Ryan MacGrath

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Ryan MacGrath
Origin Halifax, Nova Scotia
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Associated acts The Missing City Starlight, Chantal Kreviazuk

Ryan MacGrath is a Canadian singer-songwriter, whose folk-pop style is frequently compared to Rufus Wainwright and Hawksley Workman.[1] Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia[2] and raised in Guysborough County, he has been an active member of the Halifax music scene. He is currently based in Innsbruck, Austria.[1]

MacGrath first moved to Halifax to study painting at NSCAD.[2] After buying a guitar, he began performing with the band, Ryan MacGrath and the woodenhouse, which released a self-titled EP in 2006 before changing its name to The Missing City Starlight.[3]

MacGrath subsequently released a solo EP, In My Own Company, in 2009,[1] and the full-length album Cooper Hatch Paris in 2010.[4]

MacGrath continues to exhibit his painting. While he was preparing Cooper Hatch Paris, pop singer Chantal Kreviazuk saw and liked one of his gallery pieces; MacGrath arranged a trade in which he gave the painting to Kreviazuk in exchange for a guest contribution to the album.[4] He also funded the album in part by auctioning his services as a songwriter, offering to write a romantic Valentine's Day song for the winning bidder and their partner.[4]

In 2011, Cooper Hatch Paris was awarded Music Nova Scotia's award for Alternative Recording of the Year.[5] In addition to this, the recording was nominated for a number of East Coast Music Awards, including Alternative Recording of the Year, Male Solo Recording of the Year and Rising Star Recording of the Year.[6]

Two of MacGrath's songs were featured in Thom Fitzgerald's movie Cloudburst, starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker. MacGrath contributed "Bird and Cage" from Cooper Hatch Paris and "Like You Do", a song penned specifically for the movie.

In November 2011, MacGrath was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation Nova Scotia to pen a song for their annual gala to raise awareness for mental health. MacGrath wrote the track "One Million Fireflies" and performed with a 30-piece gospel choir.

MacGrath moved to Innsbruck, Austria in January 2012, where he now has residency. Since moving to Austria he has been writing material for his second full-length album and third EP, tentatively titled The Pink Lark.

He is openly gay.[1]


  • Ryan MacGrath and thewoodenhouse (2006)
  • In My Own Company (2009)
  • Cooper Hatch Paris (2010)
  • The Pink Lark (2013)