All This Time: Introducing Brodie Dawson [Interview]

If you’re not from Western Canada you might be asking yourself, who is Brodie Dawson? Brodie Dawson is the 2014 Vancouver Island Music Awards Vocalist of the Year. That’s a pretty nice title. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, with a working blues/soul musician for a father, her influences are varied. She headed west to Vancouver Island at the age of 19 and started on the journey that would shape her music. She now calls Cumberland, BC home. Brodie’s self-described style is “a mix of ‘soulful folky blues’ with a gospel funk, a twist of pop and a twang of old-school country.”

Brodie DawsonBrodie has a new single coming out this month titled ‘All This Time” and we were lucky enough to get her to answer a few questions.

Q: Thanks for agreeing to do this. I’ve been listening to everything I can find of your’s and I hope you’ll be coming to Ontario in 2015.

BD: Thanks for asking me to be a part of this! I’ve applied to a few festivals in Ontario, so we’ll see if I make it back east this year…

Q: It looks like you’re doing your own social media (I mean that in the best way). Is it really you?

BD: Yes I do my own social media and my own booking/managing etc and it is really me! I have had the pleasure of working with a Social Media Director – Celena ‘Pinky’ Simms, for the past 6 months to try it out and see if that could help me take a load off my plate, which has been really nice and has helped to grow my Twitter account exponentially. She has been so wonderful to work with and I am grateful that we met last summer. Having someone to work for me in that way has helped me to identify the areas that I really need help with and get clearer on my vision of what I need in my support ‘team’.

Q: Do you think social media has really changed the way artists reach their fans?

BD: Most definitely! We get to interact with our fans on a very personal level.  We can see windows into each other’s lives, we get to celebrate our successes together, we get to know each other’s pets and kids, and in general create a very close and intimate relationship with each other, unlike how things have always been in the past – very separate etc. Musicians used to have somewhat of an aloof air of wonder and mystique surrounding them, and this new way of life makes things very real, grounded and equal… There can still be the mystery and awe, but there’s now such potential for communication and connection.

And social media is such a fab way for people to hear music they have never heard before or stumble upon an artist that they may not have otherwise. It’s definitely a constant realm of importance, always on the to-do list to keep things flowing and updated etc, and can be somewhat of a challenge for an artist who just wants to be out there playing the music! But it just is a way of life, and once it’s embraced and incorporated into the daily routine it just becomes a part of the art.

Brodie Dawson

Q: The main stage at Sunfest is a pretty big deal. Can you tell me a little about the journey to get there?

BD: It was such a fun weekend! The year previous I played a ‘showcase’ set at an annual event held here in the Comox Valley called the Vancouver Island Music Business Conference, where big names come to town and give workshops on all of the behind the scenes stuff in the Industry. A woman came up to me after the set and introduced herself as part of the production team for Sunfest and said that it was too bad they hadn’t heard me earlier, as she’d love to have me there but they were already booked for the weekend. She gave me her card, and during the whirlwind of speaking to others after our set, I didn’t put it somewhere safe, and when I looked for it a couple of days later it was gone… So when I was applying to all of my festivals the next year, I sent an email to their current production team and explained our ‘meeting’ the year before (of course I couldn’t even recall her name!) and I sent them my promo package. I never did find out who this lovely woman was, but we still got asked to come and play! And not only that, but on the Main Stage on the Friday night! Kira Isabella played right after us, then George Canyon, then Jake Owen headlined the night.  It was such a spectacular event!

Q: We wondered if you had any interaction with the other artists at Sunfest? We want to know, do you guys talk to each other backstage?

BD: We did meet many other artists backstage yes! We hung out and ate wings with Kira Isabella’s band, got to meet George Canyon and get a pic taken with him (such a nice fellow!), and got to ‘meet’ Jake Owen amidst his team of bodyguards. 🙂 It was a lovely setting back there, very welcoming and relaxing… A really nice touch was the live music on the Backstage Hospitality Stage that was performed in between the changeover of Main Stage sets, by Mike Hann and Tyler Harvey a couple of fab west coast BC musicians! And the most fun we had was finally having a few beer with the VERY hard-working Main Stage Sound Crew at the end of the night!

