Veronique Poulin, an emerging musician from Saskatoon’s Fransaskois community, is currently preparing to embark on a tour of Eastern Canada, in addition to playing a show tonight, Wednesday, July 13 at Caffe Sola/Jale.
However, while the multi-instrumental singer-songwriter is openly pursuing a career in English and French, Poulin wholly admits the challenges of attempting to take two roads simultaneously.
“Starting a career in one language is hard enough in itself, let alone trying to juggle two,” says Poulin. “These days, I’ve been selling my music as a complete bilingual piece with my first EP containing a bit of both. I feel extremely lucky that my parents passed down the French-Canadian heritage, even if as a child I almost resented it. My first few shows were completely French and I’m still really proud of being one of the few in western Canada that can offer that.”
“I’ve decided that I’m neither French nor English, I’m 100% Fransaskoise,” she continues. “That means that I live with the joys and realities of speaking two languages equally, which is why it’s so hard sometimes to describe where my music belongs. Most understand that but the walls are still there when it comes to promoting and representing what so many people care about or what others don’t really know much about. Language is only one word. Music is the paper.”
On her latest disc, entitled Les Cordes De Mon Coeur, Poulin combines jazzy coffee shop guitar strumming with tender backing instrumentation. Providing the piano melodies and violin herself, Poulin’s songwriting talents extend beyond just a sparing acoustic background. But it’s Poulin’s vocals that confidently take the driver seat, leading the listener down a path of amicable drama and a perfect mélange of two languages.
“L’album, ‘Les cordes de mon cœur’ partage plusieurs histoires qui touchent sur les thèmes de mon identité,” says Poulin. “Je contemple les sujets de la croissance dans ‘Les cordes de mon cœur’, la foi et ma perspective de ce dont ça signifie pour moi dans ‘Je t’attends, le tourment caché de l’amour dans ‘Mademoiselle’, l’admiration musicale dans ‘Mélodie’, et enfin ‘Pardonnez-moi’ discute le désir de changer le monde mais de ne pas toujours savoir comment faire. En bref, c’est un passage de ma vie que j’ai pu étamper sur un cd.”
In addition to playing in the Sarah Farthing Band, as well as a recent collaboration with hip-hop artist Fabric, Poulin will be taking on a mini-tour at the end of July down east in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. However, Poulin is already busy with writing material for her next album, which promises to showcase the other half of her culture.
“This time, I’m hoping to share more of my Anglo material,” says Poulin. “Sometimes it’s like nude art. You adapt more easily when you know how to view it for what it really is, beautiful and different from the rest.”