This week’s featured artist is vocalist Suzy Wilde, who participated in Jazzology in 2008.
Born and raised in Toronto, Suzy makes her career as a singer, songwriter, and musician in a variety of musical contexts. A graduate of the music program at Humber College, she performs her unique brand of indie-folk music that is driven by powerful melodies, catchy guitar riffs, and powerful lyrics. In addition to releasing her self-titled debut EP in 2012, she also performs with the country band Dirty Dishes, and works as a writer / arranger / music director for numerous theatre projects.
Suzy describes her experience in the Jazzology program and updates us on her recent musical activities:
1) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?
I remember feeling really flattered when I was asked to participate in Jazzology. My favourite aspect of the program was how the participants were treated with so much respect and our opinions were valued and taken seriously. It gave me a chance to really think about who I was as a musician and the aspects of music that mattered most to me.
2) What is your strongest memory of the Jazzology program? Are there any funny stories or incidents that come to mind?
Before my interview, Brad Barker told me to relax and enjoy myself, made me feel very comfortable. Then he recommended I try to avoid coughing and saying the words “like” or “umm” once on air. As a young person, those habits (especially saying “like”) were pretty unavoidable for me, so I kept taking these long pauses, trying to censor myself. It turns out they were able to cut all that stuff out in editing later, but I never forgot that advice and I think I’ve been much better in my interviews since!
3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians?
Of course! Being on the radio is thrilling if you haven’t experienced it before, let alone getting to be in the spotlight! It’s lots of fun putting the music together – you end up learning a lot from the experience.
4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?
In 2008 I was nearing the end of my music education at Humber. I was learning so much and absorbing things so quickly. Participating in Jazzology allowed me to take a step back and look at my music from a different perspective and I think that every opportunity to reflect in that way is incredibly important as an artist.
5) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?
I would thank the donors and sponsors for recognizing the importance of arts education. I have seen first-hand how young people blossom and thrive when they are supported in the arts.
6) Why is music education important?
Music education has enriched my life and given me a real advantage in one of the most competitive fields in the world. The experience I gained and lessons I learned will continue to inform my work for the rest of my life. Possibly most importantly, I am now a part of an exciting and diverse community of like-minded people who support and inspire one another every day.
7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing?
After Jazzology, I graduated from Humber in 2009 and have been working as a musician ever since. I have recorded and toured with a number of different bands, including my own original self-titled project, and I have also done a fair bit of arranging and music directing for theatre. Right now I’m collaborating with my two writing partners on the second incarnation of an original musical called Summerland.
I also play Posh Spice in a Spice Girls Tribute Band.
8) What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?
I am mostly interested in singer-songwriters right now. My favourite new artists are The Weather Station, Jennifer Castle, Andy Shauf, and Laura Marling.
9) What are your plans for the future?
My musical, Summerland, is headed to the Toronto Fringe this summer. Then I’m releasing an album and going out west with my country band, Dirty Dishes. Then I’m going on tour with my Spice Girls Tribute band in the fall.
Once I get a spare moment I’d really like to record another solo album.
I definitely have many long term goals, but my main objective in life is to keep finding excuses to write and perform and to embrace life’s strange surprises. I always try to choose the “better story.”
10) How can people learn more about you and your activities?
Thanks of having me!
Jazzology is proudly sponsored by RBC Emerging Artists Project.
About RBC and the Arts
RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Proud to support events and passions that resonate with our clients and all Canadians, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world; and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition, part of our commitment as the Official Bank and major sponsor of the world’s top public film festival – the Toronto International Film Festival®.