Christopher Ford
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Christopher Ford

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Tell us a story behind one of your songs*.

Two summers ago my brother and I took a road trip from Calgary down to Philadelphia, where our grandparents live. We left on July 1st and drove about 8 hours a day, so we saw America in the prime of its life: Fourth of July fireworks at Mount Rushmore, the tourist mecca of Wall Drug, the shockingly fertile space between the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers, the “Taste of Chicago” street festival, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and of course the small towns we stayed in along the way. It was an eye-opening trip that felt like a real pilgrimage through the heartland. I couldn't believe what a great summer we had. When we were back in Edmonton for university that fall, I remember walking down Whyte Avenue and getting a phone call from my folks saying a friend of mine, Nathan Hornburg, was shot and killed in Afghanistan. That was just such a jolt, y'know? I skipped class the next day and sat there with my guitar thinking about how different two summers can be: here I had the time of my life, and there he had given his. So I ended up writing a song that morning called “All I Ever Want” about the different ways that expectation and excitement can shape our lives and change us.

*What do you listen to when you are at home?*

Whoo boy. I'm going through a huge Sufjan Stevens craze; I can't get enough of the guy. Here's someone who has something original to say about religion and life and he's got this challenging new type of folk music. Wilco is quickly becoming one of my favorite dad was telling me how he can't stand them because he can't get over Jeff Tweedy's vocals, but I say if you're like me and just getting into the music business, what better model for songwriting can you have than someone who has had years of success despite his voice?? I love artists that have some original sound to their voice or their music—Jeff Buckley, Raine Maida, Jeff Martin, U2, Bob Dylan, Elliot Smith, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I love Crosby Stills and Nash's early stuff, Dead Can Dance, anything that challenges you as a listener and has some substance to the lyric.
*Who or what has influenced your writing significantly?*

My two favorite bands as a teenager were Our Lady Peace and The Tea Party. I think without listening to their records every night as I went to sleep I wouldn't have half the interest or talent with music that I's two very different bands, one with a vocalist who's got this nasal, paranoid falsetto that scrapes into these lyrics that are enigmatic but anthemic at the same time, genius; and the other with a deep baritone that pushes through high notes with a blues-shout. And both bands would have things in their work that would inspire me to read things I hadn't read, or get interested and passionate about things...I think that the most important role of an artist is to provoke, and that's a lesson right from some great Canadian bands.

*What highlight in your songwriting/performing could you share with us"

Haha I get a lot of comments about my facial contortions during songs. I have a lot of background in Drama, I took a year of acting at the U of A and I've done a lot of musical theater, so I think some of that comes out during my songs. I just emote the things lying under my lyrics, the deeper stuff that drove me to write. I have a song called “Moral of the Story” that I wrote in Montana this year about how every place has its own timeline that you can be part of but never own...and the lyric is talking about being drunk and it's this weird dream-sequence...but I think a lot of a song comes out in its performance, and that's where you get these double or triple levels to a piece of work.

*What have you learned that you could pass on about songwriting/performing experience?
You never write a word you didn't mean to write. I'll sit down with a pen and paper and put out a verse that I just don't doesn't make sense or the idea pulls a muscle doing verbal acrobatics. But then right below it I'll write another stanza that puts it all into perspective, or the first stanza will help me realize what I really wanted to say in a song. It's dangerous to cross things out or throw them away before really analyzing them.

*Any tips or advice you could give to songwriters?*

Sometimes I'll write 90% of a song and give up. I have friends who do the same thing. I kick myself every time I go back and play these fragments, because some of the original drive behind the song has disappeared, or my feelings about the subject have changed. Get a song out all in one or two sittings. Get it all out because that's raw, that's capturing the moment, and what people connect with in songs isn't a rewritten fifth draft but that feeling of shared emotion and the idea that a moment can live forever in music.

*What plans or goals do you have for the next year?*

I'm at a bit of a crossroads where I'm not sure how much more I can do on my own. I'm looking into management and starting to shop my art out to some independent labels. I'm trying to set up a tour of Alberta in the next few months, and by next year I'd like to be touring outside of the province.

*Where can we buy your CD?*

Because it's self-produced and self-pressed I've been selling my first EP, Secrets for the Sleeping Giants, only at shows. -


Secrets for the Sleeping Giants - self published.



Christopher Ford is a North American citizen who has lived in North Carolina, Calgary, Pennsylvania, Edmonton, and Montana. His interest in music piqued at the University of Alberta in 2004 when he first picked up a guitar and taught himself some chords. Chris now plays more than half a dozen stringed instruments, harmonica, trumpet, djembe and udu drums, and can proficiently pretend to play the piano.

A student at the University of Alberta of both political science and drama, Chris considers his role as an artist to find new ways to wonder why humans act the way they do. Much of his writing centers on the importance of place in our culture and the different ways we move through each other's lives. "I love to write vignette songs," muses Chris, "but I find my vignettes can't keep still, and they usually get caught up in the idea of escape or release. Maybe that says something about myself--maybe I need to escape somewhere, too!"

Chris has found audiences in Calgary and Edmonton for just over 3 years. After spending the summer in West Glacier, Montana, he admits he's done a lot of writing and should have plenty of fresh material to share. "West Glacier was this little town of 200 people, so when we weren't working there was lots of time to just sit down with a guitar in the woods and write," he reflects. "You don't get a lot of opportunities like that and I tried to make the most of it. That's all we can really do with our time anyways."

Christopher is occasionally joined on stage or in studio by his brother Donald, who shares much of his brother's background and interests, but also doubles as a petroleum business development engineer.