An author and musician who has used the hard-won lessons of his own own troubled life as inspiration for his work, Mishka Shubaly was born and raised in Ontario, where he experienced a turbulent childhood -- he learned his parents were breaking up the same day a shooting took place at his school, and after his father left the family, his mother fell behind on the mortgage and lost their home.
As teenaged Shubaly worked at a burger joint to make money, he started writing songs in his spare time; he also began drinking, and by the time he enrolled at Columbia University, he was a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. Despite his addictions, Shubaly received an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia, but his growing interest in music was stronger than his desire to pen the Great American Novel, and after graduation Shubaly hit the road, performing his gritty songs in a gruff but expressive voice at indie venues around the country. In 2004 Shubaly released his first EP, So Long, and followed it with Thanks for Letting Me Crash in 2005. The year 2006 saw the release of a third EP, To Hell with You, and a year later he brought out his first full-length album, How to Make a Bad Situation Worse. By this time, Shubaly was dividing his time between his solo career and playing bass in the band Freshkills, who released their debut album, Creeps and Lovers, in 2007. (He also worked with the groups RIBS and Rumanian Buck.) In 2009, not long after a lengthy tour with comic Doug Stanhope, Shubaly finally got sober and took up running, and his work began to reflect his new focus in life. In 2011, Shubaly returned to writing, publishing an autobiographical essay called Shipwrecked as a "Kindle Single"; the piece became a surprise success, and Shubaly penned a handful of pieces based on his own experiences that were digital best-sellers and earned him a loyal following and a reliable income. While Shubaly's success online led to a book deal with Public Affairs Press for a memoir scheduled for publication in 2016, he didn't abandon his music, and in 2015 he released his first album since giving up drugs and alcohol, Coward's Path. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi