Gryner “ready to rumble” with Jewel
Emm Gryner, a singer-songwriter from Forest Ontario and 1995 Music Industry Arts (MIA) Fanshawe graduate, came back to her alma mater on Friday, November 24 to speak with current MIA students.
Gryner recently received praise from Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, the front man for world-renowned rock group U2, when he was quoted in Q Magazine as saying Gryner's song ‘Almighty Love' was one of the few he wished he had written in the last 20 years.
Gryner said that she was surprised by Bono's compliment.
“I was really surprised to hear about it,” Gryner said before her lecture with the MIA students. “As an independent artist you don't really know where your music is going and who it is reaching all the time, so it's a good indicator that you can make independent music and it can reach far distances even if you don't have a lot of money behind you or marketing,” she added.
“I just hope he records it, so I can buy a house. So, get back to me Bono.”
Gryner has toured with many other reputable artists, including fellow Canadian artist Sarah McLachlan and British musician David Bowie.
Gryner participated in the Lilith Fair tour in 1997, which was organized by McLachlan, and also she also toured extensively with Bowie from 2000 to 2001 as a backup singer.
“I learned a little something from every experience like that,” Gryner said. “Sarah McLachlan, that was an amazing festival that she put together and it was interesting to see it grow every year.
Gryner said she recalls an incident at Lilith Fair where American musician Jewel did not give her any respect.
“Jewel snubbed me at Lilith Fair,” Gryner said. “So Jewel, if you are reading this, lets take it outside. I'm ready to rumble outside D-block.”
Gryner spoke to the current MIA students about her experiences in her music career including starting her own record label, Dead Daisy Records. Gryner also offered advice to the students.
“I feel it has been an interesting ten years since I've been here,” Gryner said. “Everyone has their own path and how they want to approach it, I think a lot of these kids know already what they want to do. I think the best advice is just experience and getting out there and doing it.”
Gryner said her experience in the MIA program was essential in the early years of her career.
“I think the biggest thing that it gave me was the community of friends and people to work with when I got out of College,” Gryner said.
“I'm not sure if I would have known exactly where to start if I would have just moved to Toronto immediately and started doing music. It gave me a glimpse of the Canadian music industry, complete with personalities and problems, ” she added. “Lots of Tim Horton's coffee in the middle of the night.”
Having recorded several albums, and having made a living off of music, Gryner said she is content with where she is in her career.
“I kind of take things as they come and as long as I can do this and not have to go get a real job, than I'm happy, so off to the races,” Gryner said.