Interview – Annette Campagne

Photo Credit: Daniel Paquet

To say Annette Campagne keeps the listener on their toes with her newest album, I Am, is a complete understatement. Chalk full of driving beats & rhythms, soaring vocals and lyrics to motivate even the most down-trodden, Annette provides exactly what this world needs more of; hope, light and motivation to do the best we can for ourselves & those around us.

With three decades of working in music, you must have seen & experienced such a wide variety of change through the years! What would you say has been the most surprising change when it comes to the album creation process? Any “old faithful” ways you’ve stuck to from the start?

I still write lyrics with a pen and paper! lol!

I think the most surprising and welcome change in my creative process is that I don’t go looking for the songs anymore, I let them come to me. It’s as though they come through me but rather from me, like I am plugged into another dimension and the lyrics, melodies and music just download to my brain!

You also co-founded, performed in and toured as part of Canadian folk group Hart Rouge alongside your siblings! Do you remember the moment that you knew it was time to branch out on your own?

It was probably one of the most difficult choices I have ever had to make to leave the comfort and security of Hart Rouge to go out on my own, but I just knew that I had to. I wanted to discover who I was both on a human level and an artistic one, and I wanted to experience the freedom to do that. I owe so much to my family and we still get to sing together quite often, but I have never regretted choosing a solo career.

When it comes to songwriting, including for your newest album, I Am, is there a specific step-by-step process of turning an idea into a complete product or does it kind of flow out of you on the spot?

The songs for I Am were such a joy to write, mostly because they came to me so clearly and quickly. I wrote ‘Magdalene Flame’ in about 3 hours, same thing with Where Peace Resides. I call this being in a state of Grace, where all I have to do is show up in front of the blank page! Other lyrics and ideas came to me as I was walking, for example, where my brain was busy doing something else. I would hear a melody, a chord progression or a lyric line, and hurry back home to write it out.

Besides new music, you also have “The Girl’s Got Soul” vlog consisting of “3-minute soul talk snippets including insights, reflections, experiences and passion about the soul and its journey.” How long as this been a part of your life? What’s your favourite part of doing it?

I have been doing the ‘Girl’s Got Soul’ series for about 2 years now! I love to do them because they are a welcome break from my routine and people really seem to like them, although I can only manage them once in a while when I am not too busy. I write, perform, record and edit them all by myself! I love the editing process the most.

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of 2018?

I am really looking forward to launching the new CD this October and singing these new songs live! One of my favourite things about being a singer-songwriter is the live performance aspect. I am also going to the Western Canadian Music Awards in Kelowna this October because the album has been nominated!

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