NOVEMBER INTERVIEW WITH Toronto sensation, ASTRID TANTON.
Hello, Astrid, and welcome to The Wire MEGAzine. I am a proud 7-year volunteer award-winning photojournalist with The Wire MEGAzine that has been on the music scene in Ontario free as a nonprofit for 32 years and is 1 of Canada’s longest-running entertainment tabloids. It is my pleasure to forward a few questions in the direction of Toronto’s newest sensation, Astrid Tanton.
Born in Kingston Ontario, Astrid Tanton fell in love with music at the age of 3, started writing songs at age 11, and now this Toronto-based 18-year-old is an accomplished artist, writer, producer, and Canadian indie-pop singer. A Prince Charles Public School alumnus and an honors grad of Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, this Verona-area multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for piano, drums, and guitar has long-embraced music as a powerful gateway to express her feelings and worldview in a relatable, connective way. Just like the artists around the globe, Astrid Tanton hasn’t been able to perform live much during the pandemic, but she has had her online studies at Ryerson University in arts and a contemporary minor in psychology and her songwriting to keep her motivated. She shares that “now that the world is slowly beginning to recover from covid-19, I’m excited.” Astrid continues to say, “during the lockdown, it felt like I was watching a clock.” Astrid shares her perspective forthright lyricism deep inside her art, this unique sound has crafted stellar masterpieces inside her forthcoming Debut Album, ‘From My Eyes,‘ with hits like Comfort, Better Off, and now her latest single, JURY. In the video for ‘Jury‘, Tanton hooked up with dance studio Mission Vision Purpose https://www.mvpdanceco.com and its founder, professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer Lianne Tammi as well as film student friends.
Going ‘full throttle’ could be seen as an overarching theme; the teenager is as fearless as they come. Her tenacity to see through difficulties, and put a spin on optimism in a world of chaos, concretes Tanton’s contribution to the music community around her; she’s not afraid, to be honest. Allowing herself to escape into her rawest emotions and bleeding out the truth through the melodies, Tanton has found her voice on each cut; exposing herself as someone with something to say, to relate to, to understand.
“I really wanted to let people into what has shaped me into the singer/songwriter and young woman I am today,” Tanton considers, detailing the ethos behind the EP. “Each song recalls and explores a pivotal event in my self-growth.”
“From My Eyes means a lot to me,” she adds. “Not just as a singer, but as a woman being vulnerable and open about experiences that weren’t always easy, but made me stronger.”
” ‘Better Off’ follows me trying to navigate what I think is best for me vs what the people who I care about think is best for me,” Tanton says, sharing the song’s meaning. “It’s about the battle between what you feel in your heart going against what those who know you and care for you think.”
Her message is ageless —” there is their version, your version, and… Somewhere in the middle is the truth.”
“The more than 18 months during the COVID pandemic made life so difficult for so many, and now it’s time for us all to get back on track, roll up our sleeves and share what we love,” Tanton says. “The coming months are a time for us all to come together again, one step at a time.”
With her inaugural album, From My Eyes, set to deliver on its promise to provide listeners a collection of tracks that will turn them into fans, Astrid Tanton is now focusing her attention on taking life on the road now that life has been capable of resuming. From My Eyes to the open road — Astrid Tanton is just getting started. And we’re all here to take an oath and witness her foray into greatness.
Now Astrid is right where she left off and poised to grow with her music as we all learn to grow and learn as we come out of the pandemic, with more music on the way from Astrid Tanton as she prepares to share her music with her Canadian tour in 2022.
All these pieces make up who she is, makes up her music, and truly makes her story so incredible. Her first singles shared, track her story of growth and her own discovery of self-worth, with more to come on her debut EP “From My Eyes.”
Her goal? To make sure no young person feels alone. Having volunteered at the Regent Park School of Music for 4 years, she has seen firsthand how music can show kids from a young age that their voices make a better world.
Astrid, you fell in love with music at the age of 3, started writing songs by age 11, and you are a multi-instrumentalist as well, WOW, all inside a short window of 15 years, now that is impressive. I read your brilliant advice to young artists just starting out in this industry as you shared, “I call out to young people everywhere around the world to be themselves and not be afraid of who they are and what they could be. My first songs recorded all tell my own story of being yourself no matter how young or afraid you are, releasing yourself from the challenges of being different, and learning to rely on yourself as your first and most important champion.” Astrid, you always knew you wanted to be in control of your own career. Being a young, female, LGBTQ+ artist in the entertainment industry, you knew you would have to fight for it. Being an independent artist and owning your own publishing company sends the message to young girls that they don’t need to give something up to live their dreams. You now spend your time leading every aspect of your team from recording, producing live shows, and running your own promotions, now that is truly outstanding.
DEB: Q. 1. What advice were YOU personally given about the ins and outs of music when YOU first started out so young?
