Barbra Lica – Five Questions With

Barbra Lica releases a new song for girl geeks everywhere…

Toronto, ON-based singer-songwriter Barbra Lica is ready to embrace her true geek self with her new single, “Girls Like Me.” The track is an homage to the finer things in life – Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek, Excel spreadsheets.

“Girls Like Me” marks a departure from Barbra’s usual blend of jazz and folk-country while retaining her signature sense of humour. Now if only she could be president of something larger than her book club…

Released this past Friday on Cookie Cat Records, the single also introduces a whole new slew of musical collaborators including pianist Joel Visentin as a co-producer, drummer Sarah Thawer, guitarist/lap steel player Christine Bougie, and a veritable who’s who of Toronto singers on support vocals.

The song will be complemented by an epic new video – featuring Barbra’s choreographed dance debut – a lifelong dream realized – out June 9th.

This year she also started her own orchestra, the Toronto Chamber-Pop Orchestra. They had their debut on April 6th at Flato Theatre in Markham, ON, and will perform again at TD Toronto Jazz Fest on July 1st (info can be found here) and at Westben on July 31st (tickets & info can be found here). The performances feature music and stories from across her five albums of originals and standards, re-imagined for a 14-piece chamber orchestra. Stay tuned for more new music to come ahead of the release of her new album this fall.

Listen to “Girls Like Me” below, and find out more about Barbra Lica via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m a singer-songwriter from Toronto. I started in the jazz world but these days I mix and match across a multitude of genres from folk to country to RnB. What matters most to me is a memorable melody and a good story

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

I’m currently working towards a new EP set to release in the Fall of 2022 that’s full of songs around the theme of identity. This pandemic has really been a time to sit back and re-evaluate who I am, what I want, and where I’m headed…you might call it a sort of identity crisis!

This first song that I’m releasing as a single on May 27th, “Girls Like Me”, is all about what a huge geek I am. I really love being a musician, but honestly, I also get a lot of joy from comic book conventions and horror film festivals and making long lists by region of all the escape games I want to try. I think the world is a more fun place when I can scream Sailor Moon transformation sequences at the top of my lungs.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

I just pull from my life. I think I have an easier time being honest through songs than through regular conversation. Putting everything into a 3-minute box with a specific rhyming scheme really helps you gather your thoughts clearly and succinctly. Honestly, it makes for great therapy!

Do you have any upcoming shows or festivals you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve been performing with a new 15-piece chamber orchestra that I started in April – The Toronto Chamber-Pop Orchestra. With support from Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council, we’ll be doing a free show at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on July 1st as well as a short run of dates in Ontario and Québec in the summer and fall. I’m particularly looking forward to our show at The Barn in Westben on July 31st. It’s going to be an absolutely magical afternoon in Campbellford at one of Ontario’s most spectacular venues.

What’s your goal for 2022?

I want 2022 to be the year I hear one of my songs in a Rom-Com. I’m a movie fanatic and Rom-coms are my favourite kind. I’ve likely seen every single one ever made and I could retire happily if I heard one of my songs in the background of the next “When Harry Met Sally”. There are great movies now like “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and even shows like “Never Have I Ever” with that instant classic feel of the rom-coms I grew up with. That’s without a doubt my ultimate goal for 2022.

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