Canadian Singer/Songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk’s new album “Hard Sail”, her first solo album in seven years, is filled with a personal lyricism that is bound to strike a chord. Hard Sail is somewhat of a melodic journey, showcasing her ability to transition from hauntingly beautiful vocals like in “Lost” to an upbeat dance groove with “All I Got”. Travel Maritimes chats with Kreviazuk on songwriting, how money isn’t everything, and her love of painting.
TM: How did the new album Hard Sail come into fruition?
Kreviazuk: I wrote “I Love You” maybe four and a half years ago. Then “Into Me” spawned the rest of the album about two and a half years ago. Also, once I wrote “I Will Be”, I thought, “I will put this song out!” I put it out, and that’s what triggered me thinking maybe I should make an album.
TM: Did you always write from a young age? Do you come from a musical family?
Kreviazuk: I have been writing songs since I was about seven. I would write songs and sing them on the school bus to all the kids. My grandmother and grandpa played the fiddle and harmonica. They were a duo; they were incredible. My first memory is sitting with them listening to them play.
TM: You have written songs for some big names like Pink, Carrie Underwood and fellow Canadian Drake. Why was now the time to get back into your own music?
Kreviazuk: It was a little bit of a conscious effort. I was never ever really considering stopping being an artist. I had people along the way say, “Your real ticket is writing for other people,” which set me back I think as an artist. I think it was mean and they were selfish because they were making money off of me. I don’t really care about money at all actually. I kind of hate money. I’m more somebody who thrives on other forms of wealth.
One of them is the meditation of writing a song; the connection of singing to people. I don’t really care to buy half of Hollywood Boulevard; I am not trying to be DR Luke. It’s a fun experience when you write with other people and collaborate. It’s a great way to stay balanced as a human being and expand. I have still been doing one off shows; just not long tours. I have a band now too with my husband Raine Maida called Moon Vs. Sun. We are busy traveling around performing with that as well. We plan to put an album out next year.
TM: What was the impetus behind the title of the new album Hard Sail?
Chantal: It’s basically a metaphor for life as a seaman; all the challenges and rewards that go along with being on the sea. I just started to play something and I think you come at it as a painter – like a broad stroke of this and a little layer of that. I think your own well is a bit like a palette. I do like to paint. I actually learn a lot about singing from painting and about myself; exploring other parts of myself.
TM: What can we anticipate from this new tour?
Kreviazuk: The shows been pivoting and changing up a bit. It’s a mix; it’s respectful. I know there are people coming to the show who are not interested in hearing a whole new collection of songs. They want to hear the songs that they grew up with; the songs that touched them. I am cognizant of that so it’s a good mix.
TM: Where do you generally draw your inspiration from when you write?
Kreviazuk: This album I wrote a little more confidently by myself. But there are people’s names on it; I am not closed to collaboration. The lyric content of the album is all mine. I think it has to do with being older and knowing more who I am. Feeling a little more of an urgency to say things; that’s why there is an album. This album I was able to make because there was so much personal experience between the last album and this one. It’s a very authentic process. Every song on the album was written somewhere else. One was written on a trail, a studio in Vancouver; in my car, all different spots.
Chantal Kreviazuk plays the Capitol Theatre in Moncton on November 24. Visit Chantal online here.