Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 9 : July/Aug 2006  > Columns  >  Travelers Tune  >  Canadian ‘Piano Man’ Daniel Powter


Travelers Tune

By Shoutaro Takahashi

Canadian ‘Piano Man’ Daniel Powter


Putting the screws to Daniel Powter, one of music’s brightest new stars, and getting the skinny on his home country, Canada.

Although known as Canada’s newest “piano man,” Daniel Powter has fashioned himself as a top-notch singer-songwriter. His single, “Bad Day,” rose to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was blasting from speakers and flying off record store shelves all over Japan this spring.

Since he hails from the Vancouver area, Daniel’s first travel recommendation was the West Coast.

“Vancouver is great, but there’s this island called Queen Charlotte—it’s the best.” He carried on, “Just going for a drive can take nine hours, but there’s so much nature still around. It’s famous for whale-watching and having a ton of fishing spots. Because there’s not a lot of tourist traffic, it’s nothing but peace and quiet.”

Queen Charlotte’s coastline is covered with your typical fiords creating silent channels completely separate from the crashing waves of the Pacific—a true “inside passage.”

This is the land where the native tribes of the Haida created many totem poles. The beauty of these forests was impressive enough to make repeat tourists out of famous photographers such as the late Michio Hoshino.

“Also, there’s the West Coast Trail. That’s a really amazing area, but in the name of nature conservation, you can’t just drop by for a hike. It’s all reservation-based now. But, even so, it’s well worth making it over there,” Daniel continued.

The West Coast Trail he speaks of runs 75 kms. along the length of the enormous Vancouver Island. With forest paths, coastal trails and hikes across rivers, there’s more than enough to please even the seasoned hiker. This normally week-long trek along Vancouver’s sacred ground is worth the trouble, particularly considering there aren’t many places like it in the world.

Daniel then shifted gears, saying, “That’s enough about the West Coast. If you’re heading east, Nova Scotia and Halifax in Newfoundland are great stops. The islands and peninsulas are beautiful and worth checking out. There are a lot of tourists in the area, but the place is just so gorgeous!”

I begin to wonder which way he’s headed—east or west. Which direction will he finally turn?

“If I had to choose, I’d say the East Coast, around Newfoundland. It’s just so beautiful!” Powter replied, “However, actually…I’ve never been. I suppose it’s bad form to recommend some place to which you’ve never been, right? But these are places even I really want to get to.”

Pick some time when you know he’s not touring and head to eastern Canada. You never know; you might just bump into Daniel in the middle of his own vacation.

Daniel Powter’s debut album and other selected piano releases...

Jamie Cullum
「Catching Tales」(Universal)
Jazz pianist and singer who broke out with the leading track from the movie, “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” The mix of hip-hop and rock is a refreshing twist to the pop music scene.

Jack’s Mannequin
「Everything In Transit」(Warner)
Hailing from California, Jack’s Mannequin is noted for the piano licks throughout their album, and their tunes show the true versatility of piano in the rock world.

Daniel Powter
「Daniel Powter」(Warner)
His debut wax hit Japan stores in March, and the harmony of clear piano sounds and his husky voice ensured this would be a hit.

Bent Fabric
The combination of an 81-year-old pianist from Denmark and seven young vocalists turned out to be a quick sell with catchy rhythms and a pop feel.