Over the years, singer-songwriter and live looper Jean-Paul De Roover has spent many nights behind the wheel alone.
“I tour literally alone as a one man show,” De Roover said. “So I am travelling across the country doing long drives all by myself and it is definitely tough to keep motivated.”
Since 2007, De Roover has spent hundreds of hours and logged thousands of kilometres travelling province to province and state to state.
“It’s the longest international one [tour] I’ve done,” he said.
Even at an early age, music was something that the Thunder Bay, Ont., native had always expressed an interested in.
“I always had a bit of a musical bug and my parents hated me for that,” he said. “Because when I was a really young kid I was always coming up with little jingles and little lines that I would always sing really loudly and everything had a song attached to it.”
De Roover spent much of his childhood living in Africa, South America and Asia. It wasn’t until he returned to Canada in the early 2000s that he began to make a career out of music.
“When I moved back to Canada in 2001 I started a band,” De Roover recalled. “We put out two CDs and we got opening slots for really some quality acts.
Those quality acts include the likes of Simple Plan, Treble Charger and Alexisonfire.
“Thunder Bay was really kind to us,” he said. “We were in high school. We were in grade 11.”
In 2007, De Roover embarked on a solo career as a singer-songwriter.
“I am a living looping one-man show and I blend the elements of rock, pop, a cappella and electronica into my own style that I like to refer to as post-pop,” De Roover said.
He has released four records, including Complexity in Simplicity, which was recorded over two weeks and released last March.
“I had two weeks to record this whole album and we actually ended a day early, but what that meant is I didn’t have the opportunity to obsess over certain details,” De Roover said. “I wanted something that sounded a little bit more raw. It wasn’t super, super polished like my other records had been.”
Following De Roover’s performance in the Harbour City, he will make his first-ever performance in Las Vegas at the first annual Live Looping Festival.
De Roover explained that touring performing every night can, at times, be tough.
“I don’t have any pre-recorded material. So I am challenged everyday because if I got the flu, well too bad, I gotta sing. I like challenging myself to meet my expectations and meet the expectations of the audience regardless of how I am feeling and that motivates me in a way.”
And with years of experience on the road, De Roover has picked up a few tricks to keep himself awake on the long drives.
“I don’t drink coffee,” he said. “Any kind of chewing keeps you awake. It’s that jaw movement. Instead of eating a bag of chips afterwards and feeling like crap, I’ll eat a bag of peas or my dad gives me a couple of bags of dried apple slices.”
De Roover performs at the Corner Lounge on Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information please visit www.jeanpaulderoover.com.