Jenn Grant is a Canadian folk pop singer-songwriter based in Nova Scotia. She’s released six full-length albums and two EPs to critical acclaim including Polaris Prize and JUNO Award nominations. On Thursday night, she’s performing at CityFolk Festival in Lansdowne Park. We caught up with Jenn on the phone for a quick chat before her show.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Apt613: For anyone who hasn’t seen you live before or heard your music, what can they expect?
Jenn Grant: I really love playing in Ottawa, we’ve had some great shows there. We played CityFolk a few years ago, and this time we’re going to be playing as a duo. It will be me and my husband Daniel Ledwell who also produced my last record. We’re developing a special show just for this small run of concerts. We’ll be playing a lot of new songs from my latest record, Paradise, and a couple older songs. I’ll be singing, playing guitar and some keys.
You been on the East Coast for your whole life, how does it shape or influence your music?
I’m inspired by natural elements and landscapes, and I grew up as a kid in PEI and now we live in a place called Lake Echo. I think you can make music wherever, but we kind of decided to live where we feel happiest and live where we could produce our music and create. That’s what our life is like out here, creating things, it’s been really nice, and we’ve been in Lake Echo for 5 years now.
When did you start making music?
I started writing songs when I was a kid but I didn’t start playing guitar until I was about 12 or 13. As a little kid I would make up songs, write them in my diary, I even made a karaoke tape when I was around 10. There was a place called the Starmaker Hut, it was on the boardwalk in Cavendish, and you could go and pick songs, sing, and you’d get your own recording. And so that was my first independent recording [laughing], unreleased, I wish I had a copy of it.
Your latest release, Paradise, came out back in March of this year. What are your plans in the next while to build upon the album?
Well it’s like a game of luck, things hopefully percolate around you and you get those possibilities. I’m going to Iqaluit in October which I’m excited about, I’ll be doing some shows up north, and I’m really interested in that idea of doing more music in those kinds of places. While touring, I’m writing a lot too, its split in a couple ways right now.
Going back to talking about CityFolk, since you’ve played it in the past, what do you think of the atmosphere and the feel of the festival?
When we were there last time it was a great experience, there was a lot of people crammed into a room at our show, and it felt really enjoyable and special. It should be a fun show and hopefully everyone will like it.
CityFolk runs from September 13–17 and features a range of genres of amazing musicians. Catch Jenn Grant on the RavenLaw stage on Thursday, September 14 from 7:30–8:30pm.