Q

After Schitt's Creek, Noah Reid felt the pressure. Now, he's finding creative control through his music

Canadian actor and musician Noah Reid spoke with Q’s Tom Power about working on Schitt’s Creek and pouring his emotions into his music.

The actor and musician joined Q’s Tom Power to talk about his new album and life after Schitt’s Creek

Noah Reid joined host Tom Power in the Q studio in Toronto. (Christy Kim/CBC)

Click the play button above to listen to Noah Reid's full conversation with Tom Power. He also spoke about his experience growing up as a child actor and starting his career on the children's cartoon Franklin.

If the past two years have taught Noah Reid something, it's to take the pressure off and let things come to him. 

"It's OK to just be where you are," Reid told Tom Power in an interview on Q. "The best things in my life have come from, you know, settling down and not trying to hustle too hard."

The Canadian actor and musician, who's best known for his role on Schitt's Creek, just released his third album, Adjustments. It's his first release since 2020, which coincided with the end of the show and the disruptive changes brought on by the pandemic that led to the cancellation of his first official tour. 

He said the first single off the album, Everyday, was inspired by life during the pandemic, playing with the emotion and sound of melancholy.

"It's this kind of like, muted quality of the early days of the pandemic that just felt like, you know, there was something kind of nice about it that you couldn't quite put your finger on but it felt heavy," he told Power.

WATCH | Noah Reid's full interview with Tom Power:

But for Reid, determining his next step after an award-winning sitcom and sold-out cancelled tour didn't come without some stress. While he said his time on Schitt's Creek was a beautiful experience, he "felt the pressure to follow that up and in some meaningful way."

Reid's musical talent came to the attention of a wider audience in an iconic Schitt's Creek scene that saw his character, Patrick Brewer, serenading his boyfriend (played by Dan Levy) with a tender rendition of Tina Turner's The Best. Fans adored his version of the song, with some even telling Reid they'd love a personal version to play at their own weddings.

Why does he think the scene touched so many fans? "It's not just that song in a vacuum. It's what it means to Dan's character, David, who hasn't experienced a love like this, hasn't let his guard down like this and has now you know, met somebody who sees him and who loves him," said Reid. 

"It's become such a piece of the fabric of people's love stories that's not just tied to the song. I think it's tied to the character's journeys."

'Music has to find the cracks in the rest of my world'

In 2020, about a third of the way into a sold-out 25-show tour, the pandemic put a halt to live music.

"The hardest day of the pandemic for me was when I was supposed to be playing the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, sold out on a Saturday night, and I was just at home doing nothing going like, 'Man, I almost got to do this,'" recalled Reid. 

He said music has always given him the space to control his creativity and artistry in ways that he couldn't in his role as an actor. 

"Acting is really creative, and there's artistry to it, but I don't think that just because you're an actor, you're an artist," he said. "Music is a space where I get to have some control over that conversation and I always want to make that count."

When Power asked him where his melodies come from, Reid said he rarely sits down with the intention to write a song.

"Music has to find the cracks in the rest of my world," he said. "It has to find the negative space to kind of grow like the weeds growing through the sidewalk. There's something kind of unintentional about it for me, and I love it that way."

Noah Reid in conversation with Tom Power in the Q studio in Toronto. (Christy Kim/CBC)

One of the songs on his new album, Another F–kn Condo, criticizes the changing urban landscape of his hometown of Toronto. The song came out of a frustration he felt toward the way that the city has handled some of its heritage architecture.

"I just keep seeing all these incredible buildings around my neighborhood and around all over the places getting knocked down and another f–king condo going up," he said.

"I love this city so deeply. I don't think you can, you know, stick a knife in your city unless you love it."


Written by Anusha Kav. Interview produced by Mitch Pollock.

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