Countdown to Winterfolk 2021 – Interview with Melanie Peterson

This year, Toronto’s annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival will go virtual.

We have decided to chat with some of the artists that are set to perform on the 19th installment of this prestigious festival. So far, we’ve chatted with Suzie Vinnick and Ken Whiteley. Today, we chat with Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-born artist, Melanie Peterson.

Check out her latest release, a six-song EP, We Got This below, and find out more about Melanie via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi everyone! My name is Melanie Peterson. I am a Toronto based, Saskatoon born, singer-songwriter and actor.

You will be taking part in the upcoming 19th edition of Winterfolk, how does it feel to be a part of such a long-running festival?

I am thrilled to be part of such a long-running festival and honoured to be sharing the virtual stage with some of Toronto’s most talented musicians.

This year, Winterfolk will be virtual for the first time, due to the ongoing Pandemic, does this change your strategy for preparing your set?

Oh yes. Very much so. Normally my strategy for preparing my set would involve choosing the setlist, practicing the tunes on my own, and then with the band while promoting up a storm. I’d arrive on the day to do the show in front of a venue full of live music lovers, do a soundcheck and then let er rip. Now it’s different in that I also had to figure out my technological strategy. What mic? What camera? How to set up the shot? How to light the shot? And then I had to record the whole set, and because it was shot on my iPhone 12, pray no one called or sent me a text during the performance which would mess with the sound! It was a little looser in that I could shoot the show any time of day or night, but it takes getting used to playing for an empty room!

What can someone who has yet to see you live expect to see from your performance?

Someone who has yet to see me live can expect to hear songs about love, loss, and friendship that have a folk/pop feel. A little less traditional folk than might be expected, especially as I will be playing a few songs from my new EP “We Got This” which does have a slightly pop-ier feel. They can also expect solid harmonies and melodic bass lines thanks to my partner/bass player Peter Collins. And one brand new tune inspired by quality time Peter and I got to spend in 2020 at a remote log cabin in the woods.

Last but not least, how have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

I have always turned to my writing during difficult times, and this pandemic has been no different. COVID stopped me from all the running around and busy work I didn’t even realize I was doing and forced me to stay in, sit down and write. I have written a new album’s worth of material and feel it might be my best work yet as I have been able to devote more than just a moment here and there to writing. I have also expanded my writing by trying my hand at screenplay format. This has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. Regular live streams performances have enabled me to share new material and get instant feedback which has been helpful and encouraging.

Connect with Melanie Peterson:

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