When you first started playing music and writing songs, it was because you enjoyed it. Now you've decided to pursue your art and passion as a career. Among all the business, touring, and everyday obstacles, how can you balance the creative side? When do you find the time to write, play your instrument, and connect with the reason you started this journey? Where do you draw the line between the art and the business? We'll be talking with two career musicians who understand and navigate the lines between their music and their jobs as artists in our health & wellness session, Staying in Love with Music on February 7.
Andrina Turenne is a singer, songwriter, and musician born and raised in St. Boniface, Manitoba, with proud Francophone and Metis roots. She has participated in the creation of many musical projects since 1996, notably JUNO award-winning soul/pop outfit Chic Gamine, and has contributed to over 25 albums and recorded seven full-length albums with her own groups. Over the last 20 years, Andrina has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Australia and has performed in celebrated music halls and festivals of all sizes, as well as roadside watering holes and around many a campfire. In Fall 2017, she performed as a one-woman band in a National Arts Centre (CNA) production called Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show. Andrina is now working primarily as a solo artist, with plans to record in the near future.
Micah Erenberg is a songwriter, producer, and performing artist from the small town of Matlock, Manitoba. He performed his first show in 2007, recorded his first song in 2009, did his first tour in 2010, and took on music as a full-time gig in 2012. Micah kicked off his professional solo career in 2016 with the release of his (mostly) self-recorded debut album, Poor Mic’s Toe. He has toured for nearly half of the last year, is currently finishing up a new full-length album, and claims to have another three albums worth of material in his back pocket. Up until now Micah has completely self-managed from the comfort of temporary homes, friends’ couches, and rented vehicles.
Get to know them better with our little Q+A...
Q: If you could invite five famous or noted people (past or present) to dinner who would you choose?
Andrina: Billie Holiday, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bonnie Raitt
Micah: George Martin, Willie Nelson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Townes Van Zandt, Alexandre Bonenfant.
Q: What’s your hidden talent?
Andrina: I can type pretty fast and I can do the splits.
Micah: Building Lego, from instructions or freestyle.
Q: What is the best praise or advice you’ve received?
Andrina: Never put anything off longer than it will take to get it done. That, and also to always be responsible for my own happiness and dream big.
Micah: Over time I remember my grandparents saying something along the lines of... “Work hard. Play hard. Have fun. Achieve your goals.”
Q: Who was your role model when you were a child?
Andrina: There was a local Radio-Canada television show called "Télé-Relais" that happened during Festival du Voyageur when I was a kid. The host, Maurice Paquin, was a Franco-Manitoban who had relocated to Montreal but came back every year for the show. He sang and danced around with these fantastic fringed outfits and interviewed all the acts that would come in from Manitoba, Louisiana, the Maritimes, Québec. I loved that show, and I loved seeing Maurice on the stage. I attended most of the shows and watched the others on TV, and taped them all to VCR regardless. That show and environment had me hooked and it allowed to me to dream of a future in music and on stage.
Micah: Mom and dad. Freelance artists, feminists, humanitarians, lovers. Not to mention they got me out of the city at a young age, let me skip school for nine years, bought me a guitar, and supported my dreams. What a great way to live!
Q: Who is your favourite songwriter and why?
Andrina: This is a tough question for me. There are so many. One of my favourites is Nina Simone. The Blues, Lamentations, and It is Finished are some of my favourite albums ever. She's tough as nails yet has some of the tenderest love songs. Her honesty and sincerity are the constant that make her songs cut straight to your core.
Micah: Lyrics: Townes Van Zandt. Music: Elliott Smith. There are so many others that are right up there, too.