28 February 2006

totes an interview: basia bulat

Basia Bulat has a gorgeous voice. If it has yet to meet your ears, you are at a serious disadvantage. Her vocals have been compared to those of Leslie Feist or Natalie Merchant, and on top of that she is the sweetest, most adorable musical artist that I have ever been in contact with.

I discovered Basia on *sixeyes, and quickly became interested in learning more. Little did I know that Basia would be just as excited about letting me know this information as I was about hearing it! If you loved the february winter mix, then you may appreciate some other songs by her...

BASIA BULAT- Snakes and Ladders
BASIA BULAT- Distance
BASIA BULAT- Sugar and Spice
(HEAR more at her MySpace including a cover of The Strokes "Someday")
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JOE JOHN: How would you describe your sound to someone who was unfamiliar with it?

BASIA: Hmmm...chamber pop i guess?

JOE JOHN: What are some of your major musical influences?

BASIA: Ack! That's always a loaded question! I think the music that has influenced me the most is probably stuff you can't hear in my own songwriting, but people like Joan Serrat and Silvio Rodriguez. I'm in love with their music...and the other big influences in how I think about music have been Otis Redding and Neutral Milk Hotel, although I'm sure you can't hear the influence in the songs that much!

JOE JOHN: Some people call you weird. Your friends would call you romantic. (reference to MySpace profile) What do you call yourself?

BASIA: Oh don't ask me such things! You'll start an identity crisis!

JOE JOHN: Fair enough! What's the best compliment you've received as a musician?

BASIA: Hmmm well the thing is anytime someone really loves something i've written or tells me that they really like my voice, or pays any sort of compliment, it really means a lot to me. Its wonderful that people find a connection with my music, so I guess every compliment is the best!

JOE JOHN:
I read that you lost your voice for two weeks...How'd that go for you?

BASIA: It was actually a really hard but also really interesting time...I actually had lost my voice the week before, and then was told to be on voice rest for two weeks afterwards, so it was more like three weeks of no talking, although two were self-imposed...it was definitely hard to keep my thoughts to myself!!! Haha, but i think i'm definitely a better listener now :)

JOE JOHN: So you're recording a new album. Can you tell us more about the songs?

BASIA: Yes! I am, and I will! I'm recording with my friends at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal, which is a wonderful studio and I'm working with a really great producer, Howard Bilerman, who shares a lot of the same philosophies that I have about music, which is great...and the record is going to be either 12 or 13 songs, a few old ones are being re-recorded, like "snakes and ladders" and "why can't it be mine" but then there are a whole bunch of new songs that i'm really excited about too...and those are top secret! haha

JOE JOHN: Can you tell us more about your orchestra/band?

BASIA: Everyone in the band is a dear friend of mine. There's sort of a rotating cast of characters that include my brother, my roommate, and my best friends :) Most are actually classically trained musicians as well, which is nice since I'm completely self-taught! And they're just lovely people. If you'd like names, i can go through them:

Bobby- my brother, on the drums
Holly- backups, add.percussion, ukelele
Dave-viola, and he's my roommate too!
Seo-Jin - violin
Sebastian- cello

And they are all lovely lovely people! Then we always have sort of rotating piano player, right now we have the lovely, fantastic and talented Brie-Anne playing with us and I think she might actually stay as a permanent member! which would be awesome, and then occasionally we have Trent, Kristi, or Steph play piano.
And sometimes my friend Jay plays guitar with us, and he's also great. Everyone is great! Haha I sound like Polyanna I'm sure but it's really true!

JOE JOHN: What's the best compliment you've received as a musician?

BASIA: Hmmm well the thing is anytime someone really loves something i've written or tells me that they really like my voice, or pays any sort of compliment, it really means a lot to me. Its wonderful that people find a connection with my music, so I guess every compliment is the best!

JOE JOHN: Have you ever received any creepy or strange fanmail? Any hatemail?

BASIA: Oh sure sometimes creepy stuff but nothing serious, and no, thankfully no hate mail!

JOE JOHN: Are there any musical artists that you think we should be listening to?

BASIA:
YES! In terms of lesser-known artists...The Adam Brown. I really think they're the best band in Canada right now! There's another up and coming band as well called Sailor White, that I think has got a great future happening for them :)

And as far as better-known artists, Okkervil River- I'm in love with the latest album from them.

JOE JOHN: What do you see in your future as a musician?

BASIA: Many years of playing music with my friends, and hopefully nobody throwing tomatoes at us! (which hasn't happened by the way......yet.)

JOE JOHN: Anything else you'd like to say to fans and listeners?

BASIA: Thanks for listening!!!!
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I sent a message to Basia asking that she let us know when her new album comes out, so you'll hear about it over at totes without a doubt!

I couldn't believe the place you were putting us in,
Joe John