Ottawa’s Kellylee Evans was recently announced as one of two grand prize recipients of the third annual Her Music Awards in partnership with Bandzoogle.
Kellylee Evans was awarded a $5,000 cash prize and a one-year complimentary membership from the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.) and Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ).
The Her Music Awards is a program designed to celebrate and support female-identifying Canadian music creators on the verge of taking their creative careers to the next level. The Awards are administered by the SOCAN Foundation, with financial contributions made by SOCAN Foundation and Bandzoogle.
JUNO Award-winning Kellylee Evans is a high-octane, chameleon-like performer whose natural charm and improvisational vocal style embody jazz, soul, pop, and hip-hop. The singer-songwriter has been captivating audiences along the way, opening for stars such as John Legend, George Benson, and Willie Nelson.
Kellylee offers a distinctly recognizable sound on her brand new, five-song EP, Greenlight, which was recorded during lockdown via video while everyone was in isolation.
Hey everyone! My name is Kellylee, and I’m a singer and songwriter originally from Scarborough, Ontario, but I’ve lived here in Ottawa since coming to attend Carleton University “back in the day.” I’ve lived here for over 20 years and truly love this city. My music can probably best be described as soul-jazz. But growing up in Scarborough as a child with Caribbean roots steeped me to the sounds of so many different cultures, and those influences make their way into my music.
It was truly an honour to win the Her Music Awards. I absolutely love to sing, but I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t begun, early on, to express myself through writing my own songs. This award, having been given out by my songwriting peers, serves as a recognition of that integral part of my creative output. It also inspires me to continue along that path.
As an independent songwriter, every dollar helps me invest further in my career. With the monetary prize, I was able to upgrade my 10-year-old computer (10 years is a long life in technology), which is the main tool I use to song write and pre-produce my albums. I’m also looking forward to being a part of the SAC, networking, and further improving my skills. I’m constantly learning something new every day in so many areas of my life.
The songs on the album were all written during the pandemic and recorded during the lockdown in each musician’s home studio, bedroom, or living room. The content really drew from the sense of loneliness and isolation I myself felt or that I sensed in the conversations I was having with others in my life. The themes ran the gamut from the loss of connection and the joys of finding others’ struggles with mental health to embracing the need for balance in one’s life.
Some songs began as a snippet of a bass line, others as a melodic line. Sometimes, it was a lyric that inspired the music. Once I had everything written, I went into my DAW, Logic Pro, and created the songs and then invited my co-producer and musician, Michael Shand, and musicians Ian Wright and Mark Godfrey to contribute their parts, which they recorded both the videos and audios. Finally, Michael mixed everything together, and we had a video production company, Britt Paper Scissors, compile all the video and send the audio to be mastered by Jason Fee. The ensemble was released as a video concert and a CD later that year. It was such a fun process that I am planning to do another CD just like it. The music is written and pre-produced. Just to involve the musicians and my co-producer. I love this process.
As mentioned above, I hope to complete this CD. I’m also focused on my health and getting stronger after some health issues I have been dealing with. It’s a year of balance and just focusing on what I love – my family, sharing my story with others, and sharing my music with others. If I get to do those things this year, it’ll be a good year. So far, so good.
Connect with Kellylee Evans:
I’m Jenna, 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.
Canadian Beats has grown to become more than media, and what a journey it’s been.
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