[Editor's note — An Air Canada strike has forced Blake McGrath's visit to Mission to be postponed until a tentative Nov. 26 date. The Mission Record learned of this news after press time on Wednesday morning, making it impossible to correct the print version. If you have purchased tickets to this event, contact organizers to determine refunds or rescheduling.]
One of Canada’s most prolific dancers has switched gears to focus on becoming an internationally renowned recording artist.
Mississauga’s Blake McGrath, made famous on the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, has parlayed his apprenticeship under some of America’s most famous pop stars into a new music career.
Those who have watched him on TV can now see him live in Mission for one-night only at the Clarke Theatre on Nov. 27.
Blake started dancing when he was five years old, mimicking the moves of his big sister, also a dancer. An evident dancing prodigy, McGrath moved to Los Angeles to dance for Britney Spears when he was 19 years old.
Just as pop music is known for taking the most popular elements of each musical genre and blending them together, the “jazz funk” that built McGrath into a TV star is also an amalgamation of the hippest dance moves.
Since then he’s danced his way into the spotlight, trying to prove he’s more than just the background to a music video.
Although he still works as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, McGrath says dancing is now “in the back pocket.
“I was just inspired by all the different artists I’ve worked with and I want to be able to inspire the way that they can,” he said by phone interview from his home in California.
He lists those inspirations on a first name basis. Justin, Britney, Madonna and J-Lo are just a handful of the superstars with whom McGrath has collaborated.
He released his first single The Night (Only Place To Go) on April 27, 2010 on MuchMusic. His follow-up single Relax, was part of his debut album Time to Move, which peaked at 39 on the Canadian pop charts.
McGrath’s music is definitely on the cutting edge of what’s hot right now, self-described as pop R&B electro with a U.K. underground influence. Much like his dance moves, the music is aimed at the youngest generation’s pop culture.
That’s not to say McGrath can’t kick back with old school R&B singers like Brian McKnight, Donny Hathaway and Robin Thicke.
Although music consumes his time, McGrath still makes time for three covenants: “Gym, family, church.”
Blake McGrath plays at the Clarke Theatre in Mission on Nov.27. Tickets are available for $20 at Below Retail Clothing on First Avenue in Mission. For more information call 604-287-3328.