Interview – POESY

Over the past (almost) two years, artists have been faced with countless obstacles, including being forced to slow down. Toronto-based singer-songwriter POESY used this to her advantage to re-examine her own perspective on her career as well as continue to create, including a new single (AKA the 2022 Canada Summer Games anthem), “Steel Heart”.

It’s been just over a year since we last spoke and I think we can agree…what a time to live (and work) through! What would you say are your biggest takeaways or lessons from the past 12 months?

Enjoy the process. I am a wildly competitive person, especially with myself. And I think so many of us artists are – we are high achievers always looking for the next big milestone. While that’s beautiful and likely what leads us to accomplish our dreams, I think it can also be quite toxic when that’s your sole focus. The pandemic forced me to slow down, stop being so focused on everyone else’s perceptions, and really just enjoy making art for the sake of making it because that’s who I am. Getting things checked off your bucket list is great, but the journey of getting there – sitting around in rooms with people you love writing songs and stories – is really what it’s all about.

Your new single, “Steel Heart” has been chosen as the anthem for next year’s Canada Summer Games! How did that opportunity come about?

It’s pretty random actually. My parents were living in Niagara at the time (the host city for the games) and their next-door neighbours were fans of mine. One weekend I came home to visit and played a few songs for them – as it turns out, their father was involved with the games and went in to work on Monday pitching the idea of me writing something for them. I was contacted by their director shortly after and we worked back and forth from there. It’s so cool to see a process two years in the making come together so lovely.

The video for “Steel Heart” is an absolute piece of art from the concept to the song itself. How involved were you in the creation process of the video?

I worked on the treatment hand in hand with my director and friend, Kate Harrison. We knew we wanted to do something fantastical and fairy-tale-inspired because that really seemed to lend itself to the triumphant nature of the song. But – we still wanted athletes to be involved somehow so we didn’t lose the “Canada Games” element. Every person you see in the video is a local Niagara athlete and I’m so glad we asked them to be a part of it. It really highlighted the community aspect of the song and it was so fun to watch them come into their element in front of the camera.

You have a few great shows lined up over the next month or two including one in support of The Turtle Project. What should readers know about the organization and how did you get involved?

The Turtle Project is a charity event started by the D’Amico Foundation which aims to end violence against women and their children and create a safer world. I was absolutely honoured to be asked by the D’Amico family to be part of this event because it’s a cause I care very deeply about. The profits from the evening went to supporting the North York Women’s Shelter and it meant so much to me to help the D’Amico family accomplish that goal. I decided to do a different performance (given the venue and the nature of the event) and played the grand piano for the first time in a while and hired a trio of string players to accompany me. I loved the arrangement so much you might even get a mini-album recording of it.

What are your plans going into the new year?

A LOT of planning. I really feel like 2021 was my cocoon year. There was so much growth and maturation behind the scenes and now I’m starting to see it was all so 2022 could blossom. I’m putting the finishing touches on my first full-length record, getting prepared for my first-ever arena show in January, gearing up to play in LA for the first time, and working on a few more secret recording projects I can’t yet say. While this year was definitely my hardest yet, I really think it all happened for a reason and I’m so excited for everyone to see 2022 POESY.

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