Daniel Nebiat won’t be quitting his job driving taxi anytime soon. But now that he has won a Juno Award, he hopes that it will lead to more time making music and less time on the road.
Nebiat, 44, is among nine members of the Okavango African Orchestra, which took the prize, in person, in the World Music category last weekend in Ottawa.
“Being in that situation with the big guys and everyone at the awards, being there, it means a lot. It makes you feel like you actually did something, accomplished something. It was a very good feeling,” said Nebiat, an immigrant from Eritrea who plays the six-stringed krar and sings in his native tongue of Tigrigna.
An article about Nebiat in the Star on Feb. 7 following the band’s nomination and the award already generated a lot of interest. Taking the trophy has made additional impact, he said this week.
“The bookings are coming and people are calling, people are interested. The award means a lot and that’s what we’re hoping for and I hope it continues.”
As for quitting his job at Co-op Taxi, which he’s held for three years, the answer is “not yet, not yet.”
“If it continues like this, it’ll give me more gigs to play. I’ll drive less and play more music, which I like to do,” Nebiat said.
“The band is together but we all do our own separate (projects). I’m hoping maybe there’s a producer out there that’s interested in doing something different who can say, ‘let me get Danny and try something new.’ I’m hoping and I’m praying.
“I’m hoping this award will bring more producers, more musicians who are interested in the music that I do and give me an opportunity to collaborate with a lot of different artists.”