Born in Regina and raised in Gatineau, Roxanne Potvin knows Canada quite well. In 2006 she settled in Toronto, and three years later she moved to Montreal. She also recently flew to Vancouver to work with Steve Dawson, creative director at Black Hen Music. Reflecting on her frenzied lifestyle, the artist divulges, "Switching locations and adapting to new environments have allowed me to build confidence." This aplomb is palpable on Play, her eclectic new LP.
Roxanne Potvin is a household name for anyone familiar with the Canadian blues scene. While she doesn't repudiate the blues as her main influence, Potvin believes that the diversification of her listening habits has had a big impact on the content of Play. "I integrated punk and rock acts such as The Who, The Clash and The Ramones to my playlist and fell in love with them. I liked the attitude, the badass-ness of it all!" she exclaims.
Potvin also cites Beck's "delay between words and imagery" as a prodigious inspiration, before adding, "My work also derives from that of The Beatles, especially John Lennon, whose originality and honesty are especially noticeable in the unpredictable chord changes. There's always a sharp turn in the song that surprises you and brings you somewhere else." Potvin's extensive musical research has also led her to compose electronic tracks with a friend from Toronto, a project that has yet to concretize. "The making of Play was a learning experience and a creative process aimed at making each
song stronger," she summarizes.
It would be difficult to target recurring themes in the topics addressed on Play, and indeed Potvin states, "I didn't want to affirm a particular message, but what makes the album coherent is the mindset I was in while I was recording. I wanted everything to be fun; I wanted to create a provocative formula that would generate evocative pictures and trigger an emotional response."
Potvin is looking forward to presenting the aggressive, energy-driven hooks of Play to a live audience. "It's going to be a fun experience, in continuity with the recording process. Most of these songs I've never played live before, so I can't wait to loosen them up a little," she forecasts.