FOCUS -FEBRUARY 2018 5 L LIKE ANY TALENT, MUSICAL ABILITY must be nurtured over time and de- veloped patiently before it blossoms into stardom. Extraordinary dedica- tion, hard work, and endless patience – punctuated by glimmers of hope as well as discouraging setbacks – make up the evolving artist’s lot in life. Port Perry’s Dave McIntyre has invested almost half of his 28 years – from adolescence it’s been his rea- son to be – honing his musical craft, navigating the ups and downs of a challenging business, pushing relent- lessly toward his goal. “Music’s always been my pas- sion,” he says. “Giving up has never occurred to me.” His pathway into a musical life- time may have been fated. “My dad had a cover band called Yesteryear,” he recalls. “He brought me onstage when I was only 2 or 3, and I played a bit of piano with them at 5 or 6. So I grew up around that band and with music.” Tragically, Dave’s father – his musical guiding light – passed away suddenly when the boy was only seven. “I left music behind for a few years after that. But at 12 or 13, I started writing poetry and working on musi- cal ideas.” Unlike the classic rock which Yesteryear had performed, Dave de- cided his focus would be hip-hop. “I enjoyed rock, but liked hip- hop just as well. They’re different cultures, those two genres, and dif- ferent mindsets. But I leaned toward hip-hop because it was more ‘in the now’ for my generation.” The fledgling artist adopted the stage name Dave MAC, using his childhood nickname and adding a bit of a twist, a stylized version of the second word. In calculating his next steps, he found he enjoyed the same enthusiastic support from his mother he’d experienced with his father. “She let me build a studio in our basement,” he remembers. “I had a soundproof room and the computer equipment to get started. Those early songs I worked on down there, I’d put out on the internet for free.” Thedigitalagehascertainlyopened new avenues for an aspiring artist to gain exposure, but the underlying goal – to draw public notice – hasn’t changed over the years. “Once the songs were ready, I’d put together a set list for the ‘net’ and also started performing them live. When you know that people are lis- tening, that’s your reward.” His strategy – contacting promot- ers and selling tickets to his appear- ances – paid impressive dividends. “One of those promoters was Peter Jackson, who owned 90 Nickel Entertainment, and he opened more doors for me. Peter put me on tour as opening act for other hip-hop artists like Machine Gun Kelly. That brought my music to a wider audience.” Dave bristles politely at the label “rapper.” “I try to not be classify-able. It’s like painting: the artist doesn’t do the same thing every time. Why limit yourself and your creativity…? Just look at Justin Timberlake as an exam- ple of someone who’s kept moving and stretching as an artist.” 2015 saw Dave release his first al- bum, Turn My Back, a 10-song collec- tion which included a collaboration with a music-business icon from his childhood. “I watched Ed the Sock on Much Music as a kid. I like to think outside the box, so I reached out to Ed, sent him my song.” ThecrumudgeonlyformerVJstruck a chord with listeners and viewers of Dave’s generation. A second release from Turn My Back, “So Long,” also resonated with audiences, thanks in part to its con- tributions from artists Abstract and Cam Meekins. The song has accumu- lated over 1 million streams on the music site Spotify. Abstract would show his respect for Dave’s work, replying to a praise- ful comment on its YouTube posting. “It’s actually Dave MAC’s song, I’m just featured on it, thanks,” he wrote. A flush of success didn’t spoil Dave MAC; in fact, he embraced his Port Perry roots. A donated bench The Long Road to Overnight Success MAC ...................... Please turn to page 6