Erik Mongrain was born in Montreal on April 12, 1980. When he was young, he was
more into sports than music.
Growing up to the sounds of Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and mostly Kurt Cobain from
Nirvana, Erik discovered an interest in guitar. At 14, he received a classical
guitar as a gift and learnt by ear his favourite songs. A year later, he bought
his very first electric guitar which allowed him to learn and play Nirvana songs
to his delight.
Over the following four years, he learned guitar on his own, composed his own
music and discovered Jean-Sebastian Bach’s classical guitar melodies, which he
learned by heart. Around the age of 18, he discovered a Canadian guitar giant
who goes by the name of Don Ross. It was during this period in his life that
Erik chose acoustic guitar as his favourite musical instrument through which he
wished to share his passion with others around him.
He made another major discovery with the contemporary music of a Californian
named Michael Hedges. “It was a true revelation to me, I had finally found my
niche” stated Erik. He is still a great fan of Michael Hedges to this day.
During that time, he discovered and experimented a technique, which was unknown
to him until then, “lap tapping” – “I immediately adopted that technique.” With
the guitar on his lap, he tapped the chords as if it were a piano. The effect
was spectacular! People passing by on the streets were his first “fans”. Over
those years, Erik played in streets and subway stations in Montreal, in the U.S.
as well as in Europe.
In Granada, Spain, a journalist came across this young Montrealer, who was then
21, sitting on the sidewalk and playing his guitar. Impressed by his talent, he
wrote an article in the “Granada” newspaper and made the following prediction:
As another great guitar tapping player, Stanley Jordan, Mongrain started out in
the streets of Granada, he will continue on in the Barcelona subway and will
probably end up recording on world class major labels
Jesus Arias, Granada, May 18, 2001
Erik is a musician who is constantly researching and exploring the world of
music. For almost two years now, Erik has resumed standard guitar posture and
has been writing at tremendous speed songs in which the harmonies and melodies
are profoundly inspired.
It is often said that one cannot fight fate. From streets to T.V. sets, this
young self-taught guitar player has not betrayed the old saying. 2007, Erik
Mongrain launches his first CD entitled “Fates” …and now Equilibrium" to the
delight of music lovers.