Shane Koyczan, award winning Canadian spoken word poet and writer will take the stage this Friday night at 8 P.M. at Wilmot United Church in Fredericton alongside fellow Canadian Michael Feuerstack.
Best known for his poem and video To This Day which has over 17 million views on YouTube, Koyczan’s show is something fans say should not be missed. Brendan MaGee, Shivering Song’s Media Representative described the uniqueness to seeing Koyczan live.
“The main thing with Shane, it’s not just as simple as seeing a show. There’s so many layers to it. On one hand it’s the unique style that he delivers in and then there’s a really genuine emotional tone to the show.”
Koyczan’s work revolves around a variety of topics like bullying, cancer, death and the regular ups and downs of life. Koyczan said he strives to take his audience through the full spectrum of what they’re able to feel in his shows. He spoke of how we live in a society that’s constantly telling us to suppress our emotions and how this can be dangerous. Koyczan said it could lead to bottling up parts of ourselves that hold emotion – like compassion, or empathy.
“When people come to my shows, I want to make them laugh but I want to make them feel as well. I try to throw up the roller coaster and take people through the highs and lows of this life.”
Koyczan grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories with his grandparents. They eventually moved to Okanagan, British Columbia where Koyczan finished high school and attended university. After completing his studies, he moved to Vancouver.
Although he wrote throughout his time in school he never thought he would make a living off writing. He said by the time he moved to Vancouver he had resigned himself to the fact that writing would only be a hobby.
Koyczan soon discovered that there was much more of a scene for writers in Vancouver.
He became involved in writing groups and started doing some shows. After a while he started focusing on making a living from it in Vancouver.
“At a certain point I said, I have to get rid of this safety net that I have called a ‘real job.’ I decided I’ll give myself a year. One year trying to do what I love for a living and see how that goes. So I quit my job and starting doing writing and spoken word full time and things just kept snowballing and so now that’s been since 1999 and here we are, it’s 2016.”
Similar to his show this Friday, Koyczan’s poetry is often accompanied by music. MaGee said the emotional tone of Feuerstack’s music will make him a perfect match with Koyczan.
The artist said his love for music stems from helping people get to places that aren’t always easily accessible.
“Music is a very powerful tool as well. I mean it can help bring down those walls a little bit or at least put up a light on the other side and show you where the cracks in your walls are and let some of that through.”
More information about Koyczan’s performance, ticket information, and information about the four-day festival can be found on the Shivering Songs website.
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