MY quest to discover great and fascinating female artists…
finds me at the feet of Lavender Child. The Canadian musician has presented Happy Illusions to the world. It has a vivid and interesting story – one that has its roots in ecology and the environment; disillusionment and the contrast between empty passion and disassociation with perception and expectation. I discover what the talented songwriter has planned and what she can reveal about her E.P., Reflections; why there is such a strong scene in Canada – and whether a tour of the U.K. is a possibility of the future.
Lavender Child tells me about her music tastes and working with Dylan Mitro on her new video; the interaction and affiliation she has with the natural world; plans for the Christmas period – some new musicians that are worth pursuit and affection
Hi, Lavender Child. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, Sam. Doing well, thanks! It’s been a little hectic but also an incredibly uplifting week - seeing the project finally come to life.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course! Hi, I’m Lavender Child. I’m a singer/composer from Toronto that writes dreamy/ethereal Alt-Pop. My debut single and music video recently released - and I’ve got much more content coming for ya soon!
Happy Illusions is your new single. How demanding was the creation and recording of the song? Was it quite an informative and rewarding experience?
A lot of time, money; work, love and collaborations have gone into this project - Happy Illusions being the first glimpse into it! It’s definitely been a huge learning experience being my first time writing, recording; mixing, mastering and taking on video production. It’s been both exhilarating and exhausting, but overall, a pretty surreal experience - that I’ve been dreaming of for a very long time.
I believe its origins stem from your time at an outdoor music festival. Tell me more about that…
You got it!
The single, Happy Illusions, was inspired from a weekend at an outdoor Electronic music festival four years back. The environment alone was stunning: lush forests with enchanting art installations throughout the trails. But, once the music began, I felt this disillusionment from the serene surroundings. The chaos of the eager crowds - and loud music - had you feeling like you were in the middle of a club rather than a forest. Trash littered the ground and people dressed in flower-crowns were crashing through the bushes - creating their own shortcut to the next musical act.
My head was spinning from the irony: both in relationships to nature and each other. I heard so many strangers say “I love you” that weekend but the words felt empty: it really had me questioning the authenticity of a community when it’s under the influence.
It was one of those moments where you feel a little alien to the people around you: an observer rather than a participant. I couldn’t shake the feeling when I got home...so I wrote about it.
The video is quite impactful and vivid – almost like a scene from a 1960s gathering. Was it quite instinctive in terms of concept/composition?
Dylan is a really special artist and human. he has a very sharp eye for aesthetics and a gentleness that truly captures the beauty of the people around him. He put a lot of work into preproduction, planning every second of the video; allowing the filming days to feel seamless and organic.
I really feel like the whole crew contributed so much to the vibe that was captured: the grace and beauty from the dancers, the careful attention-to-detail from the make-up artists and cinematographers - and the general positivity and calmness that each person emanated.
There were lots of smiles and special moments out on the Bruce Peninsula that I will forever hold in my heart.
Dylan Mitro directed the video. How involved did you get with storyboarding and discussions? Did he bond with the song quite quickly?
Dylan actually approached me to create this video.
Initially, I had no plans for a music video - so he really took the reigns of the project. In our first meeting, I shared the overall concept of the album and the inspiration for the track. We listened to the song together and then had some great chats about the festival experience and life in general. The next time we got together; he had the entire storyboard completed along with a presentation of his vision for locations, fashion; colour themes etc.
I was completely blown away by his professionalism and his deep understanding of what the song was trying to convey.
Listening to the song’s connections between nature and humanity; the simple, yet timeless, affiliation with the outside world – do you think more artists should address themes such as nature and the natural world?!
I think that nature is incredible but an artist should address whatever themes/topics they feel inspired to write about. The diversity in passions, and inspiration that they draw from, is what makes each artist so special.
Happy Illusions is taken from the forthcoming E.P., Reflections. It sounds like there might be more nature and serenity on the record. What themes do you tackle on it?
I feel pretty passionately about the environment, community and self-exploration. The E.P., Reflections, is a manifestation of these thoughts.
How did you get into music way back? Was music something you always connected with at a young age?
I was definitely that kid who hogged the karaoke machine daydreaming of being onstage performing. My mom always said that I was singing and humming before I could form proper words. I started private singing lessons when I was in grade-one; joined a choir before I could read; sang in talent competitions, performed in musical theatre; sang on the bandstand with the Hamilton Rising Star Jazz Band and eventually went on to study Music at Humber College for five years. Safe to say that I’ve been nerding-out on music since day one…
It’s a pretty integral part of my life.
You are a talented Canadian musician. Is the country somewhere that naturally breeds and supports great artists? Are there are a lot of supportive local musicians?
Toronto has some really incredible talent.
I’ve connected with so many inspiring musicians throughout the music program at Humber College and I feel so blessed to be part of such a supportive musical community. I’m not the best with grant-writing (haha) so I don’t personally have experience with funding - but I know it’s out there, which is great (smiles).
IN THIS PHOTO: Babygirl/PHOTO CREDIT: L-Spex
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Norah Jones- Come Away with Me
Come Away With Me had a permanent residence in my mom’s car growing up so, from an early age, my favourite song to sing was Don’t Know Why. The whole album is nostalgic for me - and always makes me think of my mom (smiles).
Feist – Metals
Metals was the first album that I listened to and thought: ‘This is the kind of music I want to create’. I played it on-repeat for months; adoring and studying every piece of it. I was really moved by it all: the stunning orchestrations supporting her voice, the emotional lyric along with the natural imagery…there’s just something about her music that feels very honest. Feist has, and always will be, one of my biggest inspirations.
Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe
Nepenthe is this meditative wash of angelic vocals and, about halfway through listening for the first time, I suddenly felt more love for myself than I ever had before. It was this earth-shattering realization where I finally understood how important it was to love myself to truly have the capability to give love to another partner. It was a pretty epic moment. Haha. I hugged myself for the rest of the album and really started to get involved with self-care after that night. I’ll be forever grateful to Julianna for sparking that moment of self-love!
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Work with people who inspire you/the ones that make you smile!
What tour dates do you have approaching? Are you heading to the U.K. soon?
No tour dates (yet) but I would love to eventually make it to the U.K. – and, really, anywhere else in the world! I’ll keep ya updated.
Right now, I’m focusing on the E.P. premiere. and then. a local private screening of the remaining music videos – that I will, hopefully, begin releasing in January!
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I’ll be busy working - but I’m sure there will also be some yummy food and time with loved ones happening somewhere in there too.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Braids - Miniskirt
Follow Lavender Child