Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew on Gord Downie and the power of music – Toronto

He’s the lead singer of one of Toronto’s most well known music collectives but over the past two years, Kevin Drew’s talents have gone beyond being a performer to being the producer of two notable albums — Gord Downie’s Secret Path and Introduce Yerself.  

The Broken Social Scene musician opened up recently about working with the late Tragically Hip frontman during an interview with Matt Galloway on Metro Morning in early November.

“He means everything to me, his family taking me in, the guys, The Hip and everybody was really good to me,” Drew described.

Kevin Drew is the frontman of Broken Social Scene and co-producer on Gord Downie’s The Secret Path and Introduce Yerself. (Dahlia Katz)

Drew said he connected with Downie five years ago. It was in 2013 that he began recording Secret Path, a solo-album telling the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died after running away from an Ontario residential school in 1966.

Downie recorded the vocals and guitar over two sessions at The Bathhouse in the town of Bath, Ontario between Nov. and Dec. of 2013. Drew and co-producer, Dave Hamelin, played all of the other instruments, with some guest artists featured on the album.

Gord Downie prepares for the first live performance of Secret Path. (Unstoppable | Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert)

Following his 2016 terminal brain cancer diagnosis, Downie teamed up once again with Drew to help produce and co-write his last album Introduce Yerself, 23 songs in length, each about a person in the singer’s life. Drew said he wanted to be in the room with Downie during this process, but knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

“I couldn’t tell him that it was going to be OK, which was very hard to accept in the moment. But I knew that we could go into time, into immortality and to do what he does best.”

Listen to Kevin Drew describe working on Gord Downie’s last two albums0:11

Drew described Downie…

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