While in the local mix we have quite a few people who have decided to go after what their heart tells to, following one’s dream is not nearly as common in many places.
A chat with Chris Ronald seems to be one of those people. In Ronald, we have someone who has looked at a career in music very carefully and has never just jumped in with both feet and hoping for the best.
At this point, Ronald is on his fourth album. He’s done international tours. He’s been nominated for some prestigious awards. He’s signed to a big label. He’s broadened his range of musical styles.
Best of all, he feels, is that he hasn’t done it at the expense of his family.
“I’m on the right path now and have a much happier life balance,” he said.
The native of Darby in the UK met his wife while in Europe before they moved to B.C. and started a family. Words of encouragement from various teachers while he was in school had encouraged him to consider music.
His first album was self-produced with a theme of coming to the Pacific Northwest.
To support his family, he became a full-time elementary school teacher and with all of the requirements of the job, he feels that he wasn’t able to follow the best path.
He became a stay-at-home dad for his three kids.
“It was pivotal to my music career. It gave me time to get into a creative groove. Teaching full-time didn’t allow for that,” he said.
Inspired by his kids, he wrote and produced his second album.
His wife had some family members who had been in the music industry so she knew something about the more challenging side of things. He was trying to keep balance in his life so he went back into teaching full-time only to became depressed.
“I decided that I would become a substitute teacher and that takes a lot of things off the teaching plate. I know where my passion lies. Instead of being miserable I would do that,” he said.
He feels his new album is very ambitious and had a wider range of styles than some of his previous work.
He’s doing tours and increasing his audience.
“I’m on the right path now and I have a much happier life balance,” he said.
His most recent tour is in north central B.C., from Prince Rupert to Prince George.
“It’s my first time that I’ll play in Smithers. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Ronald has two Bulkley Valley appearances:
July 6 – Mountain Eagle Books, Smithers
July 7 – Bulkley Canyon Ranch, New Hazelton
Ticket price is $10 in advance at Mountain Eagle Books, $15 at the door.