On Sunday September 7, the Toronto Junction City Music Hall will play host to Nicole Coward's album release "Strong Enough For Love." That night basement level venue will be transformed into a space filled with Gogo boots, Lava lamps, and the original folk-music of Coward. She'll also be performing songs Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Baez and Nancy Sinatra. Coward herself has had her music compared to Joan Baez and Carly Simon, and her songs bring back memories of the folk revival of earlier days.
Nicole Coward scheduled an interview with Examiner.com ahead of her album release.
We'll start with the CD. How long has the journey been from writing to finished?
All my life...my songs are always deep, everything I have experienced up to the point of writing the song goes into it. Probably not the answer you were looking for...I write a song here and there when I feel the inspiration hit,sometimes with over a year in-between songs!
Which is not unusual. I've seen artists go 8 months or more between writing. As for where the songs start, it's often different for many artists. Is there a common starting point for most of yours?
Great question, and absolutely! I am an emotional person, and was always told growing up that I am "too sensitive", which I hated back then, but now its a gift that I use to write songs.
99% comes from an emotion for me for example my new song "Beautiful Flower" I wrote immediately after I found out what happened to Karen Carpenter, it struck me deeply. I do admire songwriters who can write from a perspective outside of themselves
I'm always wrapped in my emotions!
On the more production side: has everything been a do-it-yourself, from funding to finding a producer (Derek), to promoting?
Absolutely! The life of an Indie artist...I'd get home from a long shift waiting tables and spend every free minute with the marketing, organizing studio time, dealing with the printing company, royalties for the cover song etc.
But I have been blessed to have lots of help from friends along the way!!
Regarding the album release at the JCMH - it's a relatively new venue. What can audience expect from that venue?
It is a very...hmmm..."funky" place!
Which is perfect for the release event because the theme is a 60's/70s'.
How connected are today's audiences to the 60's - 70's folk sound?
Very connected! It surprises me every time I do a show, how people who grew up in that generation are so appreciative of me bringing them back to it.
It was an incredible time in music history which I think has impacted everyone afterwards
Do you have any audience people come up and share stories then with you after hearing your songs?
Oh yes, that is probably my favorite part of being a musician...it connects people like nothing else...
I have made people cry...happy memory tears...on many occasions.
How have you been preparing for the album release?
There is so much work involved in getting ready for an event like this. Making posters, getting the word out, planning the room, but most importantly it will be about the music and getting the band ready for the big show!
I have an incredible group of musicians that will join me that evening who are working hard at it ...well and I'm studying dresses form the 60's and 70's.
and after the show, plans for the future?
Lining up some on air radio interviews now...other then that, no really big plans except to keep promoting the songs! I perform regularly on this great website called www.streetjelly.com which has given me a more international audience and I will keep performing on there for sure.
Would just like to mention the idea behind the EP. In the logo it says "I am STRONG ENOUGH FOR LOVE" because I believe that change starts from us and spreads through our communities etc. By saying this we are saying "I choose form a place of Love not fear or anger" I think this is the best agent for positive change. Also I a gave a nod to one of my biggest influences Gordon Lightfoot with the cover on the EP "Pussywillows Cat-tails."
Strong Enough For Love album release:
Junction City Music Hall (2907 Dundas St. West)
Tickets $10 at the door
Nicole Coward's band will include:
Randolf Jimenez (drums)
Chester Manoharan (bass)
Blair Minnes (keyboard).
Christine Gaidies (guest singer-songwriter)
Harpin Norm Lucien (flute)
Ben Plotnick and Jarred Albright
The evening's MC will be Dan McLean Jr
The album "Strong Enough For Love" is produced by Derek Downham
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