Photo by Boston Levi
OTTAWA, Ontario — For most of us, it takes long enough to develop a given skillset into anything more than a day-to-day hobby, let alone a profession.
And then there’s Mike McNamee.
The former Ravens men’s hockey captain is set to launch the first single Feel it All from his debut album under the stage name Boston Levi. The song will be released with a new music video on all streaming platforms on Friday, November 20.
McNamee hasn’t quit his day job just yet though – he will continue playing professional hockey after signing with Greenville of the East Coast Hockey League. While he has clearly honed his skills on the ice, he says that music came to him later in life than hockey.
“I was given my first guitar by my uncle at 14. I didn’t start playing it until I was 19. I started by learning my favourite songs at the time. I wasn’t into the idea of getting lessons so everything has sort of been self taught and learning what I hear in the music I enjoy. I didn’t actually start writing songs until I was 22 or so and even then, I wasn’t really showing them to anyone, I was just doing it to get my thoughts down on paper and see what I could come up with.”
McNamee represented the Ravens for four years during his undergrad from 2013-2017, finishing with over 100 games played. Along with studying and putting in work on the ice everyday, McNamee says it was his years at Carleton that helped his musical talents fertilize and grow to where they are today.
“Some nights at social events the opportunity would come up to play a couple songs which was a lot of fun for me. People always seemed to enjoy the fact that I could play and sing, so there were some nights I’d bring the guitar and play for the team and whoever else was in the building.”
But like hockey, creativity isn’t a solo mission – it requires a team. “I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing people behind me during this,” McNamee says. “I have been working closely with Jay Emmons of The Glorious Sons. He is now acting as my manager, fellow guitar player, and friend, and I can’t really ask for much more. He heard some of the songs I had written and he is the one who decided that this was worth the attention and has been the one taking a chance on me.”
Along with the recording his single, McNamee has produced a music video for Feel it All to go with the launch. “The video was a fun experience. We thought having a live version of me performing it was best just so people can see how its being played.”
All in all, McNamee is soaking up the excitement of carving himself a new musical path. “I never really thought I’d be producing my own music and releasing it for the world to hear. It’s a bit of an odd feeling because you don’t have any control over who will like it and who wont but I guess that comes with the territory.”
McNamee’s new single can be found on Apple Music and Spotify on November 20. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at @BostonLeviMusic or at BostonLeviMusic.com.