I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a series of interviews with some lovely creative types I want to share with you. Since I’m heading to Alberta this summer maybe I have gold rush on my mind, but truly, each of the women I’ll feature here is a golden nugget of excellence in the career she’s carved out for herself! Therefore, I am delighted to present the inaugural:
Pocket Alchemy Nugget of Awesome Interviews: eight interviews with eight inspiring, artistic, self-starting women over the eight weeks of summer. I am proud to call each of them friend and am delighted to share them and their work here. Please note that I am replacing my regular Rearview Fridays posts with these interviews over the summer.
CHRISTA COUTURE is my oldest friend — I’ve know her for 29 of my 34 years, truly amazing. And we happen to share a birthday though I’m a year older, which used to see like an advantage but now, well, I’m simply closer to 40 than her, ha ha on me. Christa is awesome, she defies words. Her primary artistic work is music and I often have her on repeat when I’m cooking or sewing making the miles between us fold up. Of course I have to be biased, but honestly, I just really enjoy her music. As a person and an artist Christa’s stories make me laugh til I snort and equally turn me inside-out with grief. Her wit is ferocious, her bravery and trueness are unparalleled. PS: Christa’s also a great graphic designer. In fact, she designed my logo!
From the start, Vancouver’s Christa Couture established herself as a singer-songwriter with sharp-shooting wit, effortless grace and heart-on-sleeve intensity. Since her critically acclaimed debut album, FELL OUT OF OZ (2005), and her sophomore record, THE WEDDING SINGER AND THE UNDERTAKER (2008), she has explored intimate spaces with a frank confidence that avoids cliché and melodrama. Her “gorgeously intimate voice [is] somewhere between the tough vulnerability of Amy Rigby and the passionate, sophisticated folk of Joni Mitchell” (Pop Matters), while Tandem (Toronto) predicts she “could be the next Canuck to enjoy the success of Sarah Harmer or Kathleen Edwards.”
THE WEDDING SINGER AND THE UNDERTAKER hit the Top 10 on CBC Radio 3 and won Best Folk Acoustic Album at the 2008 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Couture was also nominated for Best Female Artist and performed at the awards gala at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, which was televised nationally on CityTV.
After a two year hiatus to have her second child, Couture returned to work with the digital release of two new EPs in June 2011. LOVED featured five fan favourites – a “best of” Couture’s songs from the past six years. LOST included five unreleased songs from the same time period – an alternate arrangement that got cut from a record at the last minute, three songs from a side project that was never released, and an early demo of one of Couture’s first songs.
2011 performance highlights included the Winnipeg Folk Festival, JunoFEST and Aboriginal Music Week in Winnipeg.
This year is shaping up to see this emerging artist take the spotlight with the release of her Steve Dawson produced, third full-length album, THE LIVING RECORD, in September and a cross-Canada tour to support it. Before that, summer 2012 will include festival performances at Aboriginal Day Live, All Folked Up in Montmartre, ArtsWells, Trout Fest and Desert Daze.
Christa’s new lyric video for her song You Were Here In Michigan, the first single from THE LIVING RECORD, was just released. The words and sketching are by her husband, artist Nick Lakowski. It was made with over 1400 photos and a lot of eyeliner!
[vimeo 45080595 w=500 h=281]
Christa Couture – lyric video “You Were Here in Michigan” from Christa Couture on Vimeo.
Pocket Alchemy Question: Tell me about your artistic work.
Christa Couture: At the best of times I’m a singer, songwriter and performer. That’s where my heart takes me, and sometimes it also pays the bills. When it doesn’t, I also enjoy work as a graphic designer, and as the editor at RPM.fm.
PAQ: what is currently sparking your imagination?
CC: My friends. I have really amazing friends who plant ideas in my mind all the time by also doing what they love and excel at.
PAQ: How do you structure and manage your days/weeks/months to get it all in? Do you have micro/macro plans that you stick to?
CC: I make lists. My Google calendar is the big picture guide, an ever updated word doc on my desktop is the ongoing to-do list, and short term reminders get written on scraps of paper that get lost in a pile before they every get to fulfill their purpose.
PAQ: What is a current favourite resource or material?
PAQ: Give me 4 great songs to work to!
CC: Love and Anger by Kate Bush | Felling the Pull by Swell Season | Graceland by Paul Simon | Red Skin Girl by Northern Cree (A Tribe Called Red Remix).
PAQ: What about your work keeps you up at night (for good or ill!)?
CC: The money it will take.
PAQ: How has your aesthetic evolved over the years?
THE WRAP UP
Check out the Christa Couture website for more info and links. She’s touring this summer and is so worth the listen, live or recorded. Christa will uplift you and wrench your guts, she will make you giggle and sigh … it’s a great ride. I’ll personally be watching her live on July 8th in Regina, SK during the 5th leg of my cross-country tour de family. So excited to see her in a city that belongs to neither of us!
Check out the other Nugget of Awesome Interviews: