Where are you currently based?
How did you first start playing music?
When my mother was pregnant with me, my family lived in Ottawa, where I was born. We lived in a duplex, next door to a virtuoso classical violinist from Romania named Ioan Harea who practiced 8 hours a day, every day. My mom became friends with him, his wife, their children, and his mother who also lived with them. She would sit on the couch which was up against the dividing wall of their home, and listen to him play; she said I would always relax inside her belly when she did that. After I was born, his mother would take me over to their house for a while to give my mom a chance to spend some time with my sisters and get things done around the house. She would hold me in a rocking chair, and Ioan would play for me. Every day for the first year of my life, until we moved to Winnipeg. My mom always said that since I could talk I would always point out the violin in music I would hear anywhere, but especially in the classical music at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet where my sisters were studying in the professional division. I would also constantly beg to play the violin. It wasn’t until I was around 7 years old when our next door neighbour, Vincent Ellen – who at that time was the principal bassoonist in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – was chatting with my mom over the fence and asked if I had any interest in music. She told him that I begged almost daily to play the violin, and he introduced us to Liz Lupton. Liz was one of the top violin teachers in the city, and we had just enough money to get by, there was no way my mom could afford lessons with Liz, but she asked my mom to bring me to meet her anyway. I remember her warmth of heart and a huge welcoming smile as she put a small violin in my right arm and a bow in my left hand. It felt so natural, it felt like a piece of my body I had been missing until that day. She taught me how to make a sound – it didn’t screech. I was enchanted. I remember she and my mom talking privately in the other room, and years later my mom told me what that conversation was. My mom thanked her for letting me come over and hold the instrument I had been so enamoured with for so long, but that she unfortunately couldn’t afford lessons right now, and Liz told her that she could see already that I had natural talent, and on top of that, immense passion, and that she wanted to teach me, no matter our financial circumstance. There of course is more to my musical journey, but that has always been the most important part to me. I owe my entire life as I know it to the kindness of Liz Lupton. Kindness truly can change lives. Remember that folks.
What’s been happening recently?
Earlier this year I was invited to participate as 1 of 10 producers in Music Publishers Canada’s Women in the Studio Program where I’ve been coached by some of the most talented creatives and professionals in the music industry. I just released my first single after taking a hiatus to regroup, and I’m currently working on a full-length album which I’ll be releasing in 2022.
Your new single ‘Let Me Out Of Here’ was released on October 1st, what influenced the sound and songwriting? How did you go about writing ‘Let Me Out Of Here’?
“Let Me Out Of Here” came from a sharing of both my and Rusty Matyas’ (my collaborator – co-writer and co-producer on this song) experiences with mental health. In 2016 I was living in Nashville and from the outside in I think it looked like I was doing pretty great, y’know, singer songwriter moves to Nashville, pretty exciting stuff, but the reality was that I was in the deepest depression I’d ever been in, and was experiencing debilitating panic attacks on my bathroom floor every day for months. It was rooted in over a decade of chronic and traumatic stress, experience with abuse of all kinds including sexual abuse and harassment throughout my life since I was very young. I never took the time to process any of it, because I was always too busy with my music career, since I was 13 years old. While I’m aware of how lucky I have been in my career, being a person in a female body in the entertainment industry is far from safe and supportive. In 2016, the box full of traumas labelled “deal with this later” came bursting open and my mind and body forced me to stop. I came back to Winnipeg, and while I was still performing here and there, I effectively took 5 years off to regroup. Rusty’s side of this song comes from his experience with alcoholism and his journey to sobriety. Alcoholism had him on the brink of death, and music is in large part what helped him heal…what helped both of us heal. The bed tracks to Let Me Out Of Here was one of a series of tracks that Rusty recorded as soon as he got out of detox, centerd around a voice note that he made in one of his darkest times, laying on his kitchen floor. Without knowing any of that, the first time I heard the track something about it brought me right back to laying on my bathroom floor in Nashville, and the words “let me out of here” came to my mind almost as soon as I heard the chorus. We really put our whole hearts into this one, we are grateful for this song, and proud of it, and we hope that it will give someone else the hope they need to reach out toward the light from the darkness.
Where and when did you record, produce, master and who with?
A few years ago in Winnipeg at Paintbox Studios. I recorded and produced this song with my collaborator Rusty Matyas and it was mixed and mastered by our good friend John Paul Peters at Private Ear Recording also in Winnipeg.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Kacy Musgraves “Golden Hour” and “Star Crossed”. The songwriting, arrangements, production, and mixing are just brilliant. I’ve been learning from Golden Hour since the day it came out. Sometimes I just put it on for enjoyment, but most of the time I’m zeroing in on, like, the vocal delay or something and thinking of ways I could recreate something similar with the tools and knowledge I have. It’s a perfect album if you ask me.
And a lot of podcasts. I really, really love podcasts.
What do you like to do away from music?
Well to be perfectly honest there isn’t a whole lot of time left in the day once all of the work is done. With the modern demands of independent artists, sometimes it’s hard to even find time to MAKE music. But, the little time I do have left I like to spend reconnecting with the people who mean the most to me. My partner, Ashley, is also a very busy musician, composer, and arts administrator so we have to make a point to go for a walk together or finish work at a reasonable hour so we can watch a movie together at home. Work life balance is really important to me, and to my mental health, so I’m constantly trying to balance getting everything done, and having time for the things and the people I care about most. I’m far from good at it yet, our society isn’t designed to support rest and leisure the way it should, but I will always try my best. The biggest shout out in the world to my manager Elise and her team at Misfit Management for allowing that balance to exist at all.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2021 going into 2022?
I’m taking some time away from performances, interviews, and probably social media to write and record new music which I’ll be releasing in late 2022.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
My favourite food…man, I love food so much. I love so many different foods. But I would have to say that lately my favourite thing is when my partner makes Chinese food. Even if it’s “just fried rice”, I love watching (and tasting) the care she puts into recreating dishes her mom and grandma would make for her growing up. She is passionate about tradition, family, and food, all of which come together when she cooks, so it’s just really beautiful and special to me.
My favourite place to hang out is anywhere I’m with people I love. Having toured and moved around a lot throughout my life, I’m less attached to the place as I am to the company around me.