Danton Jay, musician and UVic alumnus, will launch his debut album Morcenx, which the David Suzuki foundation partly contributed to, on July 24. Morcenx combines musical flavours from multiple genres with important socio-environmental themes.
After completing his degree researching promotional methods for sustainability at UVic, Jay travelled through Eastern Europe in search of stories and challenges that he could tie together with his research in song lyrics.
He eventually found himself in a small town of Southern France called Morcenx (which he named the album after) where he immersed himself in the culture and endlessly wrote songs for a month. “Being in a small French town, there was a lot of wine and smoking,” he says. “How enjoyable is it to drink red wine and smoke rolled cigarettes all day when you’re traveling?” Being in France was one of Jay’s most memorable experiences, and he named one of his songs “Smoke Ring Halo,” which animates his time spent in the small French town.
It wasn’t easy to leave behind France and his experiences. “It was tough leaving, because I couldn’t live that lifestyle here in Canada,” he says. However, when Jay returned home to Victoria, he immediately hit the studio and recorded Morcenx. “[When I got back] in October, I spent about a year preparing in my studio and finalizing my tracks. Then, I started recording in September and finished in February.”
Morcenx has most of its roots in Jay’s Eastern European adventure; his style is unique and almost untitled, and he classifies his sound as a “mixed genre.” “Picking a genre for yourself is pretty tough,” says Jay, “because music is so diverse and nothing really encompasses all those [genres].” Jay’s music incorporates smooth and dreamy melodies with “moody guitar licks”—which creates a unique jazz/blues/R&B/rock sound. He also provides very nice vocals and thoughtful lyrics.
Currently, Jay is focused on his business model and growing his fan base. He has expressed interest in performing at events like the Vancouver Folk Festival, Jazz Fest and other local events. However, if he could perform anywhere, Jay would love to perform at the Switzerland jazz festivals. “I have no plans on being famous; it’s not my goal. I’d simply like to be able to make a decent living off my music career.”
As Jay’s promotional material puts it, Morcenx is themed around sustainability “throughout a beautifully arranged story of discovery and travels,” and the album is the perfect set for music lovers who appreciate variety and creativity.
Jay will perform at the Copper Owl this Wednesday the 24th.
Morcenx album launch and Van Damsel
Wednesday, July 24 @ 9 p.m.
Copper Owl (1900 Douglas Street)
$12 at the door