Overcoming all odds: Chris Assaad
by Dana Marie Krook
A true artist in a world full of people trying to make fast cash in the music industry, Chris Assaad has stepped on the scene with his album Glory Fire, including the singles “Pave the Way” and “Better Left Unsaid.” He inspires his fans with honest lyrics and a smooth sound, reminiscent of other great artists like Jack Johnson.
Chris was originally in our fall “All Stars” lineup, but Faze would like to clarify that while his parents are from Egypt, Chris was born and raised in Canada, calling Toronto his home. This Canadian artist has gone through his share of ups and downs, including a condition that almost had him wearing a hearing aid—something that would have made music a most difficult pursuit. But through it all, Chris maintained a spiritual optimism and kept on with his passion for music.
Check out some of our exclusive interview about his musical beginnings:
FAZE: Can you tell us a little bit about the hearing condition and what it was like to go through all of that?
CHRIS: It’s a genetic condition and...hereditary essentially, and it results in calcification of the bones and ears, so it’s harder for louder sounds to get past. You can get it early or late, slowly or rapidly; I got it early and rapidly. I was in university and facing the possibility of having to wear a hearing aid. It was very uncomfortable socially and how it sounded it was very unnatural to me. And then I met this like, magician doctor who does like a million of these surgeries a year and was very confident. I had the surgery and all of a sudden it was like I felt truly like I had been given a second chance. Around the same time my cousin...started introducing me to bands like Jack Johnson and that music really spoke to me. I ended up just spending hours playing songs and learning to play guitar and sing. I found that my family was more willing to listen to me and I was like, Oh, they’re actually able to listen now. So then with all that in the backdrop, I went to Europe and the first thing I did was buy a guitar for my travels and it kinda just snowballed from there.
FAZE: Would you encourage people interested in music to pick up an instrument and just try it out?
CHRIS: Yeah! I only wish that I had been playing music longer. I definitely think that creative activities, whether it’s painting, photography or drawing or writing or playing music, they have a huge part to play in creating balance in our lives. I think it should be a part of everyone’s life. I encourage people my age, or especially younger...because they have way less blockages—they have ambitions like, I can do this!
Check out Chris and his music at http://www.myspace.com/chris.assaad, or catch up with him at one of the concerts listed below:
Sun. Feb. 7th @ The Casbah (Hamilton)
Tuesday, February 9th @ Algonquin College (Ottawa)
Thurs. Feb. 11th @ Fanshawe College Nooner (London)
Thurs. Feb 11th @ London Music Club (London)
Fri. Feb. 12th @ Fanshawe College (London)
March 6th @ Maxwell's Music House (Waterloo)
March 10th-14th @ Canadian Music Week (Toronto)