interview Music music blog

Interview with . . . Madisyn Whajne

We released our debut album December 11, 2021 and the response has just been phenomenal!
We spent a few years pouring our hearts and souls into this record and I really could not be
happier. We recorded live off the floor, to tape with Howard Bilerman and Shae Brossard at
Hotel 2 Tango Studios in Montreal, with overdubs recorded between Montreal and Toronto. It
was a long journey but I enjoyed every single moment of it. The band is so supportive and
encouraging and I would never have come this far without them. It was written over two years
and I was dealing with a lot of heartache, I was feeling very lost in the world. Making the record
brought me back to myself, it made me realize some truths I had been hiding from. In the end,
when we put the sequence of the songs in order I realized the meaning of the record and saw
the story that wove through it. The love that I was searching for outside of myself was always
deep within… certainly not a new concept but one I was very happy to embrace. Being able to
share my story has furthered me along my path of healing and for that I am very grateful.

What was your first concert as a fan? As a performer?

My first concert as a fan was probably the one I had to run away from home to see! I was too
young to drive and took the bus to Toronto from Barrie to see Courtney Love / Hole. My parents
never let me go see Nirvana or even in my younger years Motley Crew or Skid Row, so when I
had the chance to get tickets I jumped on it. She was wickedly late and I knew I was going to be
in for it when I got home but it was worth it. My first time performing was at Cafe May on
Roncesvalles, which is now my favourite bar The Local. I had a vintage clothing shop across
from it so it was only natural it was my first gig. First real gig was the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, anything interesting on it?

My bucket list has over 50 things on it, two of which I have completed by making this record and
releasing it! A world tour is on there, without a doubt, but closest to my heart is finishing my
book. Right now it is an autobiography and my wildest dream would be a Netflix series.
I would also like to become more active in fighting for Indigenous rights and taking an initiative
in a project called The Water Project, but bringing it to Canada. The fact there are reservations
without clean drinking water is appalling and something that can easily be changed. Also, I
would love to publish a book of photography. I am hoping one day to travel around the world
with my son and photograph ghost towns and abandoned places.

What was the last thing that you read?
The last book I finished was Braiding Sweetgrass. I keep about six to ten books on the go, so it
takes me a while to get through them all! It is an amazing book that I recommend everyone

What are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment I have Moon Cowboy on repeat! Shoegaze heaven and I really look forward to
hearing more from Ricordo Fiel. And if we are talking shoegaze and dream pop I can never get
enough of Soft Set, there debut EP Love and Dancing is on every mixtape I make! I am privy to
their new album and the world is in for a treat. I am lucky to have been asked to sing on a few
tracks too! And lastly on repeat, Jeen. I am absolutely in love with her new work. I am also
looking forward to hearing Genevieve Racette’s new material!

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t a musician I would probably be still dealing vintage clothing and repurposing old
furniture, but aside from my old career and I would have loved to have studied homeopathy. I
have always dreamed of opening up a healing centre. Dream job though? Photographer for
National Geographic!!

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

I love the idea of collaborating! I have to say that I would love to work with Moon Cowboy, his
songs bring me to tears and I think a female vocal in there would be really beautiful. Dream
collaborators would be The Raveonettes, The Vaccines and Courtney Love!

What do you want people to know about your music?

That’s a good question… I like people knowing that I am Indigenous and sharing my story about
the Sixties Scoop is instrumental. People need to know the truth about our history; reconciliation
is not enough. Our beautiful traditions must live on; our stories, our language and our music are
to be honoured, remembered and shared. I also believe in empowering every person on this
earth regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity or nationality. If I can help one single person to
see the light that lies inside them that would make me eternally grateful.

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

Ohhh quarantine! The ups and downs and solitude. I started writing for the next album and have
a few demos under my belt. I have done a lot of reading, cooking and baking; but most
importantly getting to spend time with my lil one, Raven. I can say my cupboards are organized,
my closets are colour coded and I have the biggest pile of goodies for a garage sale! I have also
had more time for reflection, meditation and we took up biking. I have been lucky enough to
keep up my writing and I am a few chapters in on my autobiography!

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

My songwriting process is generally the same, a bubbling of emotions I can’t express, long
drives and madly writing lyrics at the wheel! What has changed is my Thursday nights. I haven’t
been able to see my band in over a year, and it is quite depressing. I thrive on energy and being
in the presence of people I love. It has been an extremely lonely year in regards to that.
If there is anything I can leave it is this: if you have a story, share it. If you have a gift, a talent,
share it. The world needs it more than ever. When you open yourself up, you open yourself up
to miracles. You give space for someone else to do the same. It is a beautiful cycle.

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2020 or 2021?

The most positive thing to happen was releasing this record and I am floored by all the support
and love. It has been a true gift to me. To be played on CBC radio, to have done two national
radio interviews and countless others is mind blowing! One Shot reached #1 in Belleville on the
Indie Charts and that pretty much made my year.

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

I am looking forward to live shows!! I look forward to hugging my family and friends and being
able to see my band and start rehearsing. I look forward to the freedom we have lost and I can’t
wait to go out and support local shops, restaurants and venues.

Connect with Madisyn Whajne

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