Singer and songwriter Tate Irving shares a message of self-help and self-fulfillment
SUNDRE — Being born and raised in a small community like Sundre provided a local musician’s life perspective and experiences that influenced and shaped his message to stay focused on what matters on the path to happiness and personal fulfillment.
“I think growing up in a small town really gave me a kind of connection to the outdoors, and a lot of my music is about being on an open road or traveling,” Tate Irving said. “It really made me a bit of who I am today.”
Irving, who graduated from Sundre High School in 2014 and considers community home, recently moved back to town after moving around for several years, including time spent in Calgary as well as overseas.
“When the whole COVID thing hit, I got tired of living in the city,” the 26-year-old told the Albertan on June 6 during a telephone interview.
When he returned to Sundre for a few months to stay with his sister during the height of pandemic restrictions, Irving said he rediscovered his love for life in a small town on the doorstep of the Rockies and finally decided to go home.
“It’s a little quaint but it’s got a lot of character,” he said of Sundre.
Love of music forever
His passion for music began to blossom early in life, when before he had even learned to strum a chord, Irving had started learning to read music from sheet music at just 5 years old. of piano.
“Since I was super, super young, I’ve always loved the guitar,” he said. “It was like, my go-to. I always wanted to play the guitar.
But before buying him a guitar, Irving’s parents wanted him to start from scratch with the basics, for which he is still grateful to him today.
“When I was five, my parents were kind of like, ‘Okay. Well, you can play guitar, but you’ll have to play five years of piano first,’ he said, expressing his satisfaction in having parents who nurtured his musical inclination.
“I feel like the piano is like a base for (learning) all the instruments,” he said, adding that the introduction to learning notes and melodies was a first. important step towards the guitar.
Music provides a “good release”
Writing and performing music not only helps him to process what he is going through in life, but also to express what is on his mind. Often, Irving has stated that he writes songs while going through a difficult time like a breakup.
“You just took it out on the music. It’s a good outing,” he said. “I used to play music in this little cabin at my sister’s house, and I got lost in it. You kind of get into the rhythm and it’s almost happy in a way.
Growing up, Irving said he listened to just about everything.
“Lately, I’ve just been all over the place with my musical tastes,” he said. “I started listening to country a short time ago.”
But he added some exposure to more recent punk rock that brought him back into that mindset.
“I just fell in love with it all over again and it just reminded me of growing up,” he said, adding that his very first 6th grade band called Muppet Nectar was a Sum 41 cover band.
Then, at the age of 18 after having obtained his diploma during a stay in Indonesia where he found himself following a trip with some friends visiting New Zealand, Australia and Thailand, Irving bumped into an inn owner who hired him to play his first-ever gig with original music.
“For the next three years, I just split my time between Indonesia and Canada about equally,” he said, adding that he worked as a bartender.
“Then, with a friend of mine, I started playing shows at the bar where I worked,” he said, adding that their shows quickly went around the island.
“We pretty much had a full house every Tuesday night when we played,” he said.
Upon returning to Canada, Irving met another key link in his musical career path – recording engineer Ryan Frampton – which eventually led to a publishing deal with Bedroom Records.
Life beyond social media
The new single, She sayswhich is available on all music platforms, is described as telling a rhythmic story of hardship and personal growth that oozes charm showcasing Irving’s penchant for storytelling.
Originally written when he was 20, the song was initially intended as a series of life lessons passed down from Irving’s mother, such as the importance of good values.
Since, She says was revised several times and evolved into a more upbeat melody from the slower acoustic piece it started with.
Irving told the Albertan when asked if there’s an underlying message behind his music that “every song is different” and he strives to use metaphors in an effort to convey a message that “people can actually identify and feel”.
As it concerns She says goes, Irving said he tapped into his memories of the formative period of his life that paved the way for finding himself.
He hopes other people who haven’t yet discovered themselves will become “the person you’re meant to be and be happy about it.”
An excerpt included in the press release of the lyrics featured in She says exemplifies a desire to make the most of life and cherish every moment.
“Well, you could start a revolution by the end of the day;
Or build a white palisade at the end of your lane;
Post pictures of people you hate on the Internet;
Or working a 9-5 for minimum wage;
and maybe it’s just me and it seems right;
That could be the next worst thing;
So you do you and I’ll do me.
While the underlying theme isn’t necessarily anti-consumerist, Irving said he feels many people, for example, are obsessed with living vicariously through social media and getting likes for the photos and posts they share.
“A lot of people get caught up comparing it to happiness,” he said. “(But) in the grand scheme of things, that kind of long-term stuff – as long as you’re happy – doesn’t really make too much sense.”
While his latest release is a solo effort, Irving has also jammed informally with friends on a yet-named band. And beyond the recent release of She saysIrving added another new song titled Shine was also just released and is now available on most streaming platforms.
Looking to the coming months, Irving said he hoped to schedule shows in the Sundre and Didsbury areas, but added that no dates had yet been set.