Royal Wood

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Royal Wood
Royal Wood.jpg
Royal Wood
Background information
Birth name John Royal Wood Nicholson
Origin Lakefield, Ontario, Canada
Genres Pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 2002–present
Labels MapleMusic Recordings
Website Royal Wood

Royal Wood is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and arranger based in Toronto, Ontario. His second album A Good Enough Day received an international release. He has subsequently been nominated for a Juno Award twice and has toured both North America and Europe.[1]


Early life[edit]

Wood was born John Royal Wood Nicholson[2] and raised in Lakefield, Ontario.[3] Royal Wood, his performing name and his real middle names, were chosen in memory of his great-grandfather, Royal Rufus Wood, who died in 1962.

Wood grew up in a household filled with music;[4] his brother Luke Nicholson is also a singer-songwriter.[5] He began playing piano by ear at the age of four and started lessons at age eight.[6] With the support of his school music program, he had access to a variety of different instruments, and by his teens, he became a multi-instrumentalist well-versed in many different styles, including the guitar, bass guitar, drums, clarinet, and trumpet.[3]

After high school, Wood studied business at McGill University. During this time, he performed piano in Montreal jazz clubs and focused on his guitar playing while trying to find his voice as a songwriter.[6]


Wood released his first EP, entitled The Milkweed EP, in 2003. This collection of songs were written, arranged, performed and produced by Wood himself.[7] The release garnered much critical acclaim, and critics drew comparisons with Randy Newman, Jeff Buckley, and Tom Waits.[8]

Following the release of his debut EP, Wood set out to create an over-the-top pop record for his full-length debut. Drawing inspiration from The Beatles and The Beach Boys,[9] Wood once again undertook production duties during the recording sessions. In 2004, he released his full-length debut record, Tall Tales on Maple Music. The record’s ornate sound and layered arrangements garnered much critical attention, and Wood was praised for his vocal style and infectious lyricism.[10]

With the goal of creating a more mature and pristine sound,[11] Wood entered Toronto's Reaction Studios in 2005 to begin recording the follow-up to his full-length debut. During the recording session, he used a Steinway grand piano, scored a full string quartet, and also enlisted the help of many well-known musicians, including Hawksley Workman and Kurt Swinghammer.[12] The result was A Good Enough Day, which was released in 2007 on Dead Daisy Records in Canada, and in 2008 on Rounder Europe. The record received much radio attention domestically and abroad, and Wood was praised by critics for his fluent piano playing, melodic lyrical style and production ability.[8][13] The record spawned three singles and three music videos, “A Mirror Without”, “Juliet” and “I’m So Glad”. Music from the record has also been featured on several TV and movie soundtracks, including TMN/Movie Central's ReGenesis, the CBC series This is Wonderland, the CTV movie Playing House, the film The End of Silence, and the Food Network’s The Surreal Gourmet. Internationally, A Mirror Without was featured on an episode of Grey's Anatomy.[14] His song Paradise was also featured on an episode of Private Practice.

With the success of A Good Enough Day, Wood was invited to share the stage with numerous Canadian songstresses, including Emm Gryner, Sarah Harmer,[6] Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Slean, Jill Barber and Serena Ryder.[15] In support of the Rounder Europe release of the record, he also embarked on a European tour in 2008.

Constantly evolving, Wood wanted to focus his next effort on the lyrics and string arrangements. The result was the 2009 release The Lost and Found EP.[16] With a consistently growing fan base, Wood embarked on his first headlining tour in Western Canada in November 2009 in support of the new EP. Joined by Atlantic Canadian singer-songwriter Rose Cousins, Wood played to capacity crowds[17] during three-week tour.

In 2010 he released The Waiting after which he was named iTunes Songwriter of the Year and nominated at the Junos for Songwriter of the Year. He also supported David Gray on a full national tour, and completed three headline tours of Canada, and others in Europe and the US.

His 2012 album We Were Born to Glory debuted in the Top 25 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and was nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year at the 2013 Juno Awards. The first single from the album was "Not Giving Up".

On March 18, 2014, Wood released The Burning Bright. The lead single "Forever and Ever" was a Top 40 hit in Canada. In June 2014, Wood released the companion album I Wish You Well, which included five new songs and four original mixes from the previous album. The album was a collaboration with Dean Drouillard, while much of the material was inspired by Wood's stay in Co. Meath, Ireland.[18]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008, Wood and fellow singer-songwriter Sarah Slean got engaged while in Paris;[19] the pair married in 2009.[20] The marriage broke down, and in January 2014, Slean announced she and Wood had "parted ways as friends".[21]

Wood lives in Toronto's Liberty Village neighbourhood, but now owns his parents' farm near Peterborough.[22]

Wood married Alison Waldbauer in Toronto on September 2, 2017.



  1. ^ Biography on the Royal Wood website, (accessed January 6, 2015).
  2. ^ "Royal Wood goes from ‘piecemeal’ to The Beatles to record the right album". National Post, July 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "ROYAL WOOD - A DISCOVERY performed LIVE + Interview on CBC Radio's Go! - Jan 10, 2009". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Royal Wood". Eye Weekly. 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Luke Nicholson Releases New Product on April 14". Cashbox Canada, February 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Tandem - Online magazine". 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  7. ^ Christopher Jakins @ "Royal Wood - Milkweed EP". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  8. ^ a b Christopher Jakins @ "Royal Wood - Press". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  9. ^ Christopher Jakins @ "Royal Wood - Tall Tales". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Royal Wood :: EPK". YouTube. 2007-03-15. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  12. ^ Christopher Jakins @ (2007-01-30). "Royal Wood - A Good Enough Day". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Un. "Royal Wood | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  15. ^ Christopher Jakins @ "Royal Wood - Biography". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  16. ^ Christopher Jakins @ (2009-03-24). "Royal Wood - Lost and Found EP". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  17. ^ "Royal Speaks » Still away from home..." 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  18. ^ a b Royal Wood, '“I Wish You Well” unveiled…' (official website), (accessed January 6, 2015).
  19. ^ ^ "Sarah Slean Gets Festive". Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Sarah Slean's Sea Change". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Slean, Sarah (2014-01-09). "And the days grew longer…". 
  22. ^ Wheeler, Brad (2014-04-02). "Royal Wood: 'I needed to find that current again'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 

External links[edit]