Toronto, ON-based artist Sandra Bouza has given us at Canadian Beats the opportunity to hear her brand new EP, Three Years first, and of course our readers get to join in the fun too! The EP features “Where Have You Been”, “I Want You”, and “Hotel Door”. You can see an acoustic live video of “Where Have You Been” which was performed while she was touring in Halifax, HERE.
While you’re at it, you can now pre-save the EP on Spotify, and we highly recommend you do! Check out the three-song EP below, and find out more about this talented Toronto artist in our Five Questions With segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Sandra Bouza, I am a Toronto based musician. I am originally from Toronto but have spent the last few years working as a professional musician in North and Western Africa and Europe. I’ve recently moved back to Toronto to focus on my own music. I’ve loved travelling and playing music in these beautiful places and I’ve grown so much as a musician and as an individual, but it’s very important to me to stay true to my own goals and to really honour the music I’ve been writing for so many years.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
I have been writing on acoustic guitar and piano for years, sometimes I write acapella just to really give the song space and flexibility to grow. I wrote my first song in grade 6 and started writing prolifically in my early twenties. I was raised on folk and classic rock, which lends to the storytelling aspect of my writing, but in my teens, I delved into jazz and then soul and r&b, and I discovered this outlet for letting emotion and experience and heart into my songs and that’s where I really felt a home.
My music tends to be very self-reflective, sometimes it comes from a deep place that I maybe have not even unearthed yet! I have found in the past that I’ll start writing a song and only really learn what it is about at a much later date. Sometimes when you’re deep in a situation, an experience, a relationship, a personal struggle, you can’t necessarily see things clearly, but your subconscious is always trying to speak to you, we’re just not always great at listening to ourselves! That’s what I love about soul music, it lets your emotions speak even when you’re not sure what they’re trying to tell you.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
I’m taking a breather from performing this material for the moment to focus on recording my full-length album which should be ready for fall of 2019, but I actually have a pretty cool gig coming up, I’ll be doing a tribute show to one of my favourite albums, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, that will be happening on November 17th at the Old Nick Pub on the Danforth. I’m very excited about that show! I have all my shows listed on my website, sandrabouza.com so you can always check that out for updates, I work with a few different projects, solo and duo so I’m almost always playing somewhere!
As far as explaining my live performance, I have been told that I am a very emotional performer; a comment I really appreciated because I know that my songs and my lyrics are very emotional. I used to think being emotional was a negative thing, but now I embrace it and love it about myself! Another observation I loved was that I am unapologetic, something I think more women especially need to embrace. We are so conditioned to be pleasing to everyone and to apologize for everything we do and say, that if we could just live a little more unapologetically, I think we would really be able to tap into the power that is so deeply buried and obscured by societal stereotypes and limitations.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
From my current EP, I love all 3 for very different reasons! But if I were to pick one for personal reasons, I would say ‘Where Have You Been’. I wrote this at a time when I was so deeply entangled in addiction and an abusive relationship and I was so angry at whatever God I may have identified with, I felt like we had been abandoned, and that’s who I was speaking to. I still get pretty caught up when I listen to the lyrics of ‘Where Have You Been’.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
I’m really loving the soul that is going on in Canada right now! One of my favourite artists at the moment is Charlotte Day Wilson, I was lucky enough to catch her at the Danforth Music Hall a few months ago and it was an amazing show! She’s got such a grace and tranquillity on stage, it’s really moving, and her music I think possess the same energy.
One of my all time favourites will always be Joni Mitchell. I think she’s one of the best songwriters, one of the most unique songwriters that we’ve seen. She didn’t follow any structure, any genre stereotypes, she is truly unapologetic!
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.