Wednesday, December 19, 2012


After seeing this Toronto-based artist perform live at The Mod Club, I couldn't get enough of his music. Diamond Rings, or John O, has already performed on TV shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, not to mention he's also toured with UK sensation Robyn. I love his energetic and catchy tracks and his awesome stage presence.

Check out a bit of a Q&A from our interview -

Q: Coming from Toronto, has the city influenced you as a musician?

Yeah definitely. It’s where I cut my teeth, it’s where I learned to do what I do and it’s where I drew my first inspiration, from other local bands and performers who have supported me in my beginning stages. Toronto is where I’m from and it’s the place I love to be.

Q: How would you describe your songwriting process?

It’s sometimes hard for me to pin down or really describe. I spend a lot of time on my own and work away until I find something that feels right, whether that’s an interesting sound or a pleasant chord progression or a vocal melody. It’s hard to define what it is that’s special, but when I do find something special I recognize it and follow its lead and take it as far as it’ll go. In a rare instance, it could mean I get a song done, but a lot of ideas don’t make it that far, that’s just part of the process of knowing when to trust myself and when to really go after something that feels right.

Q: What was it like touring with Robyn?

It was really exciting and I learned a lot from her. A lot of those lessons have been able to apply to what I’m doing personally. At the end of the day, I’m doing trying to do my own show and do my own thing, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a real up close and behind the scenes look at someone who is making great music and putting on a great show each night.

Q: Are there any shows that have stood out so far in your career?

Playing Radio City Music Hall with Robyn was a real treat. That was kind of mind blowing, in New York, that was the biggest show I’ve ever played. I’ve had great times playing everywhere, it doesn’t matter how many people are there or where we are, as long as we’re feeling good and having fun. 

Q: Do you have a moment that you’re most proud of up until today?

Just the fact that I can make music and call it a career is what I’m proud of more than anything. Not a specific moment, just being able to do what I do 24/7 is a dream come true.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Probably the best recent advice is from one of my professors from art school. He told me the last time that I talked to him to be prepared for the world to hate me. I think it’s his mildly sarcastic way of saying it’s important to have a thick skin and not take other people’s opinions too seriously. I think when anyone who works hard and gets attention finally breaks through and becomes more visible and more of a public figure, it becomes easier for people to feel entitled to have an opinion about that person, whether or not that opinion is based on anything real. So I think that advice has gone a long way in helping me deal with where I’m at right now. There’s a lot of people who love what I’m doing and some people who don’t and I’m fine with that.

Q: What pushes you to continue making music?

It’s what I love to do, it’s what I know how to do and right now, what I do best in life. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and now that I can do it, it would be uncautionable to waste this opportunity that I’ve been given to make music full time. I’m not just making it for myself, but it’s for everyone else who maybe hasn’t been given this opportunity that I have. In order to do my bit, I have to keep working and work at hard at making the best music that I can.

Q: And the story behind the name Diamond Rings?

Something that I came up with long before the project began. It embodies a lot of the characteristics that I want to express and possess as a human and as an artist. Diamonds are bright and shiny but at the same time they’re really tough, they’re tough rocks. I feel any artist - myself included - needs to, in some capacity, embody those characteristics as well. You gotta look good and have this hunger and thirst for the spotlight, but you have to be tough because it’s not easy to do this everyday.

Check out my photos & video from his show at The Mod Club:

For more Diamond Rings, check out

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28
All photos taken by me | Please contact for use

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