Former Canadian Idol runner-up, Gary Beals is back from an 11-year hiatus with a new album, Bleed My Truth to be released on October 23, 2020, as well as a brand new single, “Blood Red Roses”, out now.
“Blood Red Roses” was the last song written on the album. It was inspired by his trip to South Africa in Feb 2019! He fell in love with the place, with the people! To be in the Motherland for the first time was amazing. The happiness he felt at times was very emotional. Being on that land was extremely liberating! It made him realize the true beauty that he is. The beauty that we are! He learned to enjoy moments. It made him appreciate his black skin! His strength, power, and inner beauty! An ode to Africa, to the blackness, and celebrating everything that they are. “We are kings and Queens”! Blood red roses represent romantic love, golden kisses represent platonic love, and frozen moments are a reminder to bask in all forms of love with self and others! We’re gonna live and love forever!
Check out the single below and find out more about Gary via our Five Questions With segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Gary Beals and I am a Canadian artist who has a deep passion for music. I was born and raised in Cherry Brook, a small predominately Black community in the province of Nova Scotia. I first fell in love with music growing up in the church. From singing in the church choir to growing up listening to classic soul artists such as Al Green, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding and being captivated by music legends, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, is what influenced my soulful/R&B sound. Some may know me as the runner-up on the first season of Canadian Idol back in 2003. Since then I’ve gone on to release two full studio albums and have won and been nominated for countless music industry awards but it is my third album, “Bleed My Truth” that I am most excited and proud of. I stepped back from the music scene for well over 10 years and in a nutshell, this new album is about my journey to self-discovery and the importance of living in my authentic truth. If I were to sum up myself in one word, I would say “unrelenting” because one thing I never did along this journey was to fully give up. It feels great to be back!
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style
I consider my music to be very eclectic in its sound. As a person I am not one dimension, so I feel my music should represent that. An array of emotions can be felt when listening to my music. Whether it’s pain or hurt or joy and happiness, overall, I always aspire to release music that is reflective, empowering, soulful, and positive. My writing style has always been to be as authentic as I can with my music and to capture the essence of my being at the time of writing. To be able to express my true self, my true thoughts is what I believe people resonate with most. I also like to co-write with other songwriters and producers who pull different pieces of me out into my music and it helps because they bring a different approach to what is being created. I’m an energy type person. I’m a feeler. If I don’t feel the music, if the lyrics are not authentic to me, then I don’t release it. My writing style is based on my lived experiences and what I observe from others. Writing and music has been and will always be therapeutic to me and it’s quite the honour to share pieces of my soul with the world.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
I don’t have many upcoming shows due to the current state we’re in with COVID-19 and how we’re limited on live performing. I’m not really much of a fan of doing virtual shows but I’m adjusting to it a bit, so who knows I may come out of this a lover of virtual performing. I am, however, expected to have a few upcoming virtual shows that are coming down the pipeline which I will be sure to promote on my socials. For those who have not yet seen me live, you will definitely see me bare parts of my soul. You will feel good. I’m about feel-good vibes and that is definitely captured through my live performances. I love engaging with the audience. I feed off of energy. It’s a vibe! It’s an experience each and every time!
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
Damn! That’s kind of a hard one. There are so many songs that give off a different feel so I guess it depends on who I’m making the suggestion to lol….but if I had to pick, I’d say “Me For Me” from my new album. It represents vulnerability, it represents my growth. It’s about love and relationships which is what a lot of us can relate to. It’s about self-love and self-acceptance. It’s a very layered song that could mean various things for different people. I also feel it showcases my vocal ability. It showcases my vocal power yet I feel there are subtle vocal moments throughout that showcase the warmth of my voice. And with this song, most people may prefer the original but I actually prefer the stripped-down acoustic version. But hey go listen to them both and I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
I’ve been taking in some really good R&B/Hip hop artists. I’m a big fan of R&B but I also like to hear the fusion between the two genres as well. Some of my current Canadian favorites are Tobi, Terrell Morris, Tanika Charles, Savannahre, Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar, and Emanuel just to name a few.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.