July 4, 2012
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Royal Wood not selfish with songs
By Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency


Singer-songwriter-pianist Royal Wood (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI AGENCY)

Being one of the most stylish Canadian music couples doesn't necessarily going to mean you're going to make beautiful music together.

But when it came to Royal Wood's latest album, We Were Born To Glory, out Tuesday, the classic pop singer-songwriter-pianist-arranger-producer knew his wife Sarah Slean was perfect to sing on the final track The Glory.

"I believe in doing what's right for your art and not what might make your partner happy," said Wood, 34, in a coffee shop in Toronto this week.

"And I had never done a song where I felt like Sarah's voice was right and on The Glory, in that moment, it's perfect for Sarah. It was meant for her to sing."

Otherwise, Wood wanted We Were Born To Glory to build on the success of his last record, 2010's The Waiting, which garnered him a 2011 best songwriting Juno nod -- his first.

He returned to Montreal, where he previously studied business at McGill, to work again with The Waiting co-producer Dean Drouillard and writing in mixer Pierre Marchand's studio.


"I'm just certainly at a stage in my life where I feel a very sort of distilled, crystalized vision is there," said Wood. "I'm just a far more competent human being and artist than I ever was in my '20s. I was in a really good place and all the stuff coming for me was just so easy and flowed and (was) positive, just exuberant, excited by life."

Wood, who begins a Canadian summer tour on Thursday at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, will also have a fall theatre cross-Canada tour starting in October.

In the meantime, he and Slean, who married in 2009, couldn't resist the offer of a double bill with the Niagara Symphony at the Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on Aug. 25.

"I think for Sarah and I to do a double bill together with a symphony at a winery, it's the first time we've ever said yes," said Wood, who is studying to be a sommelier. "It seemed like such an amazing way to spend the night."

Otherwise, they have no plans to tour or make an entire album together anytime soon.

"It's nothing that's on the books right now," said Wood. "If she's excited by something that doesn't include me, she should go do it. And I want the same freedom."

 




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