Canadian singer-songwriter Louise Burns, who has spent 20 years in the music industry, is on her maiden visit to India and has planned a five-city tour to present her songs. Kicking off her journey with a performance at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender music festival in Pune today, she will also be singing her songs at Swig Bar and Eatery, Koregaon Park, on December 11 followed by The Levi’s Lounge in Mumbai, The Humming Tree in Bengaluru, OddBird Theatre and Foundation in Delhi. Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us about the independent music scene in Canada.
It is vast and very diverse! I think for a while people thought of Canada’s independent scene being very indie-rock centric, but truth be told, the most exciting stuff coming out of Canada right now is hip-hop, electronic and pop in my opinion! Toronto has given the world some of the greatest pop and hip-hop, and Vancouver has an incredible rap scene that often gets overlooked. We also have a ton of talented singer songwriters. It’s kind of in our blood, you know, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen run through our veins!
What encouraged you to take your maiden tour of India now?
Music BC, a non-profit organisation in Vancouver, which helps artists with travel grants, showcase opportunities, music workshops and more, had secured a slot at the NH7 Weekender Festival, and I couldn’t say no! In fact, as soon as I heard that Music BC was helping Canadian bands from the west coast get to India, I pounced on the opportunity. I’ve wanted to come here for so, so long, and the fact that I get to play music here is beyond my wildest dreams.
In the age of EDM, where does a singer-songwriter stand?
Strong and tall! Dance music is great, and I have been greatly influenced by a lot of that, but to be honest, there will always be a market for great songs. In fact, a lot of huge crossover EDM singles are rooted in the singer-songwriter tradition. Think Aviici, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Diplo, etc… There’s room for everyone.
You’ve been on the music scene since age 11, how have you seen yourself grow as an artist? And how has this reflected in the kind of music you make?
I’ve grown a ‘lot’ as an artist. Most of it has to do with confidence. You get older and you get closer to knowing who you are. A lot of it also has to do with hard work. I’ve worked myself silly to make a career in music and become a better songwriter and producer. For the past few years, I’ve been really inspired by the electronic music scene and it has had a huge impact on my writing and production. Nothing is more exciting to me than shaping a song and giving it the colours it needs.
I’m also more confident knowing that I’m a pop writer. I was always a little reluctant to admit that was my strength when I was younger, but now I embrace it. I’ve been writing for other people as well for a while now. It is ‘so’ rewarding!
What plans do you have for your India tour?
We start in Pune at the NH7 Weekender, then perform a club show a few days later. We then do club shows in Mumbai, Bengaluru and end in Delhi. Short and sweet. The idea is to put some roots down and hopefully return next year when my new album comes out!
Do you listen to any Indian artists? Would you be open to collaborating with any of them?
I was listening to Daisho this morning! He’s great. I would love to work with an artist from India. The door is open! The way a lot of electronic artists combine more traditional and classic music with modern beats is amazing to me. I’m a big fan. Please contact me, guys!
Tell us about your set at NH7 — what can audiences expect at your stage?
Dancing, even if it’s just me. Hahahaha... we like to keep it classy, glam-rock influenced. We’re a really tight band at this point after playing together for so many years, so it’s just about having a great time and keeping ourselves in the right head space. I’ll be performing three new songs from my upcoming album as well which is exciting, though all the new songs will be new to the Indian audience.