Q: Is it tough for a West Coast act to get play across Canada?

BD: To be honest, I haven’t explored Cross-Canada touring, as I haven’t been quite ready for that until now. I am working on this next album and from there, hoping to do that tour in 2015. But I do know that touring is very expensive, and most artists that I know who are touring across Canada are signed on with an agency with a touring budget, and someone managing all of those details. I have been doing all of that myself, and am now ready to take that next step and find an agent.

Q: What’s the last thing you listened to and what platform was it on? (Me – Brodie Dawson, Live On Air 87.5, SoundCloud)

BD: Well, I’m an old-fashioned CD girl! I have to admit, I still really like to play CD’s – especially in my car. There’s nothing better than cruising with the tunes cranked! It would have been Genevieve Chadwick from Australia. Had her CD cranked in the car yesterday. She was performing at the Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife last year as well and we met backstage and hit it off. She is an incredible singer/songwriter/guitar player, and such a great chick! YouTube her – she’ll rock your world.

Q: Women in Country, do you think this is the year the ladies break the top 10?

BD: Hope so!! I’ve always been more of a fan of the Country Music Women than I have of the Men (likely because I love to sing along etc.) so I’d love the gals to be rocking the top 10!

brodie dawson the lost tapesQ: I love the The Lost Tapes album cover photo, tell us about the photo shoot?

BD: Thanks! The photo shoot was a ton of fun – the photographer was Shawna Robertson of GoldSpun Photography, and she was so beyond wonderful to work with. She was so creative, and had all sorts of ideas of where to shoot. We did all of our photos in Cumberland, BC which is the village I live in – walking throughout the back alleys, finding little abandoned grassy lots, changing costumes/dresses, hairstyles. It was a really great day, and we captured this photo of me leaning on my guitar in one of the alleys. The lovely and uber talented Sue Pyper of Emagination Design took that photo and created that classy and beautifully polished album cover in no time flat! I was very lucky to have worked with both of them.

Q: The Lost Tapes, what’s your favourite track and why?

BD: My favourite track on The Lost Tapes is ‘Day of Thanks‘ as it’s a very dear song close to my heart, and we had such a fun time recording it. It’s a song that I wrote on a bitter cold Thanksgiving Day in Montreal about a woman who was asking for spare change outside of a grocery store. I came out of the store to see her there and I gave her some of my mini yogurts and a couple of granola bars as I didn’t have any cash. I went back to my van and sat there watching her and witnessing people just walking by her as if they didn’t even see her or hear her. I began to feel very hurt and angry at all of us who were rushing off to stuff our faces until we were sick at all of our big fancy dinners with our families and friends, and yet nobody was considering her or even acknowledging her. I thought about her story and where she would go, and how she got to be where she was in life, and where her journey would take her, and when I looked back she was gone, and I rushed home and sat down at my piano and this song spilled out from start to finish. I recorded it analog (reel-to-reel tape) at Hotel2Tango Studio in Montreal with the infamous ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ choir, and it was quite the awesome experience.

Brodie Dawson - Photo by Ron Pogue

Q: What’s up for you in 2015?

BD: Well I am very excited that I am about to release a brand new single called ‘All This Time‘ next month! I’ve been looking forward to that for a long while. And then I’d love to begin to work on the rest of the album (once I win the lottery) Ha!

It’s quite the labour of love, putting out an album… But so worth it! And I’d really love it if I get asked to perform at many of the music festivals that I have applied for! There’s nothing like playing outside on a big beautiful stage with the best sound guys at the helm.

I’ve had a great 2014, so I’m just going to keep stepping forward and trust that the right stones are going to keep getting put out in front of me!

Find Brodie Dawson online at these fine locations…
website: www.brodiedawson.com
Youtube: TheBrodiedawson
Facebook: BrodieDawsonMusic
Twitter: @dawson_brodie

Sneak peak of Brodie’s upcoming single – to be released January 2015: ‘All This Time’ 

Trish Cassling

Writer/Photographer/Editor

If you have any questions or are interested in working together you can reach me at trish@thereviewsarein.com.
Follow me on my personal Twitter account or my Instagram account – @trishca.

All This Time: Introducing Brodie Dawson [Interview]

If you’re not from Western Canada you might be asking yourself, who is Brodie Dawson? Brodie Dawson is the 2014 Vancouver Island Music Awards Vocalist of the Year. That’s a pretty nice title. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, with a working blues/soul musician for a father, her influences are varied. She headed west to Vancouver Island at the age of 19 and started on the journey that would shape her music. She now calls Cumberland, BC home. Brodie’s self-described style is “a mix of ‘soulful folky blues’ with a gospel funk, a twist of pop and a twang of old-school country.”

Brodie DawsonBrodie has a new single coming out this month titled ‘All This Time” and we were lucky enough to get her to answer a few questions.

Q: Thanks for agreeing to do this. I’ve been listening to everything I can find of your’s and I hope you’ll be coming to Ontario in 2015.

BD: Thanks for asking me to be a part of this! I’ve applied to a few festivals in Ontario, so we’ll see if I make it back east this year…

Q: It looks like you’re doing your own social media (I mean that in the best way). Is it really you?

BD: Yes I do my own social media and my own booking/managing etc and it is really me! I have had the pleasure of working with a Social Media Director – Celena ‘Pinky’ Simms, for the past 6 months to try it out and see if that could help me take a load off my plate, which has been really nice and has helped to grow my Twitter account exponentially. She has been so wonderful to work with and I am grateful that we met last summer. Having someone to work for me in that way has helped me to identify the areas that I really need help with and get clearer on my vision of what I need in my support ‘team’.

Q: Do you think social media has really changed the way artists reach their fans?

BD: Most definitely! We get to interact with our fans on a very personal level.  We can see windows into each other’s lives, we get to celebrate our successes together, we get to know each other’s pets and kids, and in general create a very close and intimate relationship with each other, unlike how things have always been in the past – very separate etc. Musicians used to have somewhat of an aloof air of wonder and mystique surrounding them, and this new way of life makes things very real, grounded and equal… There can still be the mystery and awe, but there’s now such potential for communication and connection.

And social media is such a fab way for people to hear music they have never heard before or stumble upon an artist that they may not have otherwise. It’s definitely a constant realm of importance, always on the to-do list to keep things flowing and updated etc, and can be somewhat of a challenge for an artist who just wants to be out there playing the music! But it just is a way of life, and once it’s embraced and incorporated into the daily routine it just becomes a part of the art.

Brodie Dawson

Q: The main stage at Sunfest is a pretty big deal. Can you tell me a little about the journey to get there?

BD: It was such a fun weekend! The year previous I played a ‘showcase’ set at an annual event held here in the Comox Valley called the Vancouver Island Music Business Conference, where big names come to town and give workshops on all of the behind the scenes stuff in the Industry. A woman came up to me after the set and introduced herself as part of the production team for Sunfest and said that it was too bad they hadn’t heard me earlier, as she’d love to have me there but they were already booked for the weekend. She gave me her card, and during the whirlwind of speaking to others after our set, I didn’t put it somewhere safe, and when I looked for it a couple of days later it was gone… So when I was applying to all of my festivals the next year, I sent an email to their current production team and explained our ‘meeting’ the year before (of course I couldn’t even recall her name!) and I sent them my promo package. I never did find out who this lovely woman was, but we still got asked to come and play! And not only that, but on the Main Stage on the Friday night! Kira Isabella played right after us, then George Canyon, then Jake Owen headlined the night.  It was such a spectacular event!

Q: We wondered if you had any interaction with the other artists at Sunfest? We want to know, do you guys talk to each other backstage?

BD: We did meet many other artists backstage yes! We hung out and ate wings with Kira Isabella’s band, got to meet George Canyon and get a pic taken with him (such a nice fellow!), and got to ‘meet’ Jake Owen amidst his team of bodyguards. 🙂 It was a lovely setting back there, very welcoming and relaxing… A really nice touch was the live music on the Backstage Hospitality Stage that was performed in between the changeover of Main Stage sets, by Mike Hann and Tyler Harvey a couple of fab west coast BC musicians! And the most fun we had was finally having a few beer with the VERY hard-working Main Stage Sound Crew at the end of the night!

Q: Is it tough for a West Coast act to get play across Canada?

BD: To be honest, I haven’t explored Cross-Canada touring, as I haven’t been quite ready for that until now. I am working on this next album and from there, hoping to do that tour in 2015. But I do know that touring is very expensive, and most artists that I know who are touring across Canada are signed on with an agency with a touring budget, and someone managing all of those details. I have been doing all of that myself, and am now ready to take that next step and find an agent.

Q: What’s the last thing you listened to and what platform was it on? (Me – Brodie Dawson, Live On Air 87.5, SoundCloud)

BD: Well, I’m an old-fashioned CD girl! I have to admit, I still really like to play CD’s – especially in my car. There’s nothing better than cruising with the tunes cranked! It would have been Genevieve Chadwick from Australia. Had her CD cranked in the car yesterday. She was performing at the Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife last year as well and we met backstage and hit it off. She is an incredible singer/songwriter/guitar player, and such a great chick! YouTube her – she’ll rock your world.

Q: Women in Country, do you think this is the year the ladies break the top 10?

BD: Hope so!! I’ve always been more of a fan of the Country Music Women than I have of the Men (likely because I love to sing along etc.) so I’d love the gals to be rocking the top 10!

brodie dawson the lost tapesQ: I love the The Lost Tapes album cover photo, tell us about the photo shoot?

BD: Thanks! The photo shoot was a ton of fun – the photographer was Shawna Robertson of GoldSpun Photography, and she was so beyond wonderful to work with. She was so creative, and had all sorts of ideas of where to shoot. We did all of our photos in Cumberland, BC which is the village I live in – walking throughout the back alleys, finding little abandoned grassy lots, changing costumes/dresses, hairstyles. It was a really great day, and we captured this photo of me leaning on my guitar in one of the alleys. The lovely and uber talented Sue Pyper of Emagination Design took that photo and created that classy and beautifully polished album cover in no time flat! I was very lucky to have worked with both of them.

Q: The Lost Tapes, what’s your favourite track and why?

BD: My favourite track on The Lost Tapes is ‘Day of Thanks‘ as it’s a very dear song close to my heart, and we had such a fun time recording it. It’s a song that I wrote on a bitter cold Thanksgiving Day in Montreal about a woman who was asking for spare change outside of a grocery store. I came out of the store to see her there and I gave her some of my mini yogurts and a couple of granola bars as I didn’t have any cash. I went back to my van and sat there watching her and witnessing people just walking by her as if they didn’t even see her or hear her. I began to feel very hurt and angry at all of us who were rushing off to stuff our faces until we were sick at all of our big fancy dinners with our families and friends, and yet nobody was considering her or even acknowledging her. I thought about her story and where she would go, and how she got to be where she was in life, and where her journey would take her, and when I looked back she was gone, and I rushed home and sat down at my piano and this song spilled out from start to finish. I recorded it analog (reel-to-reel tape) at Hotel2Tango Studio in Montreal with the infamous ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ choir, and it was quite the awesome experience.

Brodie Dawson - Photo by Ron Pogue

Q: What’s up for you in 2015?

BD: Well I am very excited that I am about to release a brand new single called ‘All This Time‘ next month! I’ve been looking forward to that for a long while. And then I’d love to begin to work on the rest of the album (once I win the lottery) Ha!

It’s quite the labour of love, putting out an album… But so worth it! And I’d really love it if I get asked to perform at many of the music festivals that I have applied for! There’s nothing like playing outside on a big beautiful stage with the best sound guys at the helm.

I’ve had a great 2014, so I’m just going to keep stepping forward and trust that the right stones are going to keep getting put out in front of me!

Find Brodie Dawson online at these fine locations…
website: www.brodiedawson.com
Youtube: TheBrodiedawson
Facebook: BrodieDawsonMusic
Twitter: @dawson_brodie

Sneak peak of Brodie’s upcoming single – to be released January 2015: ‘All This Time’ 

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