Justin Orok is an Ontario-based singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for his slice-of-life approach to songwriting, in which a diverse cast of characters navigate a maze of self-doubt, unspoken tenderness, and childlike wonder.
Many of these songs can be heard on Kanata, his debut album, which will be available in 2021. Sounds from musicians Justin Haynes, Felicity Williams, Christine Bougie, Andrew Downing, Michael Davidson, Jesse Zubot and others have been neatly assembled by visionary producer Jean Martin to form a sonic backdrop that's been described as "like Radiohead... but for babies."
Orok's songwriting and guitar playing can also be heard in the Toronto-based folk group Decoration Day. Their latest record, Makeshift Future, combines heartfelt songwriting with low-tuned acoustic guitars, an old harmonium, odd pairings of strings & woodwinds, and the occasional cloud of instrumental bric-à-brac.
In addition to working as a leader, he also works as a sideperson, mostly in the Toronto creative music community. Musicians he has performed with include Mary Margaret O’Hara, John Southworth & The South Seas, Kim Barlow, Roddy Ellias, Rebecca Campbell, and many more.
These ventures have led to performances in Canada, Austria, Germany, and England, as well as features on CBC Radio and Indie 88. Before all of that, Orok studied music with Justin Haynes, John Southworth, Roddy Ellias, and earned a Bachelor of Music from Humber College in 2017. He remains an enthusiastic student of 19th-century classical and (some) jazz guitar traditions, and also gives lessons.