From Idol to Alberta and back again, proud Newfoundlander and Labradorian Jason Greeley returns home with renewed energy and passion to spare
Jason Greeley may have spent the last 13 years living and working in Alberta, but his heart has never strayed from the rocky coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Over the last 13 years living in Alberta I’ve also been home 60 times,” Greeley laughs during a telephone interview as he drove across the country en route to his home province. “I’m home three or four times a year.”
Love and music have spurred Greeley, an Upper Island Cove native, to pack up and move east, leaving Canada’s country music capital to replant roots here on the rock.
“On the personal side of life I met a girl in Newfoundland last year,” Greeley explains. “We grew up in the same area, didn’t know each other. We met and it’s been just over a year now. And it’s just kind of the way things work, the way things happen I guess. You never really plan these things. Chalk it up to fate I guess.”
The well versed singer-songwriter recently released his newest single Love Hangover, which is already becoming an internet sensation and burning up charts across Canada.
Greeley collaborated on the single with fellow Newfoundlander and Labradorian Peter Newman, a veteran of the Nashville music scene with the pedigree to perfectly compliment Greeley’s tested brand of Atlantic tinted country.
“In the first week we tried to write together we wrote Love Hangover. So I said OK, this is very promising,” Greeley said of the collaboration.
“We’ve written a ton of songs since then. Love Hangover is just the tip of the iceberg at this point. We’ll just put it out there and see what happens. We have been getting an amazing response to the song. It’s been overwhelming. That really was just our first attempt. We just got on a roll and started knocking them off one by one. I almost wrote an album in about three months.
Chemistry & relationship
“The thing is with this kind of stuff, it’s all chemistry. It’s a relationship. It’s not an intimate relationship but it’s a relationship. And bonds are formed and respect is earned. I’ve worked with people in the past who’ve been fantastic too. But sometimes you don’t get that real gel, that real chemistry, that flow. There’s no criticism, no one’s got their back up. It was like we were always on the same playing field and we always have been since the second we’ve been working together. It was a complete collaboration and a partnership from the get go.”
The music business has changed since Greeley uprooted his life to move to Alberta in 2006. Artistry is not confined to soundboards or dingy recording studios, but rather can be achieved remotely to staggering degrees of success.
“We did Love Hangover in St. Philip’s. Believe it or not that’s a full blown Newfoundland recording,” he explains. “It’s amazing. Written and recorded in Newfoundland so it’s a home grown product. We outsource certain things here and there but 98 per cent of what we did in that song was done in Newfoundland. So it doesn’t really matter where you are anymore.”
And while Greeley spent the better part of the decade travelling across the country and livin’ the life of a country singer-songwriter, his mind never truly strayed far from Newfoundland and Labrador and his colleagues in the scene.
Idol ups and downs
“You can’t help but keep in touch with colleagues,” Greeley shares. “You’re in the scene and you kind of know what people are doing. But I’ve been back and forth to Newfoundland.
“When I left Newfoundland it was never a plan to leave Newfoundland forever. I never wanted to leave it. I was just presented with an opportunity and the choice and I took that opportunity and went with it. I still keep in contact with a lot of music in the scene. A lot of the bands around town, I still know them all and they’re good friends.”
The career of Jason Greeley cannot be properly chronicled without referencing his big break. One year before Rex Goudie wowed the island with his runner-up finish on reality series Canadian Idol, Greeley was the golden-boy of island pride, earning a commendable top four finish in the second season of the talent-search music series.
Fifteen years later and Greeley is grateful for his time in the spotlight, for all its good and ill.
“I definitely had my ups and downs with the whole experience and the memories that it has left and things that have happened because of it and had not happened because of it,” he shares candidly.
“It was a great way to spend a year. Fantastic. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. When you’re growing up you want to be this you want to be that, you want to be rich or you want to be famous or whatever. It really put things into perspective for me that I was doing music for the love of music. I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to be famous. It was just something that came along with it that you have to deal with.
Always about the music
“I was just an average guy playing in a band walking down the street and nine months later I can’t walk into a store. I can’t stop at a traffic light. It really painted that picture for me that you’re doing what you’re doing because you love what you do. You’re not doing it so people will think you’re famous or anything like that. It’s something that comes with it that you have to deal with and have to handle with grace and integrity. It’s always about the music and always about performing.”
Returning home more wise and seasoned and full of passion and purpose, Jason Greeley is ready for the next chapter in a career made on taking chances. The next stage, that brave chance, lies directly here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“This whole new campaign that we are working on is going to get its life and its legs from the music community and the support in Newfoundland. That’s where it’s going to come from I think. You always want to start in your hometown. If any musician was releasing material ideally you want the acceptance of that in your hometown, of all places, first. Newfoundland has been immensely supportive to me and my career over the years. And I don’t see any difference with this now.”
Visit jasongreeley.ca and his official social medias for much more.