A Canadian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, J. Englishman is an overnight success that took years of hard work to create. After signing with Warner Music Canada, he recorded his first solo album in 2000. The superb debut earned him a Juno nomination and a Best New Solo Artist award from Canadian Radio Music.
Jason Englishman was born in Kingston in 1972. He spent his childhood in a number of little towns in Ontario. Music was always an interest to him. When he was only seven, he began piano lessons, at which he did very well. But as good as he was, the instrument he wanted to play was the guitar. He got his chance when his mother bought him one when he was 14. He taught himself to play by listening to albums or the radio and trying to follow along. A year later an underaged Englishman got permission to perform at local clubs. Soon he joined a band, the Epileptic Fish. It was the normal high school, teen-dream kind of enterprise. The members performed at school-type parties, offering their classmates a mixture of hit tunes from the popular artists of the day.
When J. Englishman reached the golden age of 18, he gathered what money he had saved, some clothes, his guitar, and headed off to Toronto to become a rock star. Of course, nothing is ever that easy, and there were some tough times to follow. Finally he joined a heavy metal band called J.F. Wylde. Fans might be surprised to learn that after his spell with Wylde ended, Englishman turned to country music for a little while. Disillusioned with it all and about ready to give up, he next decided to enter a university and earn some kind of a degree.
Even while in college, music was never far from Englishman's mind or dreams. Soon he was working in yet another rock band, Tomorrow the World. The thing about this one, though, was that he was the only member. As this one-man band, he completed his first EP, Manic Obsessive. Enough copies made their way around that one landed in the right place at the right time. By 1999, J. Englishman was working as a solo artist under his own name and had a contract with Warner Music Canada. A year later, his debut album, poor li'l rockstar, hit the market. With music videos on MuchMusic, touring with the popular Edwin, and a few singles that were climbing the charts, award nominations begin to come in and J. Englishman had finally made it. Happy with his "overnight success," he went to work on a sophomore album for 2002.
Some of the tunes from Englishman's recordings are "Tripwires," "Staring at the Sun," "Abused," "Don't Mean a Thing," "The Hero," and "Breaking Down." ~ Charlotte Dillon