French Toast: Juno Winner En Route to Whitehorse

The winner of this year’s Juno award for best Francophone album will make her Northern début at the Old Fire Hall next week.

Andrea Lindsay, a pop-folk singer originally from Guelph, Ontario, is coming to Whitehorse as part of the Coup de Coeur francophone, which allows established and emerging Francophone Canadian artists to tour throughout the country every November.

Lindsay went to France at the age of 18 and literally fell in love with the language, culture and music. French Toast recently contacted the artist for a short and sweet interview.

FT: Why was the French language so magical for you? How was it so different from what you knew so far and how did you decide to sing in French?

AL: I began to fall for the language. At first, I wasn’t able to understand a word of what people were saying, but I thought it was charming. It was as if everyone were singing around me all the time. After a few months I began to understand the conversations and, still, I thought the language was so musical, romantic.

For a long time, my love story with French was based just on the speech. I changed my course of studies and decided to study French translation at university. I have two big passions in life: when I was young, my first love was music. Then, much later, it was the French. So the match of these two things in my life was meant to be. It just makes sense.

FT: Did you get some inspiration from French and Francophone musicians?

AL: I like the old-fashioned and the new French singers. I really like Serge Gainsbourg, not only because he is a talented songwriter but also because he had a pop side in his music and in his themes. I also like singers like Georges Brassens.

Among the new French singers, I appreciate Bénabar and Vincent de l’Herme. If I think about the Francophone artist from Quebec that I like, I would say Richard Desjardins for the text.

FT: Will your tour with the Coup de Coeur be your first visit to the North?

AL: Yes, and I’m so excited about it. My parents, too. They are so glad for me. I always wanted to go to the Yukon, but it’s one of the destinations that you always tell yourself: “I’m gonna go …one day,” but then you get busy and the time passes and finally you never go.

The North has always been so attractive to me because it’s magic, mysterious and mythic. As a person from the South who has never been there, I carry a few clichés of these unknown territories but I think they are positive clichés.

FT: Do you think it feels different to perform in a territory with a Francophone minority, like in British Colombia, Northwest Territories, Alberta or Yukon, instead of Quebec?

AL: Yes, definitely. There is a warm spirit in these small communities. There is a family atmosphere because the people are so close together. It’s very nice to get to know the people of these small, independent societies.

FT: We know you from what we hear on the radio or on CD: you are a charmer, a dreamer, and your music is very joyful and sweet. But who is Andrea Lindsay is on stage? What can we expect next week?

AL: People have told me that I’m able to catch them in my dreamy and nostalgic universe for an hour and a half. It’s a light universe made of glockenspiel and the cello. A surprising thing that people have also told me is that I’m joking a lot. I like to laugh about myself. I like to be humorous in this musical trip that I’m happily doing with the audience.

Andrea Lindsay begins her Western tour in Whitehorse at the Old Fire Hall on November 29 at 8:00 pm. The first part of the performance will feature Sylvie Painchaud. Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Centre and Arts Underground.

Virginie Hamel is a regular contributor to What’s Up Yukon who keeps tab on events in Yukon’s francophone community.

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