CCMA Country Music Week started last week (Friday, September 9, 2011). It was 4 days of country music non stop. I loved it! I watched so many performances and met so many talented Canadians! - like Tebey, The Jeffersons and Pear (@pearband). You should listen to all these guys! They have great songs. I also met Dean Brody (thanks to Ron Kitchener for introducing me). Dean's record "Trail in Life" won Album of the Year at the CCMAs. He's become more & more popular recently and he definitely deserves it! I'm a big fan of him - his songs are truthful and his voice is so good, so smooth! And now that I've met him, I'm an even bigger fan because he's incredibly nice. What I like most about Dean Brody is for sure his honesty. When he accepted his award at the CCMA Gala Dinner, he said that there was a point in his career when he didn't believe in himself and wasn't sure that he could do 'it' anymore. And then he thanked his producer for telling him "You can!" when he needed it most. I almost got chills when he gave that acceptance speech because sometimes I feel discouraged in this business, and it was cool to know that someone successful like Dean, has been through that too. And he got past it! Usually when people are given awards they talk about all the awesome stuff - "Thank you so much! It's been an amazing journey! I can't believe this!" But they hardly ever talk about the hard parts of the roller coaster ride - the scary, stressful parts. Dean Brody did something brave by addressing that. At the end of the night I got to talk with him. He said he kind of regretted being vulnerable in his speech. But I told him that it was a gooood thing, because he inspired me. He made me believe more than any other person had in a long time. That's something special.
Anyway, I'm happy for Dean Brody (@deanbrody) - I'm sure it took a lot of blood, sweat & tears but he's doing very well now! I hope to meet him again (maybe sing with him too) someday. What a shame it is that many people outside of Canada don't know about these Canadian artists that performed at the CCMAs. We've got such great musicianship here.
I met a 19 year old guy from Afghanistan the other day, because my friends had found him past out on the street the night before :S …He was very drunk because in Afghanistan apparently you’re not allowed to drink ever, so he thought he’d try it for the first time on his first day here. Bad idea. In a matter of hours he lost his phone, half the money he came here with, and he had forgotten which hotel he had reserved. Ali –that’s his name - flew to Canada on a whim with no knowledge of the country, and he knew absolutely no one. He’s really rich though and that’s why we all agreed it would have been so cool if he was a prince, like in the movies. But he’s not actually.
Anyway my friends took him under their wing (they helped him open a Canadian bank account the next morning – that’s how we know he’s rich) and helped him navigate Toronto. They brought him to our get-together at Snakes and Lattés, which is this coffee shop where you can play board games. That’s when I met him. We played stuff like Pictionary (not Pictionary itself cause that would be too typical lol). But I was mostly focused on asking Ali questions about his country. It was very interesting to talk to someone who lived their whole life on the other side of the globe. He only asked me one question though – What’ my favourite song? And when I said that I didn’t have one, he seemed almost offended. Weird. I tried to think of one song, but I really don’t think that’s possible. So I made him a list of my favourite tunes of the moment – which is the next best thing.
1) Because I Have You All – The Little Stevies (you must listen to them)
It’s hard to believe Summer is on its last legs. July went by so fast for me!! I was super busy finishing up the recording process and getting my album ready for post-production. But now it’s August and we’re done recording! Yay! I’ve had more time to hang out with friends and work on the other parts of the album. Other parts, you ask? Well, making an album is a lot more than just recording. There’s the mixing & mastering, the album art work, the liner notes, the picking of the title, and the photo shoot (and then of course, the choosing & editing of the pictures). My photo shoot was too fun! I worked with 4 awesome people. The photographer who 'shot' me is named Matt Vardy… He’s very talented. And he has the coolest wallet – it’s made of paper (I know that has nothing to do with anything but I thought I’d mention it anyway). Then there’s Tara-Lynn Bartolini & Aimée Legault, who helped with art-direction and styling. We had a blast creating outfits and putting on bracelets & earrings. I could do that sort of thing all day and night. The make-up artist’s name was Natalie Kaine – she did a great job painting my face. And she’s got wonderful porcelain skin herself… We kept laughing about how white she looked compared to me and my half-Mexican skin. Anywhooo, we shot in lots of interesting locations around Toronto, and I’m very happy about how it all turned out! I usually say: Can’t wait for you to hear the album! But now, I also can’t wait for you to see the album!
Besides the photoshoot, I’ve just been writing, and rehearsing a lot… And I’ve been trying to knock some things off my bucket list. Yes I have a bucket list. Made it at the beginning of the summer. People tell me that I’m too young to have one, but I don’t get it. Why do I have to be close to my death in order to have things that I wanna do before I die? It’s exciting to me. There are 46 things on my list so far, but I thought I’d just disclose 10 of them today.
#1 Fall in love #2 Get invited to the Grammy’s #3 Be on Ellen #4 Complete a crossword without any help #5 Go to Tahiti #6 Dance with someone in the middle of the road #7 Run a marathon (or half marathon) #8 Perform at the CCMAs and/or CMAs #9 Write & record a seriously awesome rap #10 Buy a homeless person a meal/snack
I'm sitting on a huge comfy couch (the plaid kind that every country home has) and resting from a long day in the sun with my two best friends. Every year we go to a cottage for a week and get really tanned.. slash burnt (my nose is red..and so is Priscilla's entire body - she's a true blonde). And we do a lot of nothing, which is nice because sometimes you just need a break. (I've been working really hard on the album recently, and the process is quite stressful). I personally don't like relaxing very much though cause I get bored. I'm always wanting to be productive. But I can't complain, it's very beautiful here in Muskoka. And it's a lot of fun. I swear the amount of laughing I do with these guys in a week, lasts me the entire year. My laughing muscles are broken by the end of it.
Anyway yesterday we went out for ice cream, and we got it at this giant candy store called The Nutty Chocolatier. There is every kind of treat you could imagine. I saw these coulorful candy canes that I used to get when I was little and I flipped out. I'm pretty sure I yelled loud enough that the whole ice cream line-up looked at me. It was a very exciting moment. And of course I bought a candy cane. It was too difficult to decide what else to get, so we each bought these surprise candy bags where you don't know what's inside. Later we had some.. actually we had a lot! Especially Priscilla. She got drunk off the candy. It's like she skipped the hyper stage and went straight to the crashing part where you're super tired and slurring your words haha.
I'm gunna get out my guitar now and write a little. The scenery in cottage country is so perfect for that :)
Your candy and music obsessed friend with a burnt nose,