Hello, Hello, Hello!
Yes! It has been a while. But here I am! I am hoping to be back a little more often now. I have a couple of really great things coming your way.
I hope you are all having a tolerable winter. LOL! I say tolerable because I think that there are maybe a handful of us who really like winter. Be honest now. Some of winter isn’t bad, but the windchill, the -40c, the icy roads…ugh.
Anyhoo, summer is on it’s way and I for one can’t wait! So on to something more fun.
When a girl at the age of sixteen pens a song called “Homewrecker”, it only seems fitting that somewhere along the line she would title an E.P. Brave. I was really hoping to have this up for the release of Shae Dupuy’s album, but life, unfortunately, had other plans for me.
When we spoke, she was in the process of coming down after a CCMA rush. “It was a little chaotic,” Shea said of her experience. Her days were busy, usually starting at seven a.m. and ending at one or two the next morning. Between after-party networking and performances during the week, it was non-stop for Shae. “Whenever you get the chance to perform in those kinds of areas with everyone in the business there, it’s always a great opportunity, so I love doing that.” She added, “It’s great to be surrounded by your peers and everyone’s there because they love country music so it’s an awesome environment to be in.”
Shae was born in Kamloops, B.C. and at the age of six moved to Ontario. Her father (an R.C.M.P officer), was asked to be a part of the post 9/11 air marshal program. He was posted at Pearson International Airport in Toronto and the family moved. She had her first piano lesson at six and shortly followed with guitar lessons and vocal classes. It was clear that she had inherited her grandfather’s natural musical abilities because by her early teens she could play almost any instrument by ear and was writing her own music. Once she was older, she started spending summers in Los Angeles to become accustomed to the music industry and write with other people. I thought that this was pretty trusting so I asked what it was like having a father who is a police officer. She laughed and said that there had been some pretty funny moments, “He had this little application and it’s the ‘Date My Daughter’ application. It’s funny questions like: ‘Do you own a van?’, ‘What’s your blood type?’, ‘What does NO mean to you?’” We laughed and she continued, “You’d think they’d be really strict but my dad wasn’t. He just taught me right from wrong and let me make my own mistakes which I really like.”
We started talking about the summer that had just past. I asked her what some of the highlights were for her. “Definitely recording,” she started, “I got to fly out to Vancouver for it. I got to do some writing down in Nashville.” I asked her what she thought of the home of country music. “I absolutely loved it because everyone shares that passion of music and it’s such a creative place.” Since I am such a huge fan of the city myself, I always ask for recommendations. “I normally wait until Wednesday to go. It’s called Proper Bagel (www.properbagel.com). They have these awesome homemade huge bagels and then they have amazing cream cheeses.” I took a look and I will DEFINITELY check this place out the next time I am there. Apparently on Wednesdays they have a bagel deal. She added, “I am very in to the food in Nashville,” mentioning that she also has found a love for authentic southern BBQ. I think by that point, we were both left a little hungry.
Shae was down there working on her latest project Brave, which was released last October. The first single released from that was “Good For Me” (released to radio last August and iTunes last September). The lyrics come across as very personal (You’re so wrong for me/ But it feels so right/ And I can’t help but wonder/ If you were good for me/ But I want you so bad). I asked if this was fact or fiction, based on our previous conversation about putting yourself into your songwriting. Without hesitation, she replied, “It’s definitely fact.” We both agreed that part of the fun of a girl’s night out is trying to figure out a guy’s game. Oh, don’t sit there and try to tell us you don’t come in there with a game plan, guys. We do too. Lol! Let’s all be honest here. And we have all even been in the situation where maybe we wanted to be with someone we know wasn’t good for us. “When I sat down to write it with a co-writer, we also kind of wanted to take a step back and think is the appeal in the person or is it in the risk that comes with doing something you shouldn’t be?” There was also the whole “bad boy” appeal. Shae agreed, “If this person good for me, would I want them as much as I did?” Oh ladies, isn’t this a question we have been asking ourselves since the dawn of time? While this song is great, Shae assured me that there were some songs on Brave that were equally (if not better) than “Good For Me”.
I read Shae a quote that I had seen on her website:
“A person on a song critiquing panel I attended called my writing Brave and that stuck with me.”
What did she think of a comment like that? “I first kind of wondered to myself ‘How can someone’s writing be brave?’ But then I took a step back and I really thought about what he said because it did stick with me. It kind of sat at the back of my mind for a few days afterwards.” So, then. what did it mean to be “brave”? According to Shae, “You have to be honest and vulnerable in your songwriting.” I thought about some of my own favourite songs and many of them are written from a very intimate and personal place. In fact, I have written that kind of work myself on my other blog. She added, “You cannot lie. You cannot half-ass it because people know when you’re authentic and putting yourself out there.” She is 100% right. Think about an artist you’ve seen live who was just “phoning it in”. It seems insincere and unbelieveable. It really disconnects you from that artist. Shae decided to take action, “I’m going to take what he said and I’m going to prove to people that, yes, I am brave and that’s what I’m doing with this E.P.”
Shae absolutely delivered with Brave. It is a testament to some fantastic songwriting. Shae really takes us on a ride with playful songs like “Tin Man”; the story of a young girl being cautioned not to fall in love with the heartless boy, to the upbeat revenge song like “Drink About It” where she warns she is going to be a hard one to get over. Then we come to “Homewrecker”. Written at just sixteen, Shae says this may have been the one occasion where she let people know a little too much. She says that there are several songs like that on the E.P., this song being one of them. “It’s one of my favourite songs that I’ve ever written because it wasn’t necessarily meant to be a radio single or a song I ever recorded. It was meant to be as an outlet for my anger.” She sang the song at a coffee house, where everyone knew the story, “That’s a bit of a Taylor Swift move,” she laughed, “but I did it anyway.” She has no regrets about the decision. “It made me a better songwriter and it made me a better performer for it.” I totally agree! Shae has a wonderful singer/songwriter style that rivals Taylor Swift. Her voice is soft and soothing. I 100% recommend that you pick up Brave. It is fantastic.
Whenever you put anything out into the world, be it a song, a book, or a blog post, you always have reservations. I asked Shae what some of her fears were when releasing an E.P. “Like everybody, you just want it to be successful. I put a lot of time in there and I’ve also put a lot of myself into these songs. Because I’ve written and co-written all of them so they’re very personal to me, they’re my life experiences.” She admits that there is a bit of anxiety that comes with it, “I want people to love them and relate to them as much as I do.” At the end of the day, this is what Shae was born to do. “If anything, I’m more excited. I love putting out new music and I love getting feedback from it.”
Brave is Shae’s second E.P. so I asked what she learned from her first (Breakdown) that she carried forward to this one. “Whenever you’re putting out a full project like an E.P. or an album, you’re telling a story, so order matters, what songs you’re putting on there matters. Like you can’t go from writing a bunch of summer songs and happy songs to all of a sudden having one super depressing song.” Shae talked about taking the the listener on a roller coaster ride. Despite her young age, she is completely realistic about releasing a new project, “Not every song on an E.P. is going to be successful. There are songs that get buried among others and that’s ok.”
If Shae seems like she is a well-rounded and well-balanced individual, it is because…she is. She is a firm believer in taking care of her physical and mental health. “I love being active and I love reading so I walk regularly 3 times a week with a personal trainer and I go to yoga. In the summer, I love to hike.” And in those rare moments of quiet? “If I have a day off, I will probably spend it somewhere cozy reading.”
Those days will be fewer and further between this summer, as Shae plans to do more touring. Keep up with show dates on her website (www.shaedupuy.com). I can honestly say, it was a joy talking to her. She is very calm and grounded and has such a great head on her shoulders. All of this and insanely talented! Make sure to check her out on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/officialshaedupuy) Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/shaedupuy) and course follow her on FB (https://www.facebook.com/shaedupuy) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ShaeDupuy) but for now….you can take a look at this – “Good For Me” by Shae Dupuy