CLOSING NOTES

Music

Let’s hear it for the Boy, let’s give the Boy a hand

JOHN INTINI August 18 2003
CLOSING NOTES

Music

Let’s hear it for the Boy, let’s give the Boy a hand

JOHN INTINI August 18 2003

Music

Let’s hear it for the Boy, let’s give the Boy a hand

On his debut album, Stephen Noel proves he can wield a guitar. But it’s a little-known fact that the singer-songwriter is just as proficient with a shovel. When Noel (who goes by the musical moniker Boy) needed a larger space to set up his recording equipment, his father graciously offered the basement. The catch: the house didn’t have one, leaving it up to the then-teenaged Noel to dig it out himself. “It took me about four years,” says the 21-year-old. “There’s still a mountain of dirt that I have to get rid of, but it’s done. Unfortunately, by the time I finished,

I was moving out and never even used it.” It wasn’t just the manual labour that drove Noel from his hometown of Whitehorse last year. There was also the lack of people his age playing music. “It was really tough finding bandmates younger than 40,” he says. Once he landed in Toronto, Noel scored a record deal and released Boy—a collection of catchy pop tunes about drinking and girls that’s heavily influenced (much like his mop-

top) by the Britpop invasion of the 1990s.

Now that he’s a full-fledged, albeit neophyte, recording artist, Noel finds himself weighing in on the Internet file-sharing debate. He condemns the practice, but admits to doing it himself. And while he laughs at nervy fans who ask him to sign burned copies of his CD, he acknowledges that he owes a great deal to the CBC’s New Music Canada Web site—where he posted a lot of early compositions and built a fan base. “I’d probably still be screwing around with a guitar in my bedroom and working lousy jobs in Whitehorse if it didn’t exist.” This Boy is happy to put the shovel away for good. JOHN INTINI

JOHN INTINI