Arts & Culture
Singer songwriter, Adrienne Nye’s musical journey.
Photo courtesy Adrienne Nye
New songs from multi-talented Canadian artist
Published 12:45 PDT, Fri May 26, 2023
Last Updated: 11:51 PDT, Mon June 19, 2023
Our City Tonight (OCT) sat down with Canadian singer songwriter, Adrienne Nye (AN), who just released a new album, called “These Winter Skies”. She was born in Montreal, Quebec and now resides in Vancouver. Adrienne is a musician, singer/songwriter, actor, dancer, and has attained two science degrees. She has been described as a bonafide polymath.
OCT: You’ve been singing and dancing since you were four, and by the age of 9, landing leads in theatre.
AN: My first show was in Montreal in 1989. I was cast in the Montreal bilingual production of Les Misérables, which was the first French production of the play. They wanted to test it out in Quebec before it went to France. I feel very fortunate to have been in the only Canadian bilingual production of Les Misérables.
OCT: One thread that runs through your bio is the amount of training that you have had on stage, on screen and in music. How has that led you to where you are now? Understandably, you can have all the training in the world, but you also must have talent. How has the experience helped sculpt your talent as a singer and a songwriter.
AN: That’s a great question. I think it’s all about life experiences and what it comes down to for me, was growing up in the theater. I was exposed to a lot. I had to grow up quite quickly as I had to do interviews and was certainly surrounded by a lot of adults at a very young age. It was a lot of life experiences, very early on, and lots of different experiences that moulded me as a person, but also gave me a very well-rounded view of the world. I was soaking up a lot of the different environments and exposed to a lot of different people. These kind of experiences, really soak in over the years.
OCT: Tell us a little bit about some of the influences in your music as we can hear different singers in your voice. For instance, there is a little hint of Carly Simon. From a writing standpoint, I think you can even hear Joni Mitchell.
AN: I would say from my teenage years I was listening to a lot of Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and Joni Mitchell. I would have to say those were my earliest influences. I grew up singing in a choir, so I have a large classical background as well. I sang in a professional children’s choir for four years in Montreal so just the exposure to that side of it was a big influence. But back to Sarah McLachlan, it was the time that she was putting together Lilith Fair so I had all those strong female singers to look up to.
OCT: It was a massive accomplishment for Sarah to put together an all-female tour in those days.
AN: This tour was across the country, and it was huge, and I remember it being quite significant. I went with my sister and got to see the sheer number of amazing women all in one place at one time when there wasn’t a big focus on women in the industry. And even now I find it continues to be a bit of a struggle in the music industry for women to really have a voice beyond a certain age. So, I think to highlight women, at that time in the 90s, was a big accomplishment.
OCT: We wanted to point out that recently you launched your own boutique record label. How did that come about?
AN: I was filling out a form for one of the major music distributors and there was a field on the form that required you to fill in the record label you were with, if you were an independent artist. And if you didn’t have one, you were able to make one up in order to fill out the form. So, in essence, you can just call your label anything but then I got thinking what if I did create a record label. There’s lots of indie labels around and mid-range labels and larger labels like 604 Records. I thought wouldn’t it be cool to launch an indie label that was an artist label for artists. With Yaletown Records I don’t actually sign labels, but I mentor other artists and help other artists become independent. It’s kind of a weird twist on a label because I’m more like a label service. It started off that way and I want to expand on it. I want to be able to share all of the lessons that I’ve learned through my life experience in the years that I’ve been an independent artist. I want to share that with others.
OCT: What a great name for your record label, Yaletown Records.
AN: I couldn’t believe, it wasn’t already taken as a name, how has nobody taken this name? But I live in Yaletown, and I work out of my studio at home a lot of the time, so I thought, why not. It’s perfect.
Adrienne Nye’s new album is called “These Winter Skies”. For more information, you can visit adriennenye.com.