Call me ‘Dicky’

Car­bon­ear mu­si­cian record­ing long-an­tic­i­pated solo al­bum

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

When An­drew “Dicky” Strick­land walks out on to a stage for a per­for­mance, he’s in his own glee.

The 29-year-old mu­si­cian and per­former is a mem­ber of the Long Dis­tance Run­ners, a lo­cal band with fans in the St. John’s area and all over At­lantic Canada, and Sonny Tripp, a four­some from the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion.

Through­out his life, the Car­bon­ear na­tive has been a mem­ber of many bands.

He de­vel­oped the per­sona of Dicky af­ter high school. It suited his per­son­al­ity, and be­came the way he was rec­og­nized in the lo­cal mu­sic scene. If you call him An­drew in front of some of his friends or band­mates, some of them might ques­tion who you’re talk­ing to.

A new dad of son Bowie, named af­ter the late David Bowie, Dicky has been bal­anc­ing fam­ily life, his day job and be­ing a part of mu­si­cal groups.

But there has been some­thing miss­ing from his life for a long time, some­thing he has dreamt about since he was 13 years old — a solo al­bum.

Strug­gle

“I started writ­ing songs for this al­bum 10 or 12 years ago,” Dicky told The Com­pass. “At least half the songs on the al­bum are from a decade ago. I’ve just never had the guts to do it.”

At the start of ev­ery year, I’d say, ‘I need to get this done.’ An­drew (Dicky) Strick­land

Al­though he’s con­fi­dent on stage, and has even wrote and helped write songs with his bands, he has been afraid to make him­self vul­ner­a­ble in a solo mar­ket. He used to be afraid of what other peo­ple would think of him and his work.

“At the start of ev­ery year, I’d say, ‘I need to get this done,’” he ad­mit­ted. “Now I want to get it done be­fore I turn 30. I don’t care what peo­ple think any­more.”

For a few years, Dicky had some per­sonal strug­gles, and that pre­vented him from be­ing able to write songs.

“Lyri­cally, I felt a few years ago I didn’t have a lot to talk about,” he said. “But now, I feel like I have stuff to say.”

Growth

Dicky has ma­tured mu­si­cally and lyri­cally, and he is now ready to move for­ward with his al­bum.

For many mu­si­cians, step­ping out from be­hind a group and bar­ing them­selves in a solo al­bum of orig­i­nal mu­sic is a dif­fi­cult task. The mu­sic scene, es­pe­cially in New­found­land with so much tal­ent, can be a tough place to make your mark.

Dicky has al­ready re­ceived some suc­cess through his work with the Long Dis­tance Run­ners. But tak­ing that step to re­leas­ing a solo record­ing is a dif­fi­cult one.

“I hope I can gain the re­spect of my peers,” Dicky said. “And I want to dif­fer­en­ti­ate my­self from my old self and the mu­sic scene. I want to be dif­fer­ent. I want them to say, ‘This is some­thing we haven’t heard be­fore.’”

And yes, it’s about in­di­vid­u­al­ity and ac­cep­tance, but those things don’t al­ways mat­ter. And to Dicky, over­all, he just wants to in­flu­ence his son.

“I want my son to have some­thing phys­i­cal to hold and au­di­ble to lis­ten to when he is older, and he can say to his lit­tle friends, ‘That thing you’re hear­ing is my dad. He did that.’”

A help­ing hand

Al­bums are ex­pen­sive to pro­duce and record. And for Dicky, it’s just not fi­nan­cially pos­si­ble to in­vest that kind of money up front. He put some $2,500 into record­ing by last sum­mer, and had to step away. He had a baby on the way and other life ne­ces­si­ties to pay for.

With words of en­cour­age­ment from friends, Dicky de­cided to start a GoFundMe page to help make his dream come true.

In just un­der a month, he has raised over $2,600 from friends, fam­ily and strangers who want to see him suc­ceed. With do­na­tions rang­ing from $10 to $350 per per­son on the page, Dicky is be­gin­ning to see his dream take shape.

Be­cause it’s the cost up front that is the big­gest con­cern, he is of­fer­ing in­cen­tives to those who do­nate. Th­ese in­cen­tives are from $5 to $6,000 do­na­tions, and in­clude ev­ery­thing from two dig­i­tal down­loads to a pri­vate live per­for­mance. He has even thrown in some quirky of­fers, in­clud­ing a lunch date with him and Bowie, a T-shirt out of his own closet and spend­ing a night with him and his drum­mer, Chris Don­nelly, in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square park­ing lot mak­ing fool­ish YouTube videos. He plans to hon­our all of­fers.

Visit www.GoFundMe.com/SoloAl­bum to see more de­tails about Dicky’s mu­si­cal jour­ney or to make a do­na­tion.

“Thank you so much to those who have sup­ported me so far,” he said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

An­drew (Dicky) Strick­land has de­cided af­ter years of hold­ing off, he will re­lease a solo al­bum.

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