Olympic song welcomes world to Richmond

A year ago Matthew David was a “corporate kid” working as an investment banker. Today the 27-year-old from Abbotsford will sing in front of what is likely to be his biggest audience yet.

The banker-turned-vocalist will perform his Olympic-inspired single “Today” at the O Zone today (Saturday) at 3:15 p.m.

When the City of Richmond approached David to record a theme song to welcome the world to Richmond, he immediately accepted the task. The song is “very much about dreaming and having dreams and following through with your dreams,” he said.

While he is belting out his pop/rock ballad onstage, the jumbo screen will show his music video. Produced by the city, the video features lots of familiar faces and landmarks. It took hundreds of extras, a 25-person crew and a helicopter to create the final product.

“Today” was written by Chris Janz, who produced and co-wrote David’s debut six-track album, Masquerade. The autobiographical album deals with David’s journey coming out as gay after a Christian upbringing.

The son of a minister, David was born in a small Saskatchewan town before his family moved to Abbotsford when he was five. David attended a private Christian high school where he was taught homosexuality was wrong. He knew he was gay at 13 but told no one until years later.

He came out to his friends and family at 24 and decided to make music with a message: it’s OK to be who you are.

“[Masquerade] was me talking about my journey and my life—just trying to be open and honest and encourage others to do the same.”

At 18 David moved to England to attend the London School of Performing Arts. When he returned to Canada, however, he went into finance. “I just wanted to do something practical because not many people who try music can actually make a living at it.”

David couldn’t ignore his true passion and at 26, after a two-year banking stint, he quit his job to pursue singing. “I wanted to take risks and try things that are dangerous and not guaranteed.”

A year later he is singing for the world. After today’s performance, David will sing at a private reception at Richmond City Hall on Sunday for up to 400 international dignitaries.

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