Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Musical Motivation: Audra Santa
Introducing Canadian songstress Audra Santa, who has just released her debut UK single entitled ‘Naked’. The track has been taken from her forthcoming EP, ‘The Boudoir Project’, a collection of sensual, downtempo electronica that was a personal mode of self-expression she thought she would never share with anyone. We caught up with her to find out what songs make her...
Lizzo - Juice
Recently, my guitarist asked me to sing back up vocals for another Toronto artist he plays with named Janïsa and I had an hour to learn this song. Not sure what rock I was living under, but I had never heard it before. The backing vocals were so fun to sing. Ya-ya-eee!
Agnes Obel - The Curse
This woman is pure magic. Her music transports me to another dimension. It helps remind me that there is something beyond just the 3D life we can see and touch. The Curse is the first song of hers I ever heard, so it has a special place in my heart and still moves me every time I hear it. But her new album Myopia also has that effect on me - it became the soundtrack to a skyclad summer ceremony I held for myself and I put it on anytime I just need space to think.
Johnny Cash - Hurt
I'm sure I'm not the only one who would say this song makes them cry. Watch the video and I dare you not to. I love Nine Inch Nails and feel influenced by Trent Reznor, but what Johnny Cash did to this song tears a hole in my heart every time.
Flight of the Conchords - Business Time
I lived in Australia for ten years where I discovered this New Zealand duo and watched their show. This song absolutely cracked me up. It's a very unsexy sexy story. Relatable yes, but if my love life ever reduces to FOTC Business Time I'll need to quit that job and find a new one.
Want to work out
Jennifer Lopez - Get Right
I used to be a fitness instructor and I loved using remixes of this track in my step classes. I also choreographed a dance routine to it with a cane and button up shirt for a "seductive dance" class I used to teach - this was back when Carmen Electra's stripaerobics was a thing. This year, JLo turned 50 and stepped up her dance game with Hustlers. I haven't seen the movie, but from the clips I have seen she definitely inspires me to workout!
The Beatles - The Long and Winding Road
This song reminds me of my Dad. All Beatles songs do. He used to play this one with his band, and I know it so well. I remember being a little girl and hearing him play it at "Summer in the Park", an outdoor concert series in Thunder Bay, Ontario where I grew up. I just think of The Long and Winding Road and I can hear the horn lines, the drum beat, and my Dad's voice in my head. It's such a beautiful song. And I love him so much.
Art School Girlfriend - Come Back to Me
I fell in love with Art School Girlfriend through a happenstance playlist discovery last year and they have become a go-to when I want to relax. When this song comes on I'll just lie on my bed staring at the ceiling and drift away. I hope they release more soon. Seems they are emerging artists like me. Maybe one day when this pandemic is over we can tour together.
Florence + the Machine - Big God
Florence is so fierce and powerful. This song and accompanying video are works of art. I love her raw expression, the fry in her voice, her lyrics, the choreography, the dancers... all of it is so incredible. Witchy and raw and expressive! Florence Welch inspires me as a female artist and reminds me not to hold back.
Camelphat & Christoph (feat. Jem Cooke) - Breathe
This song kills me! My lover is a DJ and he is very intentional with how he builds his set and will bring in a song like Breathe at JUST the right moment. I have such respect for what he does and so many great memories of this song. A couple weeks ago he played it during a Zoom disco party (because that's how we now experience night clubs during pandemics) and I lost my mind. The chord progression, build, vocals, and dynamics are just perfect.