There’s nothing quite as sexy as a man who sips bourbon while tickling the ivories and writing original songs. Toronto-based composer and music producer Christopher Guglick is the kind of guy who can turn a regular ol’ house party into an epic group sing-along of Almost Famous proportions, just as long as a piano is close by. Guglick’s music has been featured in many Canadian films including Marc Roussel’s multi-award winning film Remote and Bruce McDonald’s hit documentary, Music From The Big House. As one half of the Pop duo Ashford, Guglick and his good friend, folk-singer songwriter Samantha Hooey, make some of the hottest dance-worthy beats we’ve heard in a long time. That’s why we’ll be checking Ashford out on Sunday evening when they perform as part of Pride Toronto at 7pm at the Paul Kane Parkette. We’ll be the ones in the audience screaming, “Hey, do you know ‘Tiny Dancer’? Can you please play ‘Tiny Dancer’?!”
Ashford’s debut EP Face to Face/Heart to Heart will hit digital music stores just days later on July 2nd. We caught up with Guglick to find out about his favourite spots in Toronto, where he goes for inspiration, and what he can’t live without. What followed was an awesome interview that brought us into the mind of a music man… and our very own Pride Week soundtrack, created for View The Vibe, by Guglick.
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
I’m a music composer, songwriter and producer. A sound engineer by day and a musician by night, I split my time between making movies and making music. It must be the Gemini in me because even my musical side is multifaceted. I am a singer/songwriter creating piano-based pop music on my own but am also one half of an electro pop band called Ashford. We are about to release our debut EP on July 2nd and are celebrating at Pride this weekend with a performance on June 30th at 7pm at the Paul Kane Parkette.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you want trendy nightlife, world class arts and culture, or a quiet day by the water, it’s all available to you.
What are some of your favourite cities to visit and why?
I love Paris. There’s something that draws me to that city unlike any other. I think it’s the combination of historic and modern. And the European lifestyle is totally right up my alley. I love the idea that you should work to live and not live to work. Plus I could (and would) totally live off bread, wine and cheese.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer: This stuff changed my life. After just two days it turned my skin from dull and tired into refreshed and energized. I can’t go a single day without it.
My iPhone: It’s connected to me at all times. I know I’m not the only one who finds it hard to find time for everyone these days. My phone keeps me in contact with my friends and family even when I’m so busy and can’t get out there to connect with them in real life.
My piano: I’ve had it since I was 11 and I’ve written every song I’ve ever written on it. I have such a connection to it and it has helped me create some amazing things. I think it may have actual magical powers.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Trevor Kitchen and Bar. One reason: the truffled goat cheese poutine with foie gras. It is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted in my life.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Woodford Reserve Bourbon. I drink it neat. When something tastes this good, you don’t need to mix it with anything. The buttery, caramel aroma and taste is so smooth and unlike any other bourbon I’ve ever tasted. I just get it from the LCBO and sit it beside me at my piano while I’m writing.
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
Michael Bastian. His clothes are so classic that they could never go out of style. I love the Michael Bastian silhouette. It is has such a distinctive masculinity.
If you were a cologne, what would your name be and what would you smell like?
Honesty. It would smell like clean linen, bourbon and saffron.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with all your city-trotting?
The easiest way is to follow me on Twitter. I have been so bad lately because I have been trying to keep it current but sometimes I get so caught up in living that I forget to get on the internet to keep my virtual self up to date. But that’s definitely the first place I post any exciting news. You can check out Ashford on Twitter too, or visit our Ashford website for all the details on our brand new EP and performance this weekend.
Can you make us a Pride playlist to get our very own house party started?
- Primadonna by Marina and the Diamonds: I’m gonna start my playlist off with a song about being the center of attention, wanting to be adored by the whole world and wanting to get away with being a diva with a giant ego for no reason whatsoever. Let’s be completely honest. That is every gay man’s dream.
- Stars 4-Ever by Robyn: Any Pride playlist wouldn’t be complete without the new queen of electro pop. This song is about that feeling of summer love. I think everyone hopes that they will find their summer lover during pride.
- C’mon by Ke$ha: Pride is one of those times of year when everything seems to be about love and happiness and of course glitter. The queen of glitter herself sums up what pride is all about when she sings, “I don’t wanna think about what’s gonna be after this I wanna just live right now.”
- Household Goods by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: This song is my personal favourite on the playlist. The subtle verses with their lyrics about wanting to prove to someone that you’re the one for them mixed with the grungy and sparkly electronic chorus is enough to get anyone on the dance floor.
- Ready To Go by Ashford: I couldn’t make a Pride playlist without one of Ashford’s tracks. This was the first track we ever wrote together and it is still my favourite to this day. It’s about realizing you are the one in control of your own destiny and making the decision to take life by the balls and run with it. This song is available for free at ashfordmusic.com.
- Riot by Dragonette: This song by Canadian band Dragonette is about wanting to go out and start a riot. Pride, being one of our culture’s favourite inversion rituals, can sometimes be about just getting on the dance floor and being debaucherous. That’s why I love this song.
- Ride on Time by Black Box: A true classic, this song is sure to bring out the inner diva from anyone who remembers this song the first time around. And it just so happens to be just as effective on those who are hearing it for the first time.
- Finally by Cece Peniston: Continuing our little trip down memory lane, this song takes me back to one of my favourite compilations of all time. Dance Mix ’94. Cece Peniston is a true diva and this song is the epitome of a great Pride party track.
- Impressive Instant by Madonna: Madonna’s work with producer Mirwais on this song solidified to me that she was a musical trendsetter. This song was her at her most prophetic. It still sounds current even 13 years after it was originally released.
- Born This Way (Chew Fu Born to Fix Remix) by Lady Gaga: Lastly, I leave you with a great remix of what has become the Pride theme song around the world. Whether you’re gay, straight or any of the other beautiful colours of the rainbow, Pride is all about standing up and shouting, “Baby… I was born this way!”