Artist in Profile with Jon Amor

Who are you?
I'm Jon Amor, an indie-folk singer-songwriter, Queen's student and native of Ottawa, ON.

What do you do?

I resolve existential angst by day, write and perform songs about it by night.

Where can someone find you?

I’ll be playing Thursday night at Clark Hall Pub at 9pm. I play there quite often.
Also, Online at www.jonamor.ca and Monday night CoGro Open Mics have been a tradition of mine since first year

Where do you live and work and why?
I live and work NOP because the rent was cheaper and I’m generally a Skeleton Park fan.

When did you start making music?
I started writing songs with my gr. 9 band at Arts Canterbury High School in Ottawa , “The Walkoffs”, and we’d play around school and at performance assemblies and stuff. However, the first few dozen songs were so awful and cheesy, they will never be heard again. I place the official start of my songwriting career 2 years ago when I wrote “Side Porch.”

How would you describe your music?

Genuine, reflective and mainly concerned with manifesting subjective internal experience as completely as I possibly can, while rhyming. Hints of classic Jewish neuroticism. Good for long bus trips at night, Sunday afternoons, and cold winter walks to class. I aim for warmth.

What inspires you?
Musically, I’ve always been inspired by folk singer-songwriters like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Craig Cardiff, Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Iron and Wine (Sam Beam), and Neil Young who put an emphasis on lyrical storytelling and deeply honest poetry. I’m otherwise inspired by most of what I take in, weather, my dog Maggie, late-night conversations with friends, stories and philosophy that I read, the quiet, introspective hours before dawn (the gloaming), etc.

What’s the nicest thing someone has said to you after a show?
It wasn’t a real show, per se, but after busking in Ottawa’s Byward market a few summer’s back, I ended up hanging out with this Kerouac-type drifter who was traveling across the country because he had just lost his wife and wanted to commemorate their lives on the road together. After playing a few of my songs for him, the man started crying and told me that hearing my music at that point in time helped him bring a little comfort during his mourning. That was pretty affirming.

What’s the worst thing someone has said to you after a show?
I’m really not musically significant enough yet for people to want to criticize me to my face. Anything nasty has probably been when I was well out of earshot.

What are your current obsessions?
I’m been obsessively playing Dan Mangan’s new album “Nice, Nice, Very Nice”, Hey Rosetta’s “Into You Lungs” and Springsteen’s “Nebraska”. Otherwise, I just watched five seasons of Six Feet Under in about a month and a half. That’s a show that sticks with you - I can’t seem to write about anything other than death now.

When someone says “Kingston” you think…
The last four years of my life, the people I’ve met, Clark Hall Pub, the Grad Club, spontaneous jam sessions down by Lake Ontario, Weeping Tile (Basement Apartment and Room with the Sir John A View), Apple Crisp, Busking on Princess Street…

What are you currently working on?
I finally think I’ve got enough songs written that I’m proud of to get started on recording my debut record. I’ve managed to find a few musician friends to help out and it should be out sometime early in the New Year.

Jon Amor plays Clark Hall Pub this Thursday November 19th.

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