ASTRID: “The piece of advice I heard the most and that I think was the most valuable was to be prepared to hear a hundred “no’s” before you get the one “yes” that will change everything. In this industry, you need to be persistent and prepared that you are going to need to pitch your identity as an artist and it might take a few pitches before someone takes that chance on you. But all it takes is one chance to change everything.“
DEB: Q. 2. In such a short time span you have learned piano, drums, and guitar. Which would you say is your favorite instrument?
ASTRID: “Although I started by learning drums, I think the guitar would be my favorite. I tend to gravitate towards songs that have a strong guitar line or hook. I also find strumming on a guitar and really feeling that connection between body movement and rhythm creates such a strong bond as a musician. Most of my songs are usually built off guitar and vocals too.”
Your NEWST SINGLE, ‘Jury,’ you shared, “came from a place of learning and hurt. People will twist and tell a story to benefit themselves, there’s a reason people always say that there are two sides to a story. The jury explores the relationship of being placed as the ‘villain’ or the ‘bad guy’ in a story. The concept behind the Jury video follows Astrid and ‘Jury’, the jury represents not only people who are being told a one-sided story but the intrusive thoughts that can follow you when you are constantly being painted as the bad guy. We all have a story to tell and have been in the situation of being painted as something we are not especially when we know the truth – that is the story the ‘Jury’ is telling.” This pop anthem is complete with rushing percussion, chasing handclaps, and low-fi vox, you are not afraid to take chances, on ‘Jury’ — you use interchanging pace, vox enhancers, near-spoken languid, beautiful crescendos, and pleading. You go full-throttle on the track, refusing to take prisoners. You incorporate electric horns, resonating bass; coming up for air, and descending into haunting melancholic tones.
DEB: Q. 3. Take your fans on a stroll through your Debut Album, From My Eyes, and share how your creative writing process came to be?
ASTRID: “Most of this album was written during Covid-19 and the first lockdown. So, this album has a lot of self-reflection and reflection on some crucial moments/stories of my life that have really shaped me into who I am today. The reason it’s called “From My Eyes” is because it’s all things that happened in my life and directly affected me, I’m really trying to let people in to get a more intimate knowledge of who I am.”
DEB: Q. 4. Have you seen or felt a major shift in the music industry PRIOR to Covid-19?
ASTRID: “I think a new exciting digital age has come into the music industry. What I mean by this is less about Spotify or streaming services but more about the use of Instagram and other social media platforms. These platforms are allowing artists to let their audience get to know them as more of a human and not just a performing artist. With this, I think fans are connecting with artists more and there is a bigger and stronger sense of community within the music industry.“
DEB: Q. 5. Who would you say, then and now, inspires and influences your music the most?
ASTRID: “When I first started my influences were Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes. I looked up to their songwriting abilities and how they are both have been good at developing recognizable brands for themselves. Although I still look up to both, my influences now are mainly Jessie Reyez and Tate Mcrae. Both are female Canadian artists who I think just present themselves as a super powerful and humble artist, and, they write their own music which as a fellow songwriter is something I look for when following an artist.”
DEB: Q. 6. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Does your music touch on social or political issues?
ASTRID: “I don’t think my music touches on any political issues just yet haha. But through my music, I challenge certain social expectations and structures mainly that pertain to issues with what it means to grow up as a young woman in this society and the issues you face. As I get older, I don’t doubt that my music will have more political force or call for social change, it just comes with age and time and learning.”
DEB: Q. 7. Contrary to popular belief, making it is the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck, as it requires talent, strategy, dedication, and determination based on your vision and goals. Outside of your singles and their videos, what are some other ways you have interacted with your fans throughout this new world of COVID -19?
ASTRID: “Throughout Covid-19 I stayed in touch with my audience by doing a lot of Instagram lives and using that time to just sit and chat with those who support me. I also always try hard to respond to any messages I receive from anyone whether it be for advice, or a question, or just someone saying hi. I try to stay connected with my audience whether it’s through a pandemic or not because I think building those connections is crucial to being an artist.”
DEB: Q. 8. What does success mean to you?
ASTRID: “Success to me means feeling happy and as if you did something for this world. We all have the chance and a platform to make change or support change and you only live once so give it all you got. Success to me is not about the money or the fame, it’s about the connection and mark you leave behind.”
DEB: Q. 9. Last but not least, what is next on the horizon for Astrid Tanton?
ASTRID: “The first thing I think of is more live performances, getting to meet people and play live all the music I’ve been creating. Obviously creating more music and releasing new music is something I will also continue to do but right now I am focused on getting out there and performing live.”
Fans can stay in tune with Astrid Tanton by visiting your extensive social media platforms seen below:
and don’t forget to check out Astrid Tanton’s fanfreakintastic videos below.
(October 2020) Comfort DANCE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pht4h4c1gOI
(October 2020) COMFORT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AJFbeF_wGU
(November 2020) Better Off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSV-RLqHgCg
and her latest (August 2021) JURY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMHs8qawDFg
Thank you so much for your time today Astrid, and I wish you continued success!