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Creativity

Q & A with Craig Stickland

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Have you every been around someone who is so utterly cool you cannot help but act like a total nerd around them? This was my experience when walking into Canadian musician (and heart-throb) Craig Stickland’s bohemian Miami beach house. He looks like Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher had a love child born gifted with the voice of 100 angels.

Moments after walking in, I realized that my Moleskin notebook, with all of my questions was tragically left at home. Interview numero uno #fail. After defeatedly admitting to it being my first in-person interview- he sees the look of sheer panic on my face and offers me a tall glass of beer -like a true gentleman. (I later broke said glass of beer during our photo session. Real smooth.)

Despite my amateur behavior Craig was kind, humble and totally relaxed. I was glad to catch him before he left Miami for LA to ask him about his journey into music, relationships & dating, and his idea of happiness.

What has your journey into becoming a musician been like? Did music play a big part in your childhood and adolescence?

Absolutely.I knew from a very young age that I didn’t want to be a part of the traditional education system. And I wanted to do something different. And I found out that this is what I wanted to do. I was young and I was playing sports and then I told my dad I wanted to get a guitar.I started taking lessons when I was 13 and then joined a band when I was 15 and then started writing my own songs when I was 16. It was a natural progression.

How did you end up in Miami? And what has your experience here been like?

I actually in ended up in Miami in a bit of a round about way. I work with a management company that introduced me to one of their artists, a girl named Kat Dahlia. She had a tour and I got the job being her musical director and also to open up the shows as well. So I came down here for rehearsals and then the tour and then in the meantime I got signed with Whilemina models and they sponsored my visa and then I’ve been modeling since September as well as playing music.

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I like Miami a lot. I love the weather. It’s a huge change from where I’m from in Torontoit’s different it’s got a very night clubby vibe and that’s not really my scene. So for me I was more of a fan of hitting the beach, playing volleyball and writing music, playing guitar and I didn’t really live it up like a lot of people do in Miami. I kept it pretty tranquilo as we say.

You’re moving to LA next week. How do you think the move is going to be influential to your music career?

I think it’s going to be good. obviously you hear that story 100 times of people going to LA to try and make it but I don’t really think it’s like that for me. It’s more about going to a place where there’s a music scene and where I can play a show- you saw the other night when I was staying to play a show here in Miami last week and it was canceled due to a lack of permits. There’s not really a music scene here like there is in LA. I’m just excited to get out there. Start playing some shows and building up a fan base.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Any muses?
I’ve had many muses throughout my life. But I draw inspiration from all sorts of things. I draw inspiration from films from life from relationships from thoughts. My imagination.

Who are some of your musical influences?
Always been a fan of great song writers. So being from Canada one of my favorite song writers of all time is Neil Young. When I first discovered a band that really blew my mind was The Strokes. I liked a lot of bands before that but I think Julian Casablancas (check) writing style was a big influence for me. I moved out of my parents house and moved down to Toronto where I lived for 10 years and discovered The Strokes at that same time and I think he captures the way he felt when he was a teenager living in New York city and I felt the same way in Toronto so I played those first two Stokes records over and over again. More so than any other records.

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How does your music career and the travel that comes along with it affect your relationships on an intimate level?

I think it makes them difficult for sure. But I’m at the stage in my life where I’m not actually looking for that cause I’m so career oriented but I think that it also allows you to create different relationships with different people so for example the relationships you make with bandmates and tour mates on the road is like no relationship. The bond is like family. When you come off the road you feel like you’ve gone through everything together.You meet a lot of people and you can have a lot of great fiery relationships along the way but for longevity, it’s difficult for sure. But I’m at a stage in my career where I’m not really looking for anything because it’s just very difficult to.

What do you find most irresistible in a woman?
I feel like chemistry is more attractive than biology. You take the most attractive woman on the outside but if she has no fire or no spark on the inside then you can take a 10 and she would be a 0. And you can take someone who’s maybe not the most attractive on the outside but they have something about them. Maybe just a fire beneath their eyes and it can make them a 10 when at first glance they were a 5. Sorry to use the number analogy but you know what I mean. In this industry I’m surrounded by beautiful people all the time and often times I find them to be uninteresting and unattractive.

What dating advice would you give women from your perspective?
Just be cool. Be chill. Don’t be crazy. Don’t have an ego. Be nice when someone tries to talk to you. Thats’ one thing about Miami. I feel like other places I’ve been if you see a cute girl and you say hi to them they’ll say hi back and it’s just a friendly thing even if you’re not trying to pick them up.In Miami there’s been times where I’ve said hey and they just walk right by and just ignore me and I’m just like OK cool.

I find that hard to believe.

Believe it! But other places in the world it’s not that way.

As a musician and model you appear comfortable both on stage and in front of the camera. Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
I feel like introverts make the best extroverts, and most extroverts are actually introverts.

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What is your present state of mind?
My present state of mind is once again tranquilo. Just chillen.

What is your idea of happiness?
I don’t think I’ll be happy until I’m at the point in my career where I want to be. I think I’m incredibly passionate about the career path that I’ve chosen and to me it’s the most important thing in my life right now. So until I’ve reached world domination I don’t think I’ll be satisfied. True happiness to me would be selling out world tours. Thousands of people a night. That would be bliss for me.

When do you feel most alive?
When I’m on stage playing.

What’s currently on your playlist?
My current playlist includes
James Bay – Chaos and the calm
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Hayden
Angus and Julia Stone
Drake – If you’re reading this it’s too late

What’s the biggest risk you have take?
The biggest risk I’ve taken is moving to Miami without a nickel to my name. It’s been working pretty well.

What’s up next for you?
Up next is my move to LA to continue pursuing the various avenues of my career!

What are you excited about?
I’m excited as bout the future and the opportunities that are going to come.

How do you riot?
I would say that I take an opposite approach to “rioting”. Where as you asked me earlier how did I spend my last weekend in Miami and I spent it writing songs and I don’t really riot that often. I just like to work hard. I get the most thrill from that. I riot by writing songs.

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Follow Craig on Instagram @craigstickland

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