Simon Wilcox

I Breathe Music

Simon says don’t treat her differently

The daughter of Canuck blues-rocker David Wilcox certainly isn’t singing the blues.

While singer-songwriter Simon Wilcox is happy to acknowledge her famous father, a staple of Canadian classic rock radio, she isn’t looking for any special treatment.

“Generally, I’ve been lucky enough that people find out who I am after I’ve started playing,” the soft-spoken 23-year-old says. “Either it’s after the show or they’ll be watching the show and the little rumour will pass through the crowd. So I don’t get that sort of blues-rock thing happening.”

Fortunately, Wilcox has been drawing plenty of attention on her own merit.

Those who caught Chantal Kreviazuk’s Centrepointe Theatre appearance in mid-March got their first glimpse of Wilcox, quiet and polite disposition one minute, powerful percussive-based acoustic words and music the next.

She headlines at Zaphod Beeblebrox 1 tonight.

What many aren’t aware of is Wilcox spent her formative years under the care of a governness in Ottawa, including attending school at Glebe Collegiate.

“When I was three years old, my parents went to a friend of theirs and said, ‘Would you please look after Simon? We’ll pay you to look after her,’ ”

Wilcox says. “So I was under the care of this woman until I was 16. Then, I phoned my parents and said, ‘Okay, you’ve been sending her money. How about sending me money and I’ll look after myself?’ So they did and I started looking after myself.”

That ‘care’ included travelling by herself to Spain “getting kicked off trains because I had no money” and Morocco, where she “shared a hotel room with a Danish student who was mugged at knifepoint in the mid-afternoon.”

Eye-awakening life experiences indeed, many of which she brings out in her soul-baring debut CD, Mongrel of Love. A mix of pop, punk, folk and Eastern influences, Wilcox’s voice and lyric stylings are similar to the hushed work of Ani DiFranco and Fiona Apple.

Relations between Wilcox and her dad remain on great terms.

Both are scheduled to perform — separately — at the Festival of Friends in Hamilton this August, which Simon says could prove to be an interesting experience.

“My father first played that festival 25 years ago,” she says. “The board of directors is retiring. So my father will be playing there again and I’ve been booked to open for him.

“Now, going out there this summer in front of an audience who’s expecting David Wilcox, as singer-songwriter Simon … and I’m not a reasonably drawn facsimilie thereof … (she laughs) …

“It’s gonna be interesting.”

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