Canada has offered up some amazingly talented women to the world of music. Artists such as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Alanis Morisette and Nelly Furtado have brought pop music to new heights. Newcomer Sarah Slean is another Canadian who will surely make her mark with her major label debut "Night Bugs." It's an enchanting wave of orchestral pop, blending the old and the new. This talented 24 year-old singer/songwriter sat down with me for an exclusive interview and talked about life and her love of music.
Tell me about the songs on your current album. Are there any you prefer?
My songs are all the same aesthetic. They come from the same place. The one that stands out is "Book Smart Street Stupid" because it comes from my alter ego "Emily." She's an old French woman who drinks too much so there's a tragic sentiment to it. I wrote it in a studio and it was surrounded by a dark forest with tons of fireflies. A bit of magic & whiskey completed the mood.
What made you decide to collaborate with Hawksley Workman?
I heard his album and I thought he was a fantastic drummer. We met up and recorded two songs in four hours. I approached my record company at the time about collaborating with Hawksley and they laughed at me.They did not think it was a good idea to use this "kid from Toronto." But eventually they came around and I was happy. I wanted to work with someone my age so there wouldn't be a power struggle, especially since I wanted to co-produce the album.
Tell us about the musical you are currently working on?
It's called "Emily & Vincent" but it's a top-secret project. The only thing I can say is that I could see Hawksley being an interesting addition to it.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Not descending into cynicism as of yet.
If you were not a performer what would you like to be?
A painter or I would love to write scores for motion pictures.
First album you ever bought?
The Beatles "Revolver."
Your favorite album by another artist?
"Ok Computer" by Radiohead.
"Edward Scissorhands" and another Johnny Depp movie called "Dead Man."
Any Pet Peeves?
Drivers who don't signal when they change lanes, it drives me nuts when people don't replace the toilet paper and TV make-up. I also don't like people who are fake and calculated.
Most valuable life lesson you've learned so far?
I was about ten years old at the time. I ran across a busy street without looking. When I got to the other side of the street, I just stopped and it dawned on me that I didn't even look when crossing. I also realized that I should not only be careful for me but for other people in my life. We are intricately connected to those around us. I never crossed the street without looking again.
Favorite thing about Montreal?
You can get any kind of food at any time of the day. I also love the French language. I don't speak it but I try.