Although I am back in the recording studio and focused on new material, I do have to take a moment and reflect on an album I think many people still need to hear. That album is THEY SAY I’M DiFFERENT and it is my independent debut release, recorded in 2009-2010, released independently last year by Torrid Productions.
At the time I began recording tracks for THEY SAY I’M DiFFERENT, there really was no album to speak of. In fact, CLAUDE MARQUiS (of The PEPTiDES) had me over to record what could have been my one and only track: DOLLY PARTON’S ‘THEY GRASS iS BLUE’. I have always had a strong affection for folk and country music; growing up it’s what I lived on. PARTON’S music is and always has been influential to me, so I took the opportunity to record with MARQUiS on what I initially took as a one-chance opportunity. I’ll never be able to thank MARQUiS enough for that gesture, because once my THE GRASS iS BLUE cover leaked online and I began to share it – I was baffled at the reception it got. I was mostly touched by how many people reached out and shared their connection to me or the beautifully written tune. It was encouraging for someone very shy like me.
From there I began to envision what it might be like to continue working on music: recording it and laying it down in a way that I could extend it to other like-minded people. On top of that, I performed at a few weddings over the summer of 2009 and again, the response I received from the crowds was so positive – how could I not consider pursuing music more?
Enter DANNiEL OiCKLE, founder/producer of TORRiD PRODUCTiONS. Much like MARQUiS, OiCKLE generously invited me into TORRiD PRODUCTiONS as a resident artist, where we developed the idea for a full length grass roots/folk album with original material as well as covers of some of my favorite tunes. OiCKLE is another major force behind what soon became THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT – and over 2010 we were in and out of the recording studio laying down potential tracks. For someone like me, who was used to singing alone in my living room and playing solely for my cats and boyfriend – the concept of coming into a recording studio and laying down raw music was completely foreign to me. I’ll be honest and say that I have ton of learning to do; although I do consider myself a singer/songwriter – I also know my limitations. Every week OiCKLE and I got together, I used our sessions as opportunities to flex myself and push what it is I think I can do. Before I knew it, we had laid down tracks for all of my original tunes: LONELY BLUE WAVES (i WANT YOU), iLLUSiONS, SAViOUR iN A CAGE, BLUE, SAiL AWAY WiTH ME and THE GENTLEMAN. The results are admittedly mixed but I will say a valuable lesson learned is that much like children, a song needs time to grow and develop into its full potential, and so while I can appreciate that there is major room to grow – these recording are very representative of a certain time and place for me as an individual and artist. They are my first recordings.
These recording sessions at TORRiD PRODUCTiONS were very affirming to me as a musician – and I also jumped on the opportunity to cover some of my favorite songs by other artists. HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU, originally a NEWTON-JOHN number from 1978’s GREASE remains a song close to my heart. It made sense for me to re-work it and present it in a stripped down manner where listeners could hear the beauty of JOHN FARRAR’S lyrics. Additionally we recorded TiLL i GET iT RiGHT , originally a TAMMY WYNETTE song done in the early 1970’s. Her version is a classic that moves me even today – but getting to put my own twist on it as well as include it on THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT meant a lot to me because the song reflects how I feel myself – ‘If I fly my wings/ and if I try long enough/ I’m bound to learn to fly/ so I’ll just keep on falling in love/ till I get it right’. This is the essence of THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT.
As the tracks with OiCKLE kept adding up over the year, I was able to return to MARQUiS’ for some additional recording with him. MARQUiS has an ear for music, as is clearly evident in his work with THE PEPTiDES – so having him lend his touch of talent to TOMORROW iS FOREVER and my own PRAiRiE BOY further fueled the reality that I truly was on my way to putting together a full-fledged/full-length album. Wrapping up with MARQUiS we laid down a cover of STEViE NiCKS ‘AFTER THE GLiTTER FADES’, this time he also invited THE PEPTiDES member OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY in to add her beautiful harmony (making it my first official duet), as well as accordion player JUDY JiBB. AFTER THE GLiTTER FADES remains one of the songs people refer to most and I can understand why. PRUCHNiCKY (also a member of TORRiD PRODUCTiONS) and I have continued to work together on numerous other projects since our time on GLiTTER, including OiCKLE’S very own baby, THE CORRUPTiON of FLESH. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I wouldn’t even be involved with CORRUPTiON had I stayed playing guitar in my living room. This goes to show that making THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT was as much about extending myself to the world as it was about making a folk record.
THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT may have wrapped up recording at the end of 2010, but a lot of work was put into its release in 2011. Again, I am so thankful for all of the people involved in making this project happen; I have since watched it be received in a way that I really can only be thankful for. We held the CD LAUNCH party at ELMDALE HOUSE TAVERN in July, to which I faced a big fear of public performing. I’ve done a hand full of other live gigs since then; including THE RAiNBOW, BACKYARDS of CHiNATOWN and even played up in Manitoba’s NorVA Centre, where I also had an exhibit of my photography. Ottawa’s Xpress even nominated me and THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT for BEST ALBUM and NEW MUSiCAL ACT in their October Best of Ottawa 2011 Contest. I’m no fool and never expected for a moment that I would win either category – but it was yet another source of encouragement; someone out there heard potential. Besides, I’ve only just begun!
Everything about THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT; leading up to it and after wards has been incredibly rewarding. Reviews, although slightly mixed – do indicate to me that any flaws aside (and I do recognize a great deal of flaws) there must be something good. If anything, THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT woke me up to my own potential. It’s not the sum of who I am but it certainly should be seen as a work in progress.
As I move forward and continue to record new material – I take these experiences with me and strive to evolve even further as a singer/songwriter/performer and artist. Going forward I will take my time and collaborate with like-minded musicians who want a piece of the CC TRUBiAK experience – creating intimate, grass-roots folk and country-tinged music full of hope and optimism. Fortunately for me I have peers like DARREN HOLMES, iSAAC VALLENTiN, JENNY NASMiTH, KETURAH JOHNSON, SHANE NORRiS along for the ride – I can assure you that anything you see from me next will be a labor of love – for if I’ve learned anything from these past two years; take you time and be proud of what you do but always strive to outdo even yourself. Stay tuned!
In the meantime – take a moment to check out THEY SAY i’M DiFFERENT, which you can find on iTUNES here (http://bit.ly/zQFwDg). Below are youtube vids for several tracks, and stay tuned for what will be my first official music video release this spring; I’m currently working on a video concept with TORRiD pals OLEX and DANNiEL for an accompanying video to AFTER THE GLiTTER FADES. It will be beautiful I can assure you!