photo by Mark Maryanovich
Kurt Dahl (BComm'04, LLB'05, LLM'09) is a rocker that has let his love of music dictate his career and educational paths. Originally from Saskatoon, Dahl is now making waves in Vancouver with his band One Bad Son, although Dahl is quick to point out that Saskatoon will always be home.
Dahl might not seem like your typical rock star; he's happily married and a practicing lawyer. Yet his love for music has been ingrained into every aspect of his life.
When asked why he chose to pursue degrees in finance and law, Dahl's answer is simple, "I didn't want to end up like most of my idols, who got swindled by someone in a suit." In his job as an entertainment lawyer at D'Eith and Company Entertainment Law, he helps to make sure this doesn't happen. "I feel blessed that I get to work with phenomenal musicians every day, and help them bring their careers to new levels. I'm like a typical lawyer, with cooler clients. And I don't have to wear a suit," Dahl says with a chuckle.
Dahl is proud of his Saskatchewan heritage, and of being a U of S graduate. "Education opens up a lot of doors—both for me and for my band," Dahl says.
Dahl formed One Bad Son in 2004, along with Shane Volk and Adam Hicks, with Adam Grant or "Granny" completing the lineup in 2007. The band released two albums while in Saskatoon and developed a strong following at their live shows. In 2010 the band landed a record deal with 604 Records, which prompted the group to relocate to Vancouver.
The band is now on the verge of some very big things. Their new single Rustbucket is blowing up on radio stations across Canada, and their third album—their first on 604 Records—is due in September. Those surrounding the band have high hopes for where this album will take them, and Dahl can't help but share the excitement.
"It's been a long road. Eight years of hard work and challenges and not a lot of money. The closer one gets to ‘making it' the closer one comes to understanding the cost. Then there are the successes and the songs and the moments where everything seems to click, and it seems like magic. I feel lucky that the magic is still happening—more often and on a larger scale."
The unconventional combination of law and music doesn't seem that unorthodox to Dahl. "People say you can't be a musician and a lawyer. I say why not? People say you can't be a successful musician and be happily married. I say why not? Stereotypes are meant to be destroyed."
When asked what advice he would give to future graduates of the U of S and other young alumni, Dahl quotes one of his idols. "As Bob Dylan said, ‘You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you.' Don't live someone else's life. Find what makes you happy and do it."
One Bad Son's self-titled album is coming out this September and will be available in stores across North America and on iTunes.
Download a free yet-to-be-released single at www.onebadson.com/alumni
photo by Mark Maryanovich