With a passion for influential sound, Shane Kimber, also known as OGR-Scintilla on stage, has decided to follow his heart by pursuing a career in the music industry.
Kimber comes from the unique area of Oyen, Sedalia and Youngstown as he grew up on a ranch near these centres.
He attributes much of his work ethic and down to earth nature to growing up on the prairies.
“More than anything by far, growing up here has taught me the type of work ethic that I think is needed because like I just don’t take time off,” Kimber began.
“My personal time is work and that’s why being on the farm is nice because I go out in the morning and I work until there is a moment I can slip away and then I go work on music until I fall asleep. It’s because I love to work and see a job get done well and without that, there is absolutely no way I would even see the relatively small amount of success that I have seen now.
“I’m really just thankful for how I was raised and where I was raised because I feel like it has given me the character that I need to succeed.
“Knowing that I have that and the support of my family and community, I just know that it doesn’t matter if I wanted to be a musician or a doctor or professional athlete. I just know that those things have me set up so well to go out and accomplish what I want to accomplish,” he said.
50,000 digital streams
OGR-Scintilla has racked up over 50,000 digital streams since he started releasing music last summer.
His Youtube videos have also produced approximately 40,000 views.
OGR-Scintilla stands for Overgrowth Renaissance which was a label he began with some friends while Scintilla is another word for small sparks. Many from Oyen thought the ‘OGR’ stood for Oyen’s Greatest Rapper.
The country kid-turned-rapper takes a vastly different approach to his line of work.
He starts by composing his lyrics the same way he would with country music and aims to be positive compared to the majority of hip-hop songs in this day and age.
“It’s funny because people don’t think of that right away but I like to point out to people that when you look at how I write my songs, a lot of them are very much written as though they are a country song or a folk song and I definitely don’t get inspiration from the content of hip hop.
“It’s an interesting thing I like to take pride in my songwriting.”
Kimber is often known in Oyen as the swimming instructor after teaching lessons over the past five years as well as being a student and playing sports.
His passion for music became prevalent when he was a 13-year-old student in Youngstown School. During his time there in Junior High, he took guitar lessons.
He spent some time playing around with different lyrics and chords before diving into computer work to learn more about musical production.
Last year, Kimber graduated from the University of Alberta with a science degree in Kinesiology and played on the volleyball team at the Augustana Campus in Camrose.
“As I moved off to university, I was exposed to new music. Some of the musicians and stuff a lot of people were listening to were rappers and I was interested in how much emphasis is put on the lyrics and songwriting in rap. That’s what drew me in that direction,” he said.
He was not totally infatuated with old school hip hop but more so with the artists of today like Tyler the Creator and Childish Gambino as he views them as ‘different ducks’ which is something he identifies with. He also looks up to Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, and Jim Croce.
“I guess they are just different ducks and they’re not afraid to be themselves. To me, I am a unique person and I have unique interests and I really like that so I would say I really enjoy hip hop, R&B, rap, all sorts of genres sort of thing and I try to incorporate all that stuff into my music.”
Since that time, he has been back at the ranch helping his father as well as continually working on his music.
The new musician does all the instrumentation for his work for himself and others on top of singing and rapping.
“I’m stubborn in the way that I like to do things myself and that definitely comes from the farm,” said Kimber. “I just feel like I can do this better myself. When you’re a farmer you have to be good at everything right? You’re a mechanic and a biologist and a doctor and all of these things combined. I guess that transferred into how I want to do music.”
The 23-year-old has taken a moment to analyze his goals to align with his core values of happiness, peace, and high energy.
One way he has been doing so is by understanding how he can raise people’s moods.
Strikes a balance between happy and sad
“I’ve shifted my goals from what can I do for myself and how many followers I can get and stuff like that to – now that some people are paying attention – how can I put as much goodness out into the world as possible basically,” said Kimber.
This route did not always come from a happy place in the beginning. Much of his inspiration derives from less than pleasurable experiences which originally acted as a coping mechanism but slowly became a way to share positive sound to others.
During his year at Medicine Hat College, he felt it was not a good year as he continually struggled with anxiety and other mental health issues.
Although he was playing for the volleyball team there, the team was often cliquey.
“I’m kind of an out there guy like I don’t mind being a little goofy and weird. They all wanted to be really cool and they stuck into a pack. I would say that music definitely brought me through that time and in the past I would say that I did not make happy music.”
Kimber used music as an outlet to get himself through those difficult times.
“I would write sad songs about the way I was feeling and it helped me rationalize my thoughts and it helped me get it all out there so I didn’t have to just let it eat up inside of me.”
Throughout this process, he has felt the call to helping others after how much music helped him through dark times.
There are songs that Kimber has tucked away but he mentioned there will be a time when some may be released.
“It’s just basically me discovering who I am as a person and all of those songs were very much written for me and now I feel like I’ve found who I am. Now I am writing songs for other people because music has had such a powerful impact on my life. Now I almost feel like I need to give back and give songs to people so that they can relate and can get through what they are going through.”
He strikes a balance between happy and sad with his songs so many can relate to the words. He hopes to help others realize that depression and anxiety are apart of your life’s journey.
“I would go as far as to say that music saved my life. It gave me a purpose in life.”
The sky’s the limit when it comes to making it big in the business.
“I don’t really have a ceiling. I would like to focus on becoming a solo artist for a while. I was doing more mixing and production stuff but I want to be big. I want to be massive and I want to collect a following and get a voice that I can then use to push some positive messages out into the world because you don’t see that very much. You see a lot of people succeeding with very negative messages and I don’t like that.”