Hi! Congratulations on your JUNO Award nomination for “Wildflower”! Can you share the inspiration behind the title and how it represents the themes explored in the EP?

A: Thank you very much! The title track “Wildflower” is the root of the project and the overall climax of the arc of the story. It speaks of feeling lost and just trying to get back on your feet and find your way. I’ve always felt like a wildflower in some way or another and have also always been drawn to flowers and anything floral so overall I knew it had to be the project’s title.

Your journey from Ottawa stages to a JUNO nomination is incredibly inspiring. How has your hometown influenced your music, especially the creation of “Wildflower”?

A: I really appreciate that. I am so proud to have grown up in the Ottawa area, I love my beautiful city! The performance opportunities that started for me at a young age in Ottawa laid the foundation for my comfort on stage. What I really love about Ottawa is how scenic and picturesque it is. There is so much nature surrounding it. One of my oldest friends grew up on a farm in the outskirts and I remember taking a drive out there one day on those dusty roads while the sun was setting, and that image really set the scene for the song ”Wildflower”.

You’ve had a diverse career, from acting on screen to performing on Broadway and now a JUNO-nominated singer-songwriter. How do these experiences shape your approach to music and songwriting?

A: I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that have led me to this moment. I think one thing really does lead to another and each milestone shapes the path ahead. Sonically, my music is very cinematic in its nature. Perhaps unintentionally, there might be a subtle theatrical undertone to the way I approach telling stories through song and it’s possible that stems from my affection for and history in musical theater performance.

Each track in “Wildflower” showcases a unique blend of vulnerability and strength. Could you share the process behind crafting these songs and how you balance these emotions in your music?

A: A lot of these songs had been in my back pocket for a while, the culmination of years of writing songs. My intention was to string together these songs in a way that tells a story when you listen to the album from beginning to end. I am a very sensitive and emotional person by nature and have always been so absorbed by dramatic songs so I think I just naturally gravitate to sharing music that evokes emotion – one of the most beautiful gifts that music can give, the cathartic power of a song. The vulnerability aspect is an interesting component as I sit here and think about it, because I can be a fairly guarded person in my day to day life, almost like the only way for me to open up is to sing what I’m feeling instead of saying it.

Being an independent artist, self-funding your debut EP is a significant achievement. What were some of the challenges you faced during this process, and how did you overcome them?

A: It does take quite a bit of money to get a project like that off the ground. I am very grateful to have received a grant from FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) to help fund this project. The financial assistance is so appreciated, especially as an independent artist.

The EP “Wildflower” has been recognized for its vocal purity and quality. How do you prepare for and approach recording sessions to achieve such a clear and expressive sound?

A: Thank you. I have to give credit to my wonderful producer, Murray Daigle! In terms of leading up to a vocal session, I follow a typical regime that includes warm ups, proper rest, a clean diet, and always staying hydrated!

Collaboration with Grammy award-winning Alex Lacamoire for “Only Us” must have been a remarkable experience. How did this collaboration come about, and what did you learn from working with him?

A: It was such a pleasure! I worked with Alex Lacamoire on Dear Evan Hansen, the Toronto production as well as the National Tour. The tour was stopping in Nashville and the team threw the idea my way, and I was of course so excited about it! Alex and I worked on creating a stripped down acoustic version of the show’s song “Only Us”. It was so special to get to perform it at the legendary, historical, Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and to work alongside Alex is always a great honour, he is a musical genius!

With appearances in popular shows and performing an original song on CBC’s Heartland, how do you navigate the worlds of acting and music? Do these two aspects of your career influence each other?

A: I admire artists that have multi-faceted careers. I think acting and singing/songwriting really bleed into one another. I think singer-songwriters are actors in their own way, both having the ultimate goal of telling a story in the most authentic way. At the end of the day it comes down to storytelling and hoping that your art can reach an audience in a meaningful way.

The nomination for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year is a significant recognition. What does this nomination mean for you personally and for your career going forward?

A: To receive this nomination is so very special and meaningful. I never had a thought to judge the success of this album by any external factors, no expectations, just hoping these songs might mean something to someone else. To have joined the ranks of this category’s nominees, past and present, to be recognized in this way, is the highest honour, especially as an independent artist and on my first release.

Finally, for aspiring artists looking up to your journey, what advice would you give about pursuing a career in music and maintaining authenticity in their art?

A: This is advice another artist once gave me but I would say take your time. There is no one path and everybody is on their own timeline – while it can feel like the world is moving so quickly, there is no rush. When you look back you will see how things lined up the way they should have. There was a time where I tried to fit myself into a box but it never felt right. Authenticity provides clarity and longevity. Stay true to yourself.