North American VA Update – Spring 2011 (Part 2)

Emilie Barlow can be heard in the series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as Cheerilee. Her character appears in the episode “Show Stoppers” which debuted on March 4th.

As for her singing career, we have quite a few things to report!

To start off, here is Emilie performing “Sunshine Superman” with her band on on Télé-Québec’s Belle et Bum:

Emilie spoke to l’Étoile about her singing career, saying:

«Après avoir terminé chacun de mes albums, je me sens drainée de toute mon inspiration, ce qui est bien en un sens, car j’ai tout donné à mon projet … Chaque fois, je me dis que je vais prendre une pause, prendre du temps pour moi. Mais finalement, je me remets peu à peu à avoir des idées et à vouloir commencer un nouveau projet.»

After having finished each of my albums, I feel myself drained completely of inspiration, which is good in a sense, because I have given all to my project … Each time, I tell myself that I will take a break, take time for me. But finally, I remember little by little having ideas and wanting to start a new project.

About her song choice for The Beat Goes On:

«J’ai adoré écouter ces chansons. J’ai choisi une longue liste et ensuite je me suis assise au piano avec une feuille de partition et un crayon – un peu une vieille méthode! – et je me suis mise à créer des arrangements pour les pièces qui me parlaient le plus. J’ai trouvé intéressant de constater que mon choix s’est porté sur des pièces de styles très différents. J’ai quand même voulu faire quelque chose qui avait une certaine cohésion et qui me ressemblait»

I’ve loved hearing these songs. I chose a long list and then I sat at my piano with a score sheet and pencil – a bit of an old method! – and I put myself to creating arrangements for the pieces which spoke to me the most. I found it interesting seeing that my choice was focused on pieces of very different genres. I still wanted when making each choice to have a certain cohesion and that resembled me.

The article says that being a francophile and very popular in Québec, Emilie also wanted to include a couple French songs on this album. She chose songs that were popular with Québeckers because they are always enthusiastic about her and she has performed multiple times at the Montréal Jazz Festival. One of the songs she chose to include was “T’es pas un autre” which her mother adored and wanted to hear on an album. Emilie said that although she couldn’t include it before, for this album it was perfect.

Emilie also said that she loved the “job” of making an album. She credits her husband with keeping her grounded and offering his perspective during the creative process.

For fans who are interested, here is Emilie performing “T’es pas un autre” on Télé-Québec’s Belle et Bum:

Regarding the Junos, she indicated that she’d love to win an award but having recognition from her peers is great in itself. Still touring The Beat Goes On, Emilie hasn’t indicated when she’ll work on her next album, but she’s sure the desire to make another will find her before long.

As reported in an article for Here New Brunswick, Emilie says her “voice work has helped her discover the different parts of her voice, which in turn has complemented her singing, [Becoming] intimately aware of what your voice is capable of doing is extremely helpful in both cases. I’m always using my voice.” The article also mentions that for her new album, Emilie “stripped down ’60s pop songs … and rebuilt them using sparks from her imagination inspired by the originals.”

From an article in Times & Transcript, Emilie described creating her latest album as being “about taking pop songs from the ’60s, completely stripping them down and then trying to rebuild them in my own style with a jazz flair.” This article also reported that she considers herself an interpreter of song rather than a song writer and Emilie is quoted as saying “I do not feel inspired to write songs at this point. My creative satisfaction comes from arranging and trying to reinvent songs and doing my part to keep those songs alive. In the absolute best case scenario, I have the opportunity to introduce these songs to a whole new set of ears.” She also said that having a Juno nomination is a win in itself because “it gives the record another burst of life and another wave of publicity.”

An article in Saint City News also reported on the success of Emilie’s recent album. She is quoted as saying “Strictly from a business standpoint, sales-wise, it has surpassed my other albums, and it has been in the top 10 jazz albums in the country since it came out, so that part of it is very gratifying. But I’ve also been thrilled with the actual feedback I’ve gotten from listeners. I read all the emails I get, and the feedback has been pretty positive.” She also said that arranging is “its own kind of writing, and I’m really inspired to write arrangements and try to reimagine existing songs.”

She didn’t rule out songwriting as a future possibility, but did note that she doesn’t feel that it’s her strength. Regarding voice acting, the article reports that being a voice actress started as something of an extension of her work as a session singer and being in the recording studio. Emilie also said there are some parallels between singing and voice acting: “I have a lot of vocal stamina because my voice is being constantly stretched; it keeps my voice warm, you could say. In order to really give a great performance, you have to be able to leap off the edge. You have to be able to put yourself out there, which is very similar to being on stage in front of an audience.”

An article in the Edmonton Journal reported on Emilie’s recent album as well. It mentions that Emilie feels it was an advantage to have not experienced most of the songs she re-interpreted when the first hit radio airwaves. She said “I think there’s something to be said for not having such strong attachments to the originals. I was able to look at them more as an observer with some distance. I don’t want it to sound as if I don’t respect the songs. In fact, there were some other ’60s songs I tried to do but couldn’t because I love them and I couldn’t hear them any other way.” The article also mentions that, in addition to the album maintaining a spot in the jazz Top 10, it has sold 11,000 units in Canada since it was released.

In an article from North Shore News, Emilie discussed what it was like to record songs by artists and composers who are still active today. She said that she hoped they would like her renditions and that she received an email from Neil Sedaka that said her version of “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” was “one of his favourite covers and that he considered himself a fan.” In response, she said she “couldn’t believe it. That’s just the best thing that could possibly happen. The fact that he liked it, which I was just thrilled about, and the fact that he took the time to send me a note and let me know. To say it made my day is a huge understatement.”

Emilie did not win Vocal Jazz Album of the Year at the Juno Awards, but we wish her luck in winning a Juno in the future.

For some good news though, Emilie won in the category of favourite jazz artist/group of the year in the Indie Awards. We mentioned where fans could vote a while back on our Facebook page, since we received notice shortly before voting would end. Congrats, Emilie!
Emilie’s upcoming Tour dates are:

One Response to “North American VA Update – Spring 2011 (Part 2)”

  1. NicoleNamias Says:

    Since this post is related to Sailor Moon and My Little Pony, I'd like to contribute this Youtube video, which combines both series. If these toys were made, I'd buy them in a heart beat:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.