So much hidden talent inside our very own city, and here lies a hidden gem that is about to explode with his new album The Arborist debuting in early fall.
Sassy, Pop, and Soulful are his lyrics. Mischievous, Thoughtful & Charismatic define his personality. His name is JP Maurice and he calls Vancouver his home.
1. What was the defining moment when you knew, “Pop” was your musical style?
I have had a bit of an interesting trajectory in reaching that conclusion, + that being said, I’m not so sure anymore that I am strictly a “Pop” artist. My previous band “Maurice” was signed to David Fosters 143 imprint thru Warner Bros. US. Him + the label always said they wanted us to be a pop act in the vein of Maroon 5, or they frey, which was always something that we fought hard against, and thats probably why things went south with the label. I think my voice lends itself to pop music. However, once I started out on my solo career, I entered the peak performance project in 2011, and a lot of questions were being asked of me about my self perception and how I would market myself going forward. It took me setting out on my own to realize I do love pop music, and my new album, The Arborist is a pop record thru + thru, and ironically probably the album warner brothers would have liked to have released back in 2009.
2. As a songwriter which comes first for you, the lyrics or the melody?
Melody for sure. Once in a while a lyrical idea or phrase will come to me which I will try to base a song around, (“Good Feeling” is based of a line from the underground web series Nirvana the Band series), but the melody is always a starting point for me. I’ll even have a phonetic idea usually of how I want the lyrics to go, and I’ll just match lyrics to my phrasing.
3. Musically are you inspired by fantasy or reality?
Mostly reality. My new record is painfully + embarrassingly honest at times if you know me well, sometimes its quite easy to hear exactly what I’m singing about. It becomes much like a therapeutic release in that way. Like getting something off your chest. My last album was all about the last break I went thru. Sadly, I’m still writing songs about her..
4. What is your favourite song off your upcoming Album, “The Arborist” and the story behind it?
My new album is all about leaving Victoria, where I grew up, and facing my demons which started to surface due to not having the guts to challenge myself. My favourite song is the last track on the album, Gamechanger, which speaks to that in someways.
5. Shout-out to your current favourite Band or Artist?
The album I’ve been feeling the most lately is by an incredible songwriter/musician from Regina (The city that rhymes with fun), named Andy Shauf, and his beautifully heartfelt + heartbreaking self-produced album, The Bearer of Bad news. He taught himself to play clarinet for the album. I’ve also just gotten into the David Bazan album “Strange Negotiations”, which came out a few years ago, put I was just turned onto it, and I can’t get enough. I also have to mention a new project I’ve been producing this past weekend which is still un-named, featuring Dom Fricot + Alex badger. The Ep should be out later this year. Its going to sound amazing.
6. Where is your favourite venue in Vancouver to watch Live Music?
Most definitely I would have to say The Commodore Ballroom. I still have yet to play there, but it would be a dream come true. The sight lines are amazing. I could also throw in The Vogue, as I watched Patrick Watson there, and it was the first show I’ve ever cried at, so it holds a special place in my heart.
7. What is the greatest book ever written?
Thats a tough question. It doesn’t say favourite book though. I’d say perhaps the Bible. It still has people believing in a bunch of fiction. After last Sundays Game of thrones, and may have to change my vote..
8. What do you remember most about your first kiss?
Well my first “French” kiss was at a makeout party I attended in grade 5. I actually broke up with my girlfriend, so I could make out with an older girl. That set in motion a lifetime of poor romantic decisions. The kissing itself wasn’t very memorable.
9. What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday?
Sleep in till at least 1pm. If its sunny I like to go down to Jericho Beach which I just moved a couple blocks away from. Game of Thrones + a few joints will also be a necessity.
10. Where are you writing this right now?
I got a job working at the Biltmore Cabaret selling offsales. Its incredibly slow most days. Everyone who works here is a musician or works in music in some capacity. There are some serious perks to this job though. Today We Are the City was in here rehearsing for their summer tour which they leave for tomorrow.
11. What is your all time favourite movie?
Back to the Future. I wanted to be Marty Mcfly so bad when I was 4. Not much has changed.
12. What is one piece of advice your would offer to your younger self?
Work Harder. Don’t wait or assume anyone is going to do anything for you, or any favours. Also, become a homosexual. It will save you so much grief.
13. JP Maurice is hosting a dinner party!
What is on the menu?
Four influential people from the past or present are invited…
Who is on the guest list?
I hate this question. I would serve a buffet of salads. Mango infused salsa, and szechaun green beans, and fish. Probably Halibut. I wouldnt chose anyone from the past, because we cant change the past, so the question is ridiculous and void. I’d probably chose Stephen Harper, Barack O’bama and the leaders of Israel + Palestine. See if we can solve some of the words problems over some beers and a joint..
14. What could the world use more of?
Love. Wait, thats cliche. I’m going to say the world needs more listening. Change happens when people listen to what others are saying, and themselves as well.
15. What can fans expect from JP Maurice over the coming year?
My new Album, The Arborist comes out September 3rd. It will be accompanied by a tour documentary/ live performance compilation I filmed in March called “Before we were good”. Im also Touring to Europe in October + November for the first time which is extremely exciting. I can’t wait to play for some new audiences. On that tour I will be filming another documentary about that adventure, so stay tuned.