Woodstock, Ontario, Canada native. Be kind to yourself y’all. I bet your 7-year-old self would think you’re pretty cool and doing more than alright. If you could say one thing to your 7-year-old self, what would it be?
Above all else, listen to yourself, your job is to be you, never stray from that.
I think sometimes we get lost in what everyone else wants for or from us that we forget we came here to live as we are, to offer our unique gifts and talents to the world.
You were 16 when your dad gave you your first guitar. You learned classical guitar and piano throughout high school. It was when you were working with a vocal coach and your guitar at the University when it all came together, along with your songwriting. Inspired by Shania Twain, Maren Morris, John Mayer, and Phil Collins. How have these artists influenced you as a songwriter?
For me it’s all about feeling and creating/curating a mood. From melodic and lyrical composure to sonic style, these artists have helped me to hear pieces of things that would be a fit for my own music. When I sit down to write, I usually bring in a concept and have a couple of songs in mind that resonate with the mood or energy I’m trying to channel for the song I’d like to write. From there influences also come into play when we get to map out what a new song will sound like post production. I might pull on tones of artists and songs I have listened to to provide my producer Jordan Honsinger and mixer Jordan Orbek with a direction for where I’d like certain elements for a song to land. For example, with “She’s Got It Easy,” I really wanted there to be some Phil Collins style drums to dive home the rhythm in a way that would feel as natural and soul driving as a heartbeat.
Above and beyond all this though is being inspired to continuously learn and grow as a songwriter and artist. I love listening to both classics and up and comers to hear how the weave a storyline and land the concept of a song. Hearing new takes on a concept inspires me to get more creative in how I approach songwriting and a concept myself.
“Breaking My Own Rules,” co-written with Honsinger, was based on your experiences in the former Toronto bar named Boots and Bourbon. You shared that this song is the start of a new chapter for yourself. How so?
“Breaking My Own Rules” is the start of a new chapter mostly from a production standpoint but also as it’s the first track off my upcoming EP The Darkside. “Breaking My Own Rules” was the first song Jordan and I wrote and worked on together from a production standpoint. I truly feel like I have been discovering and refining my sound with this project.
Rules of Dating, the 2023 version, like specific texting ones. How has social media impacted dating?
To be honest dating is the wild west for me. I don’t know that social media has necessarily impacted how I date or dating per-say however I will say this:
A lot of people talk about ‘playing the game’ when it comes to dating but in recent reflection I realized it’s not necessarily a game of being busy but rather it’s being in a place where you are steady in yourself and so much so that you don’t make someone else your thing but rather see them in addition to all the wonderful things you have going on in your life. Social media is out there, we provide a certain level of intimacy on an app that can be viewed by anyone at anytime but I think the true testament of healthy dating and a relationship is getting offline and spending time together in person. Take your time to get to know someone, go slow. Are you really a fit or do you just like the idea of someone? Learn people for who they are on all fronts not just the best side they post on socials.
You asked fans ‘if you could be on any dating or relationship show, which one would they be on and why’ — how would you answer that?
I now regret asking this … haha. I am torn between Love Is Blind and The Bachelorette. I think there is so much to say about emotional depth and connection, however feel like you also need to be in some way attracted to your person.
The Barbie movie. The amount of thought and detail that went into everything from the script to the props was perfection. Thinking of the music in the movie, what theme wasn’t addressed but you wish they had?
I really thought the music complimented all that was woven into the movie. The range and diversity of emotion and mood evoked through the tracks also felt just as thought out as the rest of the components.
Birthdays have always felt more like a new year to me than the actual New Year’s. For me going forward it’s all about growth — finding the people, places and opportunities for expansion and becoming the best I can be as a person and an artist. If you were given a 15-minute Target birthday shopping spree, what would you get yourself?
I know you asked what I would get for myself but I feel like this would be a really fun way to partner up with a local charity, shelter, or family in need then find out what is needed and from there see what all we could help with off of that list within the 15 minutes.
If I were shopping for myself I would probably go to the tech, music and book section. Perhaps stock up on some Apple products and tools for my home studio then pick up some new music and books to read and share with friends and family. If I find a book or music I love one of my favorite things to do is to share it with those around me.
How is Mr. Watson doing? Where are your favorite places to go horseback riding in Nashville?
Last I heard Mr. Watson is doing well! I haven’t ridden in a while but there are certainly lots of beautiful spots to got riding in Nashville and its on my list of adventures.
“She’s Got It Easy,” co-written with John W. Frank, at a Smoky Mountains writing trip while you sat on a porch during a thunderstorm. Life can look easy and still be messy … never stop checking in with ourselves and those around us. How does songwriting help you balance your personal and professional lives?
Songwriting is a a medium for me to channel and process emotions. It’s an art form that allows me to better articulate the themes in my life and allows me to connect with those around me in a different way than conversing. Since songwriting is derived from personal experiences, it can be hard to in a sense wear your heart on your sleeve, but equally, authenticity, vulnerability and honesty make for the best songs. So it certainly is a balance to put yourself out there while also maintaining a personal life.
Of your latest single, you shared, “it fell out at a pinnacle moment in my life where I knew I needed change. Life at that point seemingly looked good maybe even easy on the outside. … Meanwhile, on the inside, I was at war with myself trying to find meaning and depth in all I was living. I looked around at my life and it didn’t feel like it fit me, it was like I was half who I thought everyone wanted me to be and half who I wanted to be. I wondered then if I fully stepped into myself and this wild ride of artistry would I still be loved? Was I good enough? Would I be taken seriously? I knew then without a doubt I needed Nashville.” You began networking in the writing and performance community as soon you moved to Music City. You previously co-founded The Songbirds Series with fellow Ontario artist Emily Clair, an all-female Canadian singer-songwriters community focused on building up female Canadian singer-songwriters by providing them with a platform to connect and perform. Will you be forming a similar series in Nashville?
Nashville has so many incredible writers rounds, I have been enjoying being a part of those for the time being. On any given night there are at least 3–5 rounds happening in various parts of town which has been so nice to be able to network with other writers hearing their stories and songs as well as being able to share some of my own.
Next EP, The Darkside, will address the themes of dating, relationships, and mental health. What else are you working on?
My aim with The Darkside has been to refine my voice and sound sonically through growing and developing better lyrical and melodic structure in my songs. Nashville has been a wonderful place to learn from so many talented individuals not only in the writing room but out at rounds and live performances. My hope is to take this next set of songs to the stage and hop into some full band performances again in the new year. I love the writers rounds and acoustic sets but there’s something magical about a full band show as well.