When David Myles found out he had won his second Juno Award, his family jumped off the living room couch and erupted in joy.
“I was totally shocked, amazed and super excited,” Myles said. “It was a beautiful moment because I was with my children.”
His work This great distance won Instrumental Album of the Year.
Myles last won a Juno in 2013 for his collaboration with Nova Scotian artist Luke Boyd, better known by his stage name Classified.
The only inner ninja won Rap Recording of the Year.
WATCH | Fredericton musician David Myles and his family react to his Juno win
Myles was unable to travel to Toronto for the awards show as he was recovering from COVID-19.
But he says he tried to make the most of the announcement and is still relishing the victory. “I couldn’t believe the timing. But of course, that’s how it works.”
He describes the process of creating his award-winning album as a period of immense growth.
“It was a full pandemic time… But a lot of musician friends I knew had studios in their homes, and so it was a way for us to connect,” Myles said.
“A lot of it was the process of me learning how to record myself and having the freedom to do whatever I wanted… I wasn’t thinking about putting that record out. I wasn’t thinking about touring that record. I was I think just doing something interesting.”
The album features a mix of jazz and funk rhythms that Myles says were inspired by classics from the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as American jazz artists Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd.
“Funky, danceable instrumental stuff with big solos…It was about creating something where the main melody was strong enough and the groove strong enough to hold those songs for the soloists.”
Myles also took the lessons he learned from his time working with Classified and applied them to This great distance.
“Although it was obviously quite different from my work with Classified…I learned a lot from what I learned with Luke about energy, beats and groove,” Myles said.
“I definitely still have that voice in the back of my head now that I didn’t have before.”
Fresh off of his victory, his next album — It’s just a bit of loneliness – should be released next Wednesday.
Myles said the title was inspired by the feelings of anxiety and isolation many people are experiencing during the pandemic.
“It’s one of those things you tell yourself when you’re feeling down and trying to turn it down, but then you realize it’s actually quite deep,” Myles said. “It actually annoys you because we’re basically supposed to be in community with each other.”
Myles hopes that when people listen to his new album, they can find a sense of connection.
“When I was making an instrumental record, sometimes I wondered if it was because I could express myself in a way that I felt like words weren’t going to do it…words were too limiting” , Myles said.
“You want to know that you’re connecting. You want to help people connect with emotions and a sense that they’re not alone.”