What’s it like being an Atlantic Canadian artist?
I personally love living in the Maritimes! Atlantic Canada is so rich in talent, and I love the diversity in the genres and styles. There is also, for the most part, a great camaraderie with other musicians which is nice to be a part of.
Do you feel there are significant challenges in Atlantic Canada for musicians?
We live on PEI so we do feel somewhat isolated here. We have a smaller population so less people to play for, but it’s surprising how many venues here have entertainment! It’s quite amazing. In the Summer you can find music in almost every venue plus events and festivals. Cover bands and acoustic solo or duo acts are quite popular. There are only a handful of venues that fully support original music year-round such as The Trailside and Baba’s in Charlottetown & Red Dirt Girl Room in Summerside. It also depends on the genre. Traditional music has always been very popular, but in the last number of years we’ve seen it open up more to rock, pop & hip hop. There is more traveling & logistics involved to perform for new audiences in other cities. I don’t know what it’s like being an artist in western Canada so I can’t really compare if it’s any more difficult. Music PEI does an amazing job of creating opportunities for us that most of us would likely never have. And with the way we are connected on the internet now, the world is pretty open to us.
Which singer/songwriters inspire you?
I’ve loved music since I can remember. When I was a kid I had a huge stereo with a record player in my bedroom and played my parents’ records. I think my first love was Elvis. Later on I fell in love with 90s singer-songwriters like Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morisette, Sheryl Crow, Sass Jordan, The Cranberries, Holly McNarland, Jewel.. They made me feel validated in my experiences and feelings and said the things I was feeling when I didn’t even really know what I was feeling. They paved the way for my aspirations, even though I was way too in my head as a teenager to do anything about it yet. I got a guitar when I was 19 or 20, but I could only play like 3 chords. Years went by and I hadn’t yet acted on my singer/songwriter desire. I think I was both scared of what I would write – or wouldn’t write. At some point I learned to play Tara MacLean’s “If I Fall” and it just felt right. I finally started the process of writing my own songs. I hear music everyday that inspires different ideas. I’ve always loved Gord Downie’s poetic lyrics in his storytelling and the way he phrases them. I admire the way Phoebe Bridgers’ crafts and delivers a lyric.
What advice do you have for other singer/song-writers in the area?
I guess it depends what type of advice.. but overall just keep doing your thing. Make a habit out of reading, and schedule a time to write. Write even if it sucks. Perform as much as you can to hone your sound / your craft. Learn how to record / produce yourself even if it’s just the basics. Learn as much as you can about the industry. Connect with other songwriters & artists. Never give up. There are lots of singer songwriters out there but no one else can deliver or express a song the way you do.
Where do you draw most of your inspiration?
Life in general. Past situations that didn’t make sense at the time but I’ve learned from. Discovering new things. I’ve always been drawn to that melancholiness that was so prevalent in the 90s, but I like to put a spin on it – trying to find the hope or the silver lining.
What song playing right now on the radio is your favourite?
I don’t listen to a lot of “top 40”radio so I don’t have a clue what’s popular. I prefer rock but those stations typically play the same stuff we’ve heard for the past 40 years. We have so much talent right here in Atlantic Canada! It would be amazing if artists here could get more airplay. It would make a big impact on many independent music careers. But a few songs that I have heard recently and am digging on are: The Black Keys – Wild Child; The Trews – Enemy; HIllsburn – Get High; Dua Lipa- Levitating (my guilty pleasure); and Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush is having a moment right now 🙂
How has songwriting been during the pandemic? Has it been inspiring or caused setbacks?
There was a lot of uncertainty and fear, but the isolation also provided time. I chose to use that time creatively. Just before the pandemic hit I had luckily just joined a songwriting group. We wrote a song every 2 weeks and were kept accountable with each other. It created a great habit and helped me forget about what was going on outside. It’s not for everyone but it really helped me stay focused. It’s something I’d love to try again. But without the pandemic obviously.
When can readers expect new music?
We are taking those songs I wrote during the pandemic and working in the studio now. We’re working towards recording and releasing a full album, but for now we are hoping to have a new song out by the end of summer!
Listen to the single now: