Interview – Astrid Tanton

Canadian indie sensation, Astrid Tanton has unveiled her new single, “Jury”, along with a music video to accompany the release.

Fresh from her breakthrough debut EP, From My Eyes, “Jury” comes from a place of learning and hurt, the Toronto-based artist explains. Her message is ageless — there is their version, your version, and… Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

And Tanton isn’t afraid to expose it.

“There’s a reason people always say there’s two sides to a story,” she says. “People will twist and tell a story to benefit themselves.

“‘Jury’ explores that relationship of being placed as the ‘villain’ or the ‘bad guy’ in a story.

“The concept behind the ‘Jury’ video follows myself and ‘the jury,’” Tanton continues, offering a behind-the-scenes take of her visual counterpart of the track. “The jury represents not only people who are being told a one-sided story, but the intrusive thoughts that can follow you when you are constantly being painted as the bad guy.

“We all have a story to tell, and have been in the situation of being painted as something we are not — especially when we know the truth.

“That is the story ‘Jury’ is telling.”

Indeed, Tanton’s exploration into self-worth and reclaiming her agency has become the yarn she’s spun on From My Eyes; her authentic storytelling and dynamic vox seamlessly weaves together the tracks of the five-song-strong album.

A pop anthem complete with rushing percussion, chasing handclaps, and low-fi vox, Tanton isn’t afraid to take chances on “Jury” — interchanging pace, vox enhancers, near-spoken languid, beautiful crescendos, and pleading. Tanton goes full-throttle on the track, refusing to take prisoners. She incorporates electric horns, resonating bass; coming up for air, and descending into haunting melancholic tones.

Check out the video for “Jury” below, and find out more about Astrid via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers? 

Hi there! My name is Astrid Tanton, I am an 18-year-old singer and songwriter who lives in Toronto. I have been singing since I was three and songwriting since I was 12, I also play drums, guitar, and piano. Aside from my passion and love for music I absolutely love reading poetry and watching slam poetry, I find I get a lot of songwriting inspiration from reading and listening to poets. I find a lot of comfort and safety through my music and listening to other artists, through my music I want to connect with as many people as possible. I think music can really save people and connect which is what I want to do with my songs.

Tell us about the recording process behind “Jury”?

“Jury” was recorded during the covid-19 lockdown, meaning it was all recorded and produced at distance. I invested in some at-home recording equipment so I could record vocals from my bedroom – which entailed soundproofing my room using a lot of blankets and comforters. Once I finished recording the vocals myself, I sent them off to my producer and we would communicate through facetime and phone calls to finish the track and make sure it was exactly what I envisioned it to be. Although the recording process was a lot different from what I had been used to in the past after a few trial-and-error periods my producer (Spencer Schwartz) and I now have lockdown recording sessions down to a fine art.

What’s it like being a musician during the pandemic? 

Being a musician during a pandemic is a very love-hate relationship. As a musician and songwriter, I was able to take the time to work on my writing skills and just improve my craft as an artist. On the downside, I have been missing performing live so dearly, performing for people and getting to connect in person really helps me write, and want to create more songs for people to enjoy and connect to. Not being able to perform or even just go out and connect with other musicians made creating new songs more difficult. I felt like I was stuck, I had nothing to write about and at 18 I couldn’t have all these life experiences. As a musician and young adult, I went through a lot of frustration and had to work through that so I could continue to grow not only as a young woman but as a musician.

What have you learned about yourself throughout the last year or so?

Throughout the past year, I have spent a lot of time doing self-reflecting and focusing of self-growth. The most prominent thing I learned about myself was how strong I truly am. I’ve never thought about myself as a weak person but I’m also not super outwardly confident or I can sometimes doubt myself or my abilities. Through the past year, I have dealt with a lot of different things and through every experience, I feel I have come out stronger and more certain in my ability to stand on my own two feet. I think “Jury” really shows that new side of me, especially if you watch the music video for “Jury” in comparison to any of my other music videos there is a clear personal change in how I carry myself and how comfortable I am in my own skin.

Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate or open/close a concert with in the future?

I would absolutely love to collaborate with Jessie Reyez. I think she has such a unique writing style and really plays with this mix of pop, rap, and r&b.  She never ever disappoints and her most recent Juno performance was absolutely amazing. Working with her or getting to be a part of her show and just getting to watch her and learn from her would be such an honour. I fell in love with her when I heard her song “Figures” and just the amount of raw emotion you could hear in her voice and lyrically I think that song is just so intelligent and well produced. She’s also a fellow Canadian artist so I already feel a connection with her.

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