Béatrice Martin, also known as Coeur de Pirate, is done with the blame game. Alongside the release of her latest album, Roses – her first written in both French and English – comes a newfound maturity for this 25-year-old Québécois chanteuse. “I was so busy pointing the finger at other people in my previous records. I saw music as a means to get back at people and that wasn’t smart.”
With over one million records sold, Martin has spent the majority of the last decade growing up in the public eye, having experienced her fair share of toxic relationships, finding true love and becoming a parent along the way. Indeed, life looks very different now for Martin than it did in 2008, when she made her solo debut. “Becoming a parent, as corny as it sounds, does shape you as an artist and a songwriter,” she explains. “It definitely helped me clean up my act and push away whatever negativity I had before.”
Writing in English wasn’t without its challenges for Martin. “I had one song, ‘Oceans Brawl’, that was in English. I realized I couldn’t have just one song in English, so I wrote a couple more. I didn’t know if they were any good, though. I had to get them proofread just to make sure my poetry was alright.”
But the truth is, whether you speak English, French or something different altogether, Martin’s haunting vocals and skills as a pianist allow her to effortlessly transcend language barriers. And Roses is no exception. Featuring lush arrangements and evocative, almost cinematographic production, it’s arguably her boldest, most captivating effort to date.
It’s also her first release in nearly four years – and Martin’s legions of fans are already looking forward to what she’ll do next. “I’d like to integrate more dancehall rhythms to what I’m doing, but keeping the piano. I’ll see where that goes,” she says, laughing. “I’m open.”
Duckwrth cannot be pinned down. The 28-year-old rapper, born Jared Lee in South Central, landed like a splash of mixed paints with his debut full-length I’m Uugly in fall 2016. Its 10 elastic tracks stretch across hip hop, chill wave, funk, and punk, all shrouded in a soft-focused haze. He aptly calls this impressionistic concoction “psych rap.” Early last November, Duckwrth released An Xtra Uugly Mixtape. Whereas I’m Uugly exalted the beauty that lives within the harshness and griminess of everyday life – from the physical to the political to the socioeconomic – An Xtra Uugly Mixtape encourages being unapologetically you. It is, as Duckwrth writes on his Soundcloud page, “the anthem for your rebellion.” Fittingly, the tape is higher in energy; the guitar sounds are cranked. An Xtra Uugly Mixtape is his attempt to put hip hop and rock on equal footing within the same piece of music. An Xtra Ugly Mixtape is also a gradual step towards fulfilling his stadium rock ambitions. Duckwrth had one of his most formative musical experiences at a stadium show. “I used to do the whole protest [thing] and be more politically driven,” he says. “But then there was a time when
Over the past four years, Halifax pop artist Ria Mae has accomplished dreams she has openly spoken about: being produced by fellow Nova Scotia success story Classified and touring with Tegan and Sara and Coleman Hell. Since creating her self-released demo of “Clothes Off” in 2013, she has signed with Sony Music and Nettwerk Management. The former has helped develop the careers of Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Coldplay, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and many more. The finished version of the song – her major label debut – earned Mae her first Juno nomination, for “Single of the Year” in 2016, which put her in direct competition against Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber. From Mae’s new home in Toronto, only two days removed from a cross-Canada tour with Scott Helman, she spoke with Georgie about her sudden rise, working with Classified, stepping up as a voice for LGBTQ groups, and more. G—As you’ve discovered, you can make a lot of unexpected connections in a small town. But that can be a good thing because working with people who differ from you in their approach forces you to create from new perspectives. Do you ever have reservations about working with people who
Three years after the release of his first EP, Augusta, Canadian singer-songwriter Scott Helman has unleashed his debut full-length LP, Hôtel de Ville, a collection of 12 alt-pop coming-of-age tracks. The 22-year-old Toronto native who successfully broke into the music industry in his mid-teens earned himself two Juno Award nominations, certified gold status for his hit, Bungalow, and began quickly fielding comparisons to the likes of Vance Joy and Jeff Buckley. With a new level of acclaim awaiting him, Helman has recently finished his cross-Canada Scott vs. Ria tour with fellow Juno nominee Ria Mae. We thought it would be the right time to ask him about his momentous musical journey. G—You got your first guitar when you were ten. Was this what led you to become a musician? Scott Helman—I used to mess around on my friend’s guitar, and really wanted to learn how to play. So, I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas. I remember coming down the stairs and seeing it, and knowing instantly what it was because of its shape. I never put it down after that. G—What kind of music did you listen to growing up? SH—My parents are British immigrants, so