Q-&-A: A Valentine’s Day conversation with Juno nominee Matt Dusk

Hillary: So, how does the Juno nomination feel?

Matt: The first time I was ever nominated (for a Juno) it was for best new artist. So it was like, “oh yay.” But no, this is kind of neat. For the music that I love, yeah it’s fantastic.

H: Why did you want to do an ode to Chet Baker?

M: He was a huge drug user and basically nowadays everyone remembers Chet for being like the bad boy and the guy who was doing all the drugs. I kind of wanted to bring attention back to the fact that he was a musician first and foremost. And that he was a bad boy second. The first point of the record was to make it a romantic album and second was a tribute to a guy that should be remembered for his music, not his image.

H: What would it mean to you if you did win the Juno for best vocal jazz album?

M: I would be shocked. The music business is met with so much failure that you kind of expect to lose a lot of things. Unless you’re, like, extremely lucky, in terms of, you have major mainstream support on the marketing side. I mean, the music is the music business. Really, what award shows are all about is the business of music getting together and awarding their artists. And yeah, I’m sure there are some independents that will enter and win but most of the time it’s [a question of] how are you going to discover music if you don’t have the financial ability to get it out there? I mean, as a jazz artist I’m not Top 40 so, I’ve been doing this long enough that if something doesn’t happen, I’m like, “meh”. If I did win, I’d be like, “What the heck?” You know? I’d be pretty shocked, but I’m just going for the drinks and the fun.

H: Hey, that doesn’t sound too bad. Did you have any idea while creating the album that it would even be nominated for a Juno?

M: The thing is because my record is released worldwide in different territories. I’m not making it for Canada, so like, I’ll be nominated for the equivalent of a Juno somewhere else and I’ll be nominated for it here… I don’t know. I mean, like I said I’m so used to just making good music now, that if it gets awarded, great, because at the end of the day I’ve got to be at peace with my creation, right? Like I got to go out there and do the best I can and if it’s not good enough at least I know I did my job. So um, in regards to when I was making it I was thinking of getting a Juno, honestly it like, “Meh, sure, why not? Whatever.” It has no bearing on the creation.


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