Simon Wilcox

I Breathe Music

Story

I was born in Hamilton but I grew up in Ottawa. My dad was playing a gig in Toronto and he announced my birth onstage.

Three days later I was at my first soundcheck. I hung out with both of my parents and their friends for the first three years of my life. My dad then left me with a friend who sort of ‘adopted’ me. I lived with her until I was sixteen.

Her name is Mary and she had (and has) a great record collection. She and her boyfriend and her daughter introduced me to all kinds of amazing music (Dr. John, Frank Zappa, Elvis Costello, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, The Pretenders).

I was very lucky to be given such a strong foundation. I started writing and recording my own songs in grade five. My dad still has tapes of it, I think. Very funny and embarrassing songs about stuff I knew nothing about: girls, booze.

Okay – so I turned sixteen and my life changed dramatically. I left Mary’s house and I started acting and I went to England for a bit (where my mom lives) and studied art at the Slade (University College of London).

I went back to Ottawa and did more acting (in Toronto and Montreal) and then I left highschool and moved to Toronto. When I got to Toronto I lived alone in a little apartment and spent my days finishing highschool by correspondence and making 4 track recordings of my songs.

At nineteen I decided to go to art school. I spent several years at the Ontario College of Art.

One of those years was in Florence, where I finally struck out as a musician (I busked). I figured it was safe because no one could understand my songs. Well, no one apart from the tourists.

When I came back to Toronto my life changed again. My apartment burned down. I also started recording and playing shows and meeting great musicians who helped me enormously in terms of pursuing my dream.

I kept meeting the right people at the right time and I was eventually able to put together a band and to make a record, Mongrel of Love.

Since then I have spent most of my time travelling and working. I’ve had the privilege of spending much of the past year in Los Angeles, where I met and worked with some astoundingly talented people.

I have most recently recorded in London, England and am currently planning my summer shows.

© 2020 Simon Wilcox

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