We had a chance to chat with Canadian singer/songwriter Avery Florence and ask her about her new album January, how she gets her inspiration, and what her plans are for 2018. Read on below for this Heard It From Nas interview with Avery Florence!
We know you have just come out with your new album/EP January. What was it like for you writing this song? What was the creative process/inspiration behind it?
Recording this album was a surreal experience for me. It was a big leap, working with extremely talented musicians following my lead. I’d really never felt more confident and uncomplicated though. We all worked together & you can feel it on the album. We recorded January live-off-the-floor, meaning we all played in the studio simultaneously, which really captured the vibe of the room & the essence of the songs… Nowadays people usually record one instrument at a time, so this has a live music feel. And there is nothing like live music.
I named the album January because the month is a reflective time yet one for new resolutions and hopes. That’s what this album is all about for me; looking back and jumping in & moving forward. It has a very warm feel, to get you through the coldest months of the year.
What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to be in for you to start your song-writing and producing process?
My best songs evolve when I need to song write. For me, it usually happens on either side of the spectrum; when I’m feeling lost in my own despair, I write. Or even better, when I feel limitless & inspired, I try to get myself to my guitar or piano immediately. I sometimes take voice notes of melodies that pop into my head, but I usually write with an instrument and see what comes out (:
Also, I am all about mood lighting, candles, natural light from the window.
What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you?
Hopefully there is way more than one thing!! There’s so many things I don’t even know about myself…
But fun fact, I have a bit of a raspy voice because as a kid I loved the Lion King so damn much that I wouldn’t speak in my nursery class, I only roared for a month. That’s one way to lose your voice (:
How has your music evolved since you first started producing and song writing?
The more I improve on my instruments and collaborate with different musicians/producers, I’m not as confined within what I’m able to create alone. When I first started songwriting I was limited to a few chords on my guitar (G Em D anyone?), so that really directed my sound. Now I’m really excited because I’ve been collaborating with people in several genres which gives me freedom to sing whatever I’m feeling, whether that’s Soft-Soul, Pop, R&B…. No matter the genre, my music comes from raw emotion. That being said, you really can write a great song with two chords.
Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?
I admire artists who keep doing it for the sake of art & expression itself. It is so easy to lose yourself in the industry hustle and forget about why you started making art in the first place. I meet so many talented artists (musicians, visual artists etc) who just want to keep learning, remain curious and open to creation, without the need for it to be a “marketable product.” I’m trying to figure out my balance; I want to continue creating straight from my soul & also be able to live financially on my art. It’s a tricky business!!
What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?
Dreams- Fleetwood Mac (could be the best song ever)
Colours of The Wind- Pocahontas (I ❤ Disney)
Lover You Should’ve Come Over- Jeff Buckley (I ❤ JB)
What are your future plans for 2018?
I am in the motions to record two EPs this year (!!) I’ve rounded up musicians in both Toronto & Montreal, separately to record with, giving each EP a really unique sound. One is going to be a raw, low-key R&B, sensual vibe, while the other is going to have a little more of a synthy, dramatic sound. Also hoping to play on some summer festivals if ya know any that’ll have me (; I am pretty pumped for 2018!!