He will often weave his hypnotic voice over mesmerizing fingerpicking patterns, creating a dreamy soundscape on which to deliver his dark poetry. But he's a master of reggae and a student of hip hop as well, so can pick it up when he wants, delivering funky sycopated grooves for soulful and rebellious anthems. As a songwriter and as a person, he has truly been exploring, exploring the fringes of the land and the culture he is a part of. He's met countless amazing people, seen the natural beauty as well as the fascinating tragedy of this place and time.
These days Graham can usually be found somewhere near Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. For those who must know, some of the first music Graham was moved by include Billy Idol and Corey Hart. His first tape was The Beatles Rock And Roll Music Vol. 2; his favourite Beatle was John Lennon.
Growing up he loved the likes of James Brown and The Beach Boys, in addition to old Soul and Rock 'n Roll classics. In his teens he loved The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and certain pop records of the time. One pivotal moment in his life was when he first listened to the first side of Pink Floyd's The Wall. It blew his mind and his conception of music would be forever changed.
Pink Floyd remains his all time favourite band. Graham is heavily influenced by the intensity of West Coast Hard Core Rap like NWA and Easy E, whom he listened to obsessively as a teenager, in addition to crossover artist Body Count, fronted by Ice T. Of course, Graham was the perfect age to fully appreciate Nirvana, and "Unplugged in New York" remains a milestone album for him. The integrity, songwriting and guitar mastery of Jimi Hendrix remains an major, though subconscious, influence--as it should. Graham always loved late '60s psychedelic rock like Janis Joplin, Big Brother, and Syd Barret-era Pink Floyd, as well as progressive rock, particularly Supertramp's masterpiece "Crime of the Century".
Throughout his youth Graham worshipped The Doors, and this influence shines through in his current music. The Doors are one of the few bands he regularly covers. Around the age of 19 he got into blues, following Jimi Hendrix backward in time until he eventually found Robert Johnson. The emotional realism of black music has always resonated with him--BB King, John Lee Hooker and Ray Charles are just a few of his favourites. His all time favourite song is "Stand By Me" by Ben E King In his 20's Graham got into songwriters Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen, as well as Montreal Post-Rock band Godspeed You Black Emperor.
Drake and Cohen remain some of the closest relatives to Graham's solo work. Through his association with reggae band Dreadlock Nutz, Graham learned the craft of reggae, and derived a tremendous amount of influence from Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Sublime as well as The Specials. He's always had an affinity for Sinead O'Connor, and counts her as his favourite vocalist. His favourite classical composer is Ludwig Van Beethoven Graham possibly learned the most from his good friends--songwriters Jeremy Stewart, Raghu Lokanathan and Roi Yalte; hip hop artists Conscience and Mos Eisley from Sweatshop Union; and obscure reggae / blues man Ryan Latchman, who taught him a unique method of reggae rhythm strumming. Some modern artists Graham admires are The Arbitrarys, Modest Mouse, John Frusciante, System of a Down, Hayley Sales and Joanna Newsom. Read more on Last.fm.
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