Jake Feeney Is Clearly a Star in Development

Jake Feeney is visiting the south shore of Georgian Bay tonight and in a single evening he’ll be joining up with other musicians to play for audiences in Meaford and Owen Sound.  In Meaford he’ll be opening for Culture Reject at The Barn Coop.  While he is there  Missy Bauman, Andrew Nunno and Marshall Veroni will be playing at Heartwood Hall and Jake will be joining up with them later in the evening.

Son of country record producer and songwriter Joel Feeney, Jake has always been a musician and songwriter.

“Every day, music has always excited me,” he says, He started at the age of six, on the piano and then guitar.  By the time he graduated from the Etobicoke School of The Arts a few years ago, his music had impressed his principle as well as his classmates.


“Jake was a regular contributor to our once-a-month drop-in arts show, ‘Miscellaneous,’” his principle Mr. MacKinnon told www.radixonline.ca at the time. “He was always well-rehearsed and played and sang cover tunes as well as original compositions. His quiet energy was engaging for everyone in the audience and whenever he would go up, the chatter would go down and the cameras would come out.”

And so Mr. Mckinnon entered him in the RBC Emerging Artist contest, which he won, hitting the ground running in a career he already knew he’d been born for.

“It can be a little bit isolating,” he says, “I knew when I was six years old what I wanted to do.  It was strange to see my friends going off to university with no clear idea of what they were going to do.”

The contest allowed him to perform “Forget Me Not”, one of his original songs, for inductees of the 2013 Canada’s Walk of Fame, at the Elgin Theatre before he went on to win the $1000 prize.

Since then he has continued to develop a career in carefully planned and effective steps.  Having a pro in the family helped, as he was able to access his dad’s state-of-the-art home studio to record his first eight-song EP of original tunes, entitled ‘Imbued’.  After a couple of years trying to save up for Berklee, he chose instead to study Independent Music Production at Seneca “which teaches you all the basics about being a musician.”  In the meantime he’s been playing often and has made a couple of forays to our area.  Last year he was part of the Youth Discovery at Summerfolk and did so well, they didn’t hestitate to book him again this year.

“I finish school the first day of Summerfolk,” he says, “so I’m going to have to cut out early to get up there.  I have a bunch of new friends from school and we want to get together to do some collaborating.  After that I want to work on my debut album.”

Jake has always been a songwriter.  “The first thing I was interested in about music was the lyrics.  I would write down the words to songs.  I have a couple of notebooks full of lyrics waiting to be developed.”  He ran into a setback when tendinitis, possibly brought on by endless practice sessions on the guitar, forced him to set it aside for most of a year.  He continued to write, from melodies in his head, but is not able to use the guitar again as a compositional tool.  “The guitar can bring out ideas. Those gems of songs can come out of nowhere.”

Another spur to his songwriting was when he found a website which allows you to sell a service of any kind and he offered “a service where I’ll put music to your lyrics or lyrics to your music.  I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, mainly as a way to practise songwriting.”

“Now I’ve started performing more this year so it’s harder to keep up with writing.  But I have about 70 songs.  I probably wrote more when I was starting.”

As a young songwriter, Jake Feeney sounds very mature, both with the quality of his songwriting and his stage delivery, with smooth vocals and very tasty guitar accompaniment.  As an accomplished performer, he is something of an exception in the cohort of young developing musicians he is coming up with. “The type of musicians there are in Toronto,” he says, “a lot of the people I’ve met at school, make their music at home and post things.  A lot of them have never played live.”

Be sure to catch Jake Feeney live tonight at one of the two gigs he’ll be part of and you will be hearing a young musician who will doubtlessly be a big name before the end of the decade.  Not only that but whichever venue you choose will also present some of the best local talent when it comes to original music.

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