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Edwin: Out of the Shadows

by Archives January 10, 2007

Edwin is back! A man not easily forgotten, he is the former lead vocalist of multi-platinum Canadian rock band, I Mother Earth. You remember him; the bleach-blond rocker belting out 90s massive hits like “One More Astronaut” and “Another Sunday” 10 years back. He is the sexy, soaring, solo artist who shook this world from its orbit with his first solo success: Another Spin Around the Sun.

It all started with a big bang in 1993 with I Mother Earth’s successful debut album Dig fuelling an international tour. The band’s first effort reeled in a Juno Award for Best Rock Album of 1994 and became a Gold record in Canada. IME’s follow up, Scenery and Fish, surfaced in late 1996 and went Double-Platinum while generating Juno nominations for Group of the Year and Best Rock Album in 1997. Though reaching success of astral heights, while on the coast-to-coast Edge Fest97 tour, I Mother Earth began losing the gravitational pull that held them together. The end of the summer of ’97 marked Edwin’s departure, breaking all ties with IME.

Edwin stepped right back, head-on into the spotlight in 1999 with his solo debut Another Spin Around the Sun. The songwriter took a different musical direction; a slightly softer pop-rock, better showcasing his vocals. Another Spin spawned five singles, notably “Tripin'”, “Hang Ten”, and “Alive”, the whirlwind success winning Best Video at the 2001 Juno Awards and MuchMusic’s People’s Choice Award. “I thank God it touched a lot of people along the way,” Edwin said thinking of his hit song. “It was just a beautiful celebration of life.” The album in its entirety received a Juno Nomination for Best Rock Album and went Platinum in Canada.

After withdrawing himself once again, Edwin re-emerged with a back-up band, The Pressure, releasing 2002’s Edwin & The Pressure. The lead single “Superhoney” became an instant hit and was featured in the horror movie Ghost Ship. “It was great! I wish all my songs were in movies!” Edwin said. “I went to see that movie in theatres just to see my name in the credits,” he laughed. After releasing two more singles from The Pressure, like mastering a magician’s disappearing act, Edwin faded into the dark side of the moon.

Fast forward to four years later, 2006 was nearly coming to an end and Edwin came back out from the shadows with his third solo album, Better Days. “I was only going to take a little break” Edwin recalled. “Then certain issues came up, things in my personal life and family issues; my father got really sick. Before you know it, two years had gone by! Then trying to get the ball rolling, writing songs and making the record, well by that time it was four years later!”

An intense four years it seems – actually a hazy four years seeing as the singer refrains from going into deep details. Edwin has always been a private figure. For the longest time he was the rocker front man with no last name. “I’m not a private person because it’s a choice, it’s just the way I am,” Edwin admitted. “Maybe having a crib special on your house and telling everybody what kind of underwear you wear works for some people, but it’s not my thing.” So what is Mr. Edwin Ghazal’s thing? “I’d rather people be into my music first and me second,” he disclosed.

Better Days, like most of Edwin’s work, is personal and from the heart. Listeners can try to get to know the man behind the music through his lyrics and even his sound. The first single, “Right Here”, is an acoustic guitar layered pop rock number fit for any sunny Californian soundtrack. Do some sounds hint at a love for the Southern Pacific State? “Yeah!” the song writer confirmed. “Next to Toronto, the second place I spend most of my time is California. My brother lives there and it’s like a second home to me. So I guess that comes through in the music.” Lyrically “Right Here” sketches a secret admirer scenario. “There’s no particular person that I’m going to pin it to,” Edwin insisted, though admitting: “I am shy and I don’t think of myself as a Romeo.” Edwin’s daydreams are almost materialized by his gliding vocals through the catchy “Flyin'”. “It’s about your daily routine, like sitting in traffic, you just lose your thoughts and you drift off in your happy place. “Flyin” represents that sort of escapism from the mundane routine of life,” he illustrated. A moment of confession and vulnerability trickles from “That’s a Lie”. The autobiographical track reveals the softer side of a Mr. Tough Guy. “It’s happened a few times in my life,” Edwin exposed. “You try to play it cool, but you’re really hurt. The song reflects the break-up, missing the person, acting tough and realizing you’re not so tough after all.”

As tough, private and untouchable as this man may appear; he has a soft spot for his fans and doesn’t take them for granted. “My fans are very important to me. I want them to enjoy the music, get into it, have it speak to them, have them come to the shows and sing the words. To me that is everything!” Edwin added, “I don’t want to sound clich

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