants of Secondhand Serenade and Lighthouse but John is able to take this down-to-earth sound and make it his very own in a gorgeous way. Just when you think the song is finished, John comes back to solidify the lyrics at the end finishing beautifully with “When I let go, I’ll smile” bringing a bit of joy back into the hearts of his audience to finish.
Listen here for "Let Go" and continue reading in order to get to know John a little better!
Hey John! Fantastic to chat with you! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hey, nice to chat with you too! Well. long story short, I was born 4 months early in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (I currently reside in Edmonton, Alberta). Sadly, my life growing up wasn't one of the best...I grew up going to schools where a majority of the time, I was bullied and teased for my voice & who I was. This happened throughout most, if not all of my formal years of school. Luckily, at a young age, I found myself drawn to the guitar & started lessons when I was a kid in elementary school. I proceeded to take lessons throughout most of my junior high & high school years, as well as self-teaching myself guitar chords & techniques from YouTube videos. And yes, I had originally tried out the piano, but it didn't click with me the way guitar has.
How did you first find your passion for music?
I originally started writing music (with my very limited guitar playing ability) as a kid in junior high. I'd even play little "shows" before chapel times in front of my all of my fellow peers. Mind you, those were strictly just acoustic guitar sets without vocals as I didn't believe I could (or should) sing. Honestly, I found my passion for music in elementary school & junior high. I didn't know why, but I had this inkling that I should play & write music (even before I knew anything about it in elementary school) and I would always think "It would be so cool to play music, write songs & tour around playing it." (again, this is the mind of a grade 2 student for some weird reason) I also found my passion for music, through attending concerts of artists that I looked up to myself, and listening to their music...The fact that you could actually make a career out of playing music & writing your thoughts & feelings down on paper, inspiring people. Always kept me in awe, wanting me to pursue it even more!
Did you find that there were any challenges being born with one vocal cord, finding your voice, and then making a career out of your love for music?
Oh, definitely! Only having one working vocal chord has come with a lot of challenges. Growing up in school, I was always told "speak louder" when doing class presentations or reading aloud, so I dreaded it whenever I would be picked to do anything that involved me speaking in front of the class. Plus, that was another thing I was extremely self-conscious about, anything that involved me yelling or talking at a higher volume, I'd hate because my voice tends to be raspier when I do. Another big challenge, was, of course, the music & singing aspect...I've had a lot of people asking why I've never decided to make the switch to having a full-on band with me when I play shows, why I decide to stay as a solo act. Due to the fact, my voice is a bit quieter, I've always been a bit scared to make that leap. Deciding to make a career out of my voice has been a journey.
What are some inspirations that drive you to create new music?
I think the biggest inspirations for me in creating new music, are other artists who I've looked up to & enjoyed their music (Twenty One Pilots, AJR, Skillet, Eminem, Ed Sheeran just to name a few of the many I love). Another big inspiration for me is telling either my story or the stories of others I've met in my music in some way, shape or form.
How did you find your unique sound?
Hmm, that's a hard one to answer haha. To sum it up, I think it's honestly just writing how I honestly feel & sharing my passion & story with others...Hoping that what I write inspires people along the way as they listen.
What’s next for you in 2019?
What's next? Planning out some music video ideas & definitely new music, that's for sure. Currently in the middle of writing for my brand new EP & prepping for upcoming shows (maybe even a tour in the near future, you never know!). All in all, I just hope that this year. The music I write, release, perform etc. Inspires everyone that hears it!
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