Rich Aucoin

Musician

Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Contemporary Studies and Philosophy, 2006

I've ended up approaching my song writing in the same way I would a King's paper.

It took a full year, a journey from Victoria to St John’s, and 500 musicians recorded individually. The result - Rich Aucoin’s extraordinary album We’re All Dying to Live.

That massive and complicated project, says the 2006 King’s grad and indie-pop superstar, is, to this point, his biggest musical accomplishment. It’s hard to imagine something bigger but don’t bet Rich won’t top it.

“I definitely like trying to do something with each thing I do that is trying to push a boundary or do something I haven't seen done before,” he says. 

Rich has been described as an “electro-imagineer” and a “one man electro party band”. His music and onstage presence are high energy, convincing even the most staid to get up and dance. He has toured the world playing at major festivals in Canada, France and the US and even a beach party in Madagascar and a bouncy-castle in Amsterdam.

And many of the themes Rich explores in his songs have their roots at King’s.

Rich majored in Contemporary Studies and Philosophy. He had planned to attend a film school but his parents convinced him to try the Foundation Year Program (FYP) at King’s. It was a good fit.

“I think King's immerses you in a very nurturing academic setting and really drives home the importance of living the examined life.”

While studying at King’s, Rich played in a couple of local bands. He notes that they weren’t his projects so “I was able to perform and get all the performance anxieties out of my system while not having to be too invested in something that distracted from my studies.”

But Rich would go on to bring music and the analytical thinking he learned at King’s together.

“I've ended up approaching my song writing in the same way I would a King's paper,” he says. He gathers his sources, outlines the song and lays it all out “in a way that each song will address its certain topic and hopefully offer a few points of view on it and maybe even come to some sort of conclusions before the end.”

Rich is not sure whether music will be a lifelong career but he believes King’s has given him a solid foundation for just about anything.

“It's amazing to catch up with my class mates on the road and see how King's students go on into just about every field.” 

Rich is a firm believer in learning for learning’s sake. And he says he would advise new students to concentrate just on university life.

“It goes by really fast too and there'll be plenty of time for everything else; so study, party, spend time just vegging out … get involved with stuff and try things. “

That’s what he did. He joined the Day Students’ Society in his first year and they took him sky diving - the first of many new heights Rich Aucoin has achieved.

Posted: Apr. 2016

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