Origins is the debut EP from 21-year-old North Shore native Colin Weeks. A two-time college dropout from music programs at Capilano University and Selkirk College, Weeks proves he doesn’t need a degree to make great music.
The base of his sound is solid, with creative and masterful guitar riffs. His voice, gentle and optimistic while languidly powerful, fills out the soundscape. Weeks and his guitar are exactly what you get from his music. Although tracks like “Lady in the Sun” has some gentle drumming, his music doesn’t need snares or kick drums to be enjoyable. All five songs on Origins are well-written and executed, and the EP is a great soundtrack no matter what’s on your to-do list.
Though he’s currently a solo act, he said that he’s “desperate to find a permanent band.” However, this may have to wait until after the summer, when he hopes to go on a short tour with Isaak Salomon — another local musician — to Whistler and Vancouver Island.
The Peak got to talk with Colin before the official release of Origins to discuss his music, inspiration, and where he goes from here.
P: When did you start getting involved with music?
CW: I bought Rock Band [the video game] when it first came out. After mastering the guitar on screen, I decided it would be cooler to learn the real thing instead. My parents graciously agreed to rent me my first guitar after that!
P: What different instruments do you play, and for how long?
CW: I mostly just play guitar and sing. I pluck around a little bit on the piano, and I can stumble through bass. . . but that’s mostly it. Someday I’d love to learn the sitar or maybe the erhu.
P: Which musicians influence or inspire you?
CW: Jack Johnson takes the cake on this one. He’s my hero both as a person and a musician. John Mayer is right there, too. I’ve learnt more from those two than I probably even realize. Aside from that I’m obsessed with movie and video game soundtracks!
P: What’s the story behind the name Origins?
CW: I was really into human evolution at the time, and felt intrigued over how disconnected we are from our roots. We always seem to forget that we’re just as much a part of the animal kingdom as any other creature. Once I settled on Origins I just couldn’t change it, even though it’s got nothing to do with the songs.
P: Your first track on the EP, “Sunset Kingdom,” is my personal favourite. Anything you’d care to share about it?
CW: “Sunset Kingdom” is incredibly fun to play, and usually garners the most attention from people as well. I think the reason everyone connects with it so much is because the lyrics are personable. . . the feeling of wanting to leave home and spread your wings.
P: Which song is your favourite?
CW: “Lady in the Sun.” I’m a huge fan of Harry Belafonte, so writing a song with his style was a lot of fun for me.
P: Any tips for somebody thinking about starting up on their own?
CW: Play music that you have fun playing, not what you think others will enjoy. If you’re having a good time, people will always be drawn to that.
When asked if he sees music as a long-term career, Weeks affects a jovial and devil-may-care attitude, typical in early adulthood. “I have absolutely no idea what my future looks like,” he admits. “If I’m fortunate enough to be able to make music for the rest of my life, I certainly won’t be complaining.” That’s not to say he doesn’t have other ideas, though. “If music does burn out for some reason, I’ll be doing some sort of environmental work.”
Download Origins by Colin Weeks on iTunes and Spotify, and look out for him on tour this summer.