Tuesday, August 4, 2015

U is for Usher

     David Usher gained fame in the 90s for being the lead singer of a band called, Moist.  Moist  had a string of several hits such as Push, Silver, Believe Me, Leave It Alone, BreatheResurrection, Gasoline and Tangerine.   Usher was born in England; his mother being a Thai Bhuddist artist and his father, a professor of Economics from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.   Moist formed in Vancouver and has won two Juno Awards, several Much Music Video Awards and several Canadian Music Association Awards for Best Rock Album, Video, Band and Singer.

     For many young musicians, the attainment of critical and mainstream success would be the end goal to a productive and prestigious life. However, David Usher, like Raine Maida (from Our Lady Peace), never did see his musical career as being the centre of his life.  Because of his upbringing, Usher has experienced a life that brought with it a blending of cultures, beliefs and attitudes. As a result, David Usher has a vision for his life that extends well beyond the spotlight and into the realm of compassion and creativity on a global scale.

     In addition to singing with Moist, Usher is involved in several creative and/or charitable ventures;

- He serves on the Board of Directors of an organization called Amnesty International's Artists for Amnesty (which focusses on helping people who are oppressed and/or imprisoned in their home countries). Many artists have donated songs to this cause which you can download for free or else, purchase through the normal sources and have a portion of the purchase price go to help fund Amnesty International's work on social and political justice throughout the world.
- He has travelled with an organization called WarChild (which deals with children in war zones).  By clicking on the link and then, clicking on "Our History" you will see David's name and activities for this organization, as well as, Raine Maida, his wife, Chantel Kreviazuk and other big time Canadian performers such as The Tragically Hip, Sum 41 and others.
- He sits on the Board of McGill University's Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas.
- David runs a company called, Clouded Creativity Labs (which works to bring together the worlds of Art and Technology in interesting and creative ways)
- Finally, David Usher is an author and motivational speaker.  His book, Let the Elephants Run is all about how we, as ordinary citizens, can harness the creativity that exists within us but which, for one reason or another, is suppressed.   In addition to his book, Usher writes about the impact of "exponentially and the coming of the second machine age on business and society"  on a website called Human Metrics.

     When David Usher and Moist first burst on to the Canadian music scene, his exotic good looks held sway and there was a great attempt made to turn him into a poster boy and teen idol. But, as is evident from the words above, judging this book by its' cover would cause you to miss out on a deep-thinking, compassionate soul who is living a fully, self-actualized life and who is leaving a better world in his wake.  What a great Canadian success story David Usher has turned out to be.




     Hard to follow that so, instead, let's go straight to the tipping of the hat toward those performers whose name begins with a "U":

    Indie-pop performers, Unicorns, Singer/songwriter, Shari Ulrich, 80s rockers, Universal Honey, Avant-garde Metal Band, UnexpecT, and finally, Multi-Award winning Jazz fusion group from Montreal, Uzeb