Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like?
I recently moved to Nashville and started performing on the Songbird Tour Bus here as a singer-songwriter. We play our original songs while we tour around Music Row, sharing secrets and history. It’s just such a great opportunity and I’m fortunate to play with Emmy Award-winning artists like Trey Bruce.
Living in Nashville is a dream come true! The talent in this city is crazy. I’ve learned so much just from watching amazing artists that when I recently returned home to Canada for some shows, many people were surprised with how much my performing has changed.
How did you first start playing music?
My mom tells the story that when I was 18 months old, I was standing in my crib singing “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen” by Patsy Cline. The song was on a tape of nursery rhymes and I had picked it that way. By the time I was in Kindergarten, I had already taken cello and violin lessons. Towards the end of elementary school, I started a band with some friends. I later attended a school of the arts in high school and just finished a degree in music this year from Carleton University in the Singer Songwriter stream.
What’s been happening recently?
My new single “Driving In the Dark” was released digitally in August and went to Canadian radio on September 30th! In addition to that, I did a show in Calgary during Canadian Music Week as part of the Diamonds in the Rough series and I’m participating in the Wild West Songwriters Festival in South Dakota before going back to Canada for single release shows in Ottawa on October 19th and Toronto on October 25th!
Your new single ‘Driving In The Dark’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this track?
This song is meant to be a high energy, feel good song that is great to listen to while driving.
The idea emerged on the way to Nashville with my twin brother, Thomas. We were making the very long drive from Ottawa to Nashville – it’s about 17 hours – and while Thomas drove me, he talked about his love of driving – not only at night, but all the way into the sunrise. That adventure became the inspiration for the song.
How did you go about writing Driving In The Dark?
By the time we got to Nashville, I took the melody and hook that I had come up with over to Jason Matthews and Phil Barton, an acclaimed Australian songwriter who now lives in Nashville. We explored it together and it was such a fun writing experience! We were finished in 3 hours. From there, Phil and I created a work tape at his studio.
How do you usually write music?
One thing I do is keep a running record in my notes on my phone of hook ideas. Ideas come from everywhere! Conversations, movies, news, and experiences. If I’m writing alone, I need a spot that is quiet with a solid chunk of time set aside. Sometimes there’s a lot of noise outside my apartment, so I will go into my walk-in closet and sit on the floor with my guitar. I usually start with the melody first, then the lyrics. I take my time. I try to go deep and try to have twists or plays on words if I can. If I’m struggling, I’ll take an idea into a co-write for fresh ideas.
Where and when did you record and who with?
“Driving In The Dark” was recorded in Canada by Jason Barry in Barrytone Studios. Jason is one of my favourite people. He understands me well and is patient and collaborative. I’ve recorded about four songs with Jason and it’s been great every time.
How did you approach the recording?
Jason had the working tape for a few weeks and then I went to his studio and we discussed the song and the instruments I wanted and then we laid down the vocals. Jason took it from there and worked his magic like he always does!
What programs/instruments did you use?
For instruments, we used lead guitar, rhythm guitar, base, drums, piano, violin, cello and shakers. Jason has great mics in his studio for different voices and did a great job with the harmonies.
What did you find most rewarding and challenging during the creation of “Driving In The Dark”?
Writing with Phil and Jason and having it produced by Jason Barry was the most rewarding. I feel really fortunate to have these people believe in my music. The most challenging was waiting. Waiting to hear the produced song and waiting for it to be released!
What does the single Driving In The Dark mean to you?
The song means a lot to me. I’m really proud of it and grateful to the people who made it possible. Releasing it to streaming platforms and having it added to the “Down Home Country” playlist on Spotify has been really exciting, as have our early plays on radio!
You also have an amazing film clip to accompany the single, where and when did you film and who with?
Thank you! The music video was all filmed within three miles of my house in Smiths Falls, Canada. I was going to film it in Ottawa or in Nashville but we realized we had everything so close to home. My good friend Matt Martin acted in the video, Jesus Fuentes filmed it around the beach, the Rideau Ferry Bridge, and captured the lakeside sunset. It was a lot of fun filming and of course, renting the convertible Mustang was a riot. It was hard to return the car the next day!
How did the concept for the video come about?
We didn’t want to dwell on the elements of the song that deal with not seeing the difficult times that can lie ahead when you are in love. Instead, we kept things fun and wanted to capture the energy of the feelings of early love and leave people feeling happy.
Please describe the filming experience:
Filming was a lot of fun. We really worked with the sun and the timing was complicated. We wanted to use the golden hour lighting and then wanted to catch the sunset over the lake all in one night. We knew it would be hard to shoot the sunset and it was. We started running out of time and I became a silhouette which I didn’t want but it actually turned out kind of cool. During the road, shot the filmmaker was actually standing up with his head through the sunroof of a jeep to catch the shot.
What do you like to do away from music?
I’m trying to get better at cooking. It’s a bit of a slow process but I’d like to think I’m getting better. I also don’t love it but I’m hoping I will the more I do it! I have some dates set with my nan in October and she’s going to help me make butterscotch pies. My latest endeavour at baking was marshmallow peanut butter scotch squares and they’re to die for. Aside from music, I also love to work out. I switch back and forth from running to weights or the mat. Whenever I get too stuck in my head, it’s the easiest thing to do and I feel so much better after.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m currently listening to Caitlyn Smith, Ingrid Andress, Tim McGraw, Alec Benjamin, and Maggie Rogers!
Right now I’m really enjoying….
Writing every day in Nashville!
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?
I’m looking forward to October shows and then in 2020, I’ll be working on my EP which I plan to release in the summer next year.
Any secrets that you care to share?
Can’t say. Then they wouldn’t be secrets!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
In Nashville, I love to hang out at Winners and Losers or Geist! When it comes to food, I like Adele’s or City House in Nashville.