#DrakeDreams: Ewan Kay

Posted by Drake, August 23, 2016

We’ve teamed up with Street Dreams Magazine and New Balance to connect + inspire up-and-coming dreamers who live the creative life. If you're as passionate about food, drink, art, craft + design as The Drake is, we want to hear from you! Calling all makers, artists, musicians, mixologists and culinary adventurers: post on Instagram to show us how The Drake inspires your creativity. Be sure to tag #DrakeDreams + win a priceless Drake experience that nurtures your craft. Interested? Learn more here.

Ewan Drake Dreams

Meet Ewan Kay. A musician, producer and all-around creative powerhouse – kicking up tracks both live and recorded while moonlighting at The Drake Hotel. With a recording studio to his name that keeps a growing number of talented musicians in his company, Ewan’s sound is constantly evolving + changing keeping him inspired and adaptable. As this week’s Drake Dreamer, he took a minute to answer our most burning questions:

1. What does the Drake mean to you?

The Drake is an organization that fosters individuals who are seeking to forge their own unique paths, be it in the hospitality industry or other diverse and creative veins. For many years, The Drake has been a hub for art, music, and business to take place under one roof.

2. How does working at the Drake inspire you to follow your dreams?

As a musician, The Drake has been a stable work environment that has offered me the flexibility to go on tour; sometimes for several months at a time. I was always welcomed back and for this reason I was able to continue to build my career within the music industry.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I used to focus my efforts on live music only. I have always loved playing shows and will continue to do so, but in more recent years I really got into recording music. I focused a lot of energy on learning how to record properly, and creatively. I love spending my time in a studio environment with others or just myself, making an idea reach its absolute potential.

4. How do you feel when others get inspired by your work?

When others speak to me about something I’ve done, whether it be during a live show or something I’ve worked on in a recording situation I’m always curious to know exactly what excited them. My hope is that I can then build upon what has inspired them in future projects and shows.

5. Why do you wake up and do what you love?

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to open up a small recording studio with two of my best friends. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with some of Canada’s most talented musicians, as well as many upcoming artists who I have the highest regard for. To be surrounded by such talented peers continues to drive me within my own work to aspire to a higher level. As a result, my music is in a constant state of evolution.

Ewan #DrakeDreams

6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My dog. She has to go pee…

7. Describe your creative process.

I hear an idea in my head, and very patiently try to reconstruct that idea outside of my head using synthesizers, samples, and live instruments. It sounds pretty awesome in my head, and pretty rough after I’ve just recorded it so I’ll spend a lot of time shaping the sound sonically until it sounds like the idea I had in my head.

8. Describe your ideal day.

My ideal day at the moment consists of waking up early in the afternoon, eating breakfast with my girlfriend and drinking a cup of coffee, and then heading in to my studio for about 4-5 hours. Then I come home, walk my dog for a couple hours; eat dinner, and head back to work for another 3-4 hours. Then I come home and watch TV, decompress, and sleep whenever my body allows me to.

9. Tell us 3 random facts about yourself.

  1. I got to hang out with Jean Chrétien in Beijing in 1998
  2. I got stranded in the Himalayas during a brief political crisis
  3. I’m pretty bad at playing drums

10. What's something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I used to be a baby model.

Ewan #DrakeDreams

11. Where in Toronto do you feel most creative?

In my studio, where I get most of my work done.

12. Why do you love Toronto?

I like Toronto.

13. Who or what are your greatest influences?

I still search for new music, but not as much as I did when I was younger. I’ll find something I like here or there, and I’ll have someone show me a cool new project and I’ll absolutely love it. What influences me the most though, is listening to my friend’s music. I find what piques my interest most, is hearing a song, or record that a friend of mine made and knowing what went into it on a personal level. What happened to them the year that record was created, where they were at emotionally, and the stories that come with those songs. To experience that time with someone, and then hear an entire record influenced by that entire period is something I find more wonderful than every episode of “The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross” combined.

14. In what ways you do see yourself improving in your work?

There will always be room for improvement. I believe the finest way to do so is to constantly question what you are doing at any given time. I have always looked to criticism and I feel it is an important tool to understand different people’s perspectives on your work, but you must feel truly content with yourself to accept criticism from others.

15. What do you think distinguishes you from others?

Everybody has a unique approach to life. I think the experiences, friendships, and relationships I’ve had in my lifetime have distinguished me from others. Every situation is a learning experience, and I’ve tried my best to be as observant as I can be in every circumstance. When you really learn something, it transcends that single situation, and can be expressed it multiple facets of your life.

Ewan #DrakeDreams2

16. What do you when you hit a life roadblock? How do you get past that?

I’ve always held on the the cliché: “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.” I understand that there can be more brightness or darkness at different points in one’s life and I’ve always maintained the thought that things will always get better when I’m in a dark spot; you just have to give it some time.

17. How does it feel to create something that inspires/affects others?

It’s the entire reason I continue to do it, so really great.

18. What's one important thing you've learned, that you could have only learned through experience?

To feel confident enough to take constructive criticism. I feel like that always takes time, and many people never really reach that point.

19. What's one of your favourite quotes? Why?

I don’t really have any favourite quotes to be honest.

20. What are some goals you’ve yet to accomplish?

I’m pretty content where I’m at right now actually. I just hope to continue working with great artists and improving my own musical skills. I live with the love of my life and we have a lovely dog together. Things are pretty swell.


*All photos by Bianca Scarlato

Posted in: People

Tags: Drake Dreams  The Drake Hotel