I was 15 when I won RBC Bluesfest’s “She’s The One” singing competition, which is open to all female 13-21-year-olds across Canada. The prize was a worldwide release of my first single by Universal Music Canada.
A year later, in the midst of building my repertoire of songs, I had the opportunity to travel to New York City to work with a handful of incredibly talented producers in hopes of narrowing down my sound. While I was there, I saw, discovered, and learned many industry secrets, including how music is crafted by the industry setting in which it resides. My 16-year-old self still had much to learn about what working in this ever-changing industry was really like.
During my time in New York, I met Julie Katherine, aka I AM SNOW ANGEL. Julie Kathryn is a powerhouse of an artist and producer. Her talent, creativity, and work ethic have earned her a place amongst some of the most skilled creators. During my time in the studio with Julie, we crafted my first-ever ballad “Strong.” My studio session with Julie was different than many of the others I had experienced before; Julie was completely fearless in her artistry and production. She was willing to test the waters with anything. I remember listening to the first demo of “Strong” thinking that I had never heard anything like it before. She was experimenting with my vocals, playing some of my vocal harmonies backwards and pairing this with strong piano melodies and radiant strings. I was fascinated.
Two years later, I had the privilege of making my first EP titled “When Lightning Strikes”, composed of 6 songs and it was Julie Kathryn who I wanted to produce it.
We spent hours in the studio going stir-crazy, with what many musicians would refer to as “studio-brain.” I was hesitant about my ideas and there were times when I’d simply look a certain way and Julie would say, “what is it?”. In moments like these, she was a mentor and someone who knew how to draw confidence out of my hesitation. Sooner or later, we were incorporating sounds of car doors slamming and NASA audio files into my songs. This was because she was unafraid, and it was contagious. She was fearless and now this is what I will try to be for young, up and coming female artists – a well-advised and fearless motivator. Now, in the studio when I am writing or producing, I don’t neglect any outlandish ideas; instead, I challenge my uncertainties.
I’ve been performing on stages since I was 10 and now, at 20 years old, I’ve learned how to contextualize advice from other industry professionals, what I believe to be true, what I believe to be false and everything in between. As for what advice I’d give? Well, that’s a conversation for another day.