Driven singer-songwriter LeRiche reflects on the road that has led him to multiple MusicNL nominations and critical praise
To the untested ear and untrained eye, you’d be hard pressed to believe Brad LeRiche’s rise through the ranks of Newfoundland and Labrador’s music scene has been anything but meteoric.
Going by the stage-name LeRiche, the Port aux Basques native has burst onto the scene in a massive way in the past 12 months, dropping his highly acclaimed studio album X-Dreamer, which has earned the singer-songwriter a whopping four MusicNL nominations for Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year, Folk/Roots Artist of the Year, Rising Star of the Year and Music Video of the Year for his captivating single, Under Covers.
‘It’s Been a Whirlwind’
And while the LeRiche brand of indie pop with an acoustic folk twinge may have gained traction overnight, it has been a long journey for the young man who first laid his fingers on a six string at the tender age of one.
“It’s really surreal honestly,” LeRiche shared of the nominations and critical praise. “I’ve always played music and I’ve always dreamed of getting a MusicNL nomination, so it’s surreal. It’s been a whirlwind.
“I always wrote music,” he recalls, taking readers back to his formative years. “Before I could talk I was trying to play music and I was always playing guitar. Growing up as I got older I started playing in bands. A bunch of friends of mine who were older decided to go to music school and it was like, I’m doing that. It always seemed like the thing to do. I was always drawn to it.”
A graduate of College of the North Atlantic’s Music Industry and Performance program, with a second diploma in Recording Arts, LeRiche plied his trade for years on the local circuit, gradually gaining steam and credibility with prominent showcases abroad. For our interview, LeRiche spoke via phone from the U.S., where he was set to perform a number of shows in Massachusetts and New York.
A Slow Rise
“It’s been a slow rise,” he admits, dispelling the notion that his momentum has come almost instantaneously. “Before my career started to take off I was lucky enough to travel with the college a couple of times for music. That totally opened my eyes and got me addicted to travelling.
“If I could travel with my guitar and my guitar could let me travel then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve been very fortunate over the last few years and have been doing a whole lot of travelling with my guitar.”
With a growing portfolio of work and the ability to chase a dream across oceans and continents, LeRiche shared that he owes a great deal of who he is as a songwriter to the island of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Coming up, I’ve always been highly supported by family and peers and the music community here in Newfoundland and Labrador. I do feel there are a lot of areas where the local scene needs to improve with a lot of artists. At the same time I couldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be here, without that support behind me. At the end of the day music is so strong and such a big part of Newfoundland that it has to be there. People need it. I think if it wasn’t for Newfoundland I don’t think I’d be a musician, for sure.”
With clearly defined goals propelling him forward, Brad LeRiche is only scratching the surface of his potential as an artist and singer-songwriter. His four MusicNL nominations are a tip of the hat to an artist making all the right moves and choices, but the hard work will persist until, cliched as it is to say, dreams become reality.
“The long term game plan is just to keep going up until I can make a living doing this,” he explains. “I still work a day job and have to make time for my music at this time in my life. I’m working to the point where this is my day job, where I can travel and see the world, play my music, make fans, make money and then go home and be a home body and hermit and loser for awhile and no one needs to know who I am and then go do it all again. That would be the dream. Two weeks home, two weeks away.”
The MusicNL Awards will be handed out Oct. 14 from Twillingate. For more on LeRiche visit lerichemusic